The INES Global Responsibility Newsletter reports and comments – from a global perspective – on political, technical and societal developments and comprises of regular internal news sections.
21st Conference of the Parties on Climate Change 2015
Hosted by the French Government, to be held in Paris Dec. 2015
The general framework of the annually held conferences on climate change is the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), which was adopted in 1992 and has been ratified by 195 Parties. In 1997, the Kyoto Protocol as an international agreement to commit its Parties to internationally binding emission reduction targets was adopted and entered into force in 2005.
In 2012, the Doha Amendment to the Kyoto Protocol was adopted, which included the definition of a second commitment period from 2013 - 2020 and was the first step towards building a new international climate agreement. This new agreement is to be concluded in 2015 in order to enter into force in 2020.
Therefore, the 21st Conference of the Parties on Climate Change hosted by France at the Paris-Le Bourget site will mark a decisive stage in negotiations on a post-2020 climate regime. The goal is that by the end of the meeting, all the nations of the world will be bound by a universal agreement on climate.
Civil Society organizations and networks are already starting to build momentum in order to ensure massive representation of civil society concerns in Paris 2015. Also, the U.N. Environmental Programme and Climate Action are planning to hold a Sustainable Innovation Forum 2015 as one of the many side events of the COP21 Paris.
November 16th, 2014
Sarajevo Peace Event 2014
For all interested in the Peace Event which took place from June 6 - 9 2014 in Sarajevo, there is a detailed documentation on the project website available:
Detailed foto documentations of the different activities and locations is included.
November 16th, 2014
Demilitarization for Deep Decarbonization
International Peace Bureau publishes Draft Working Paper
The International Peace Bureau (IPB) recently published an extensive Draft Paper linking high military expenditures and the urgent need to invest in restructuring our economy and energy systems to fight climate change.
"Over the past decade, almost ten gigatonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent has been released into the atmosphere. (...) Carbon dioxide is produced from the burning of fossil fuels for industry, transportation and buildings and is directly linked to the rise in global mean surface temperature. (...) In its latest statement on the status of the global climate, the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) explained that thirteen of the fourteen warmest years have all occurred in the 21st century since recordkeeping began in 1850. (...)
Not only have carbon emissions increased for the past ten years, so too have military expenditures to a record high. The Stockholm International Peace Research Institute estimated that global military spending was $839 billion in 2001 and rose to $1.6 trillion in 2011 - a 92% increase. (...)
Military expenditures are depriving the international community of the funds desperately needed to mitigate and adapt to the climate crisis. (...) In 2009 at the UNFCCC 15th Conference of the Parties (COP) in Copenhagen, developed countries made a commitment to raise $100 billion annually by 2020 for the Green Climate Fund to finance the national adaptation plans for developing countries. This is less than 1% of global annual military expenditures. Yet, wealthy, industrialized countries have failed to make adequate pledges to pay their climate debt. (...)
[Source: Executive Summary, p. 6 Draft Working Paper]
"A nuclear weapons-free world can and must be achieved. Together, people's movements and governments committed to securing human survival by eliminating the world's nuclear arsenals can prevail. Building on our popular mobilizations since the indefinite extension of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) in 1995, we call on all people who want to build a fair, democratic, ecologically sustainable and peaceful future to join us in the streets and meeting halls in New York and in you own capitals and cities worldwide in late April and early May 2015, during the NPT 5-year Review Conference. Joining with "move the money" and climate change forces we will press the nuclear powers to fulfill their Article VI commitments to engage in good faith negotiations for the complete elimination of their nuclear arsenals, for deep reductions of military spending in order to meet human needs, and for measures to reverse the devastation being wrought by climate change."
As stated in the Press Release announcing the Call to Action, the network's coordinating and advisory committees include representatives of major peace, justice and environmental networks and organizations, as well as scholars and physicists:
Abolition 2000 (international), American Friends Service Committee (US), Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament (Britain), Earth Action (international), International Association of Peace Messenger Cities, International Peace Bureau, International Physicians for the Prevention of Nuclear War, Japan Council against A-&H-Bombs (Japan), Mayors for Peace (international), Le Mouvement de la Paix (France), Nuclear Age Peace Foundation (US), Parliamentarians for Nuclear Non-Proliferation and Disarmament (international), Pax Christi International, Peace Action (US), Peace Boat (Japan), United for Peace and Justice (US), World Peace Council, World Council of Churches, and many others.
November 6th, 2014
The Marshall Islands Case - joint IALANA / INES Newsletter
The International Association of Lawyers Against Nuclear Arms and INES have put together a Newsletter solely dedicated to provide information about the pending legal cases of the Republic of the Marshall Islands against the main nuclear-weapon states. By doing so, the editors provide background information, seek to draw attention to the Marshall Islands Case and highlight the importance that the international peace movement supports the lawsuits to increase the pressure on governments for nuclear disarmament.
The Marshall Islands Case Newsletter can be downloaded here.
November 3rd, 2014
Follow-up Conference on the Humanitarian Consequences of Nuclear Weapons and Civil Society Forum in December 2014
The 3rd Conference on THE HUMANITARIAN IMPACT OF NUCLEAR ARMS will be held from December 8-9th 2014 in Vienna, Austria. On October 20th, the 155 states registered for participation have issued a Joint Statement on the Humanitarian Consequences of Nuclear Weapons, in which they point out the desastrous consequences of the use of nuclear weapons, affirm their intention to actively work towards a nuclear-weapons-free world and call upon the international civil society to help raising worldwide awareness to create the needed momentum for the global abolition of nuclear weapons. The conference is hosted by the Austrian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, which provides detailed information online.
The International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons (ICAN) will host the ICAN Civil Society Forum Vienna from December 6-7th 2014. Under the Slogan <The Courage to Ban Nuclear Weapons>, the Forum seeks to energize, educate and demonstrate the unity of civil society on this issue, and thus to build global pressure for effective and immediate nuclear disarmament. Detailed information on the ICAN Civil Society Forum Vienna can be found here.
November 3rd, 2014
Report from NATO Summit in Newport, Wales, 4 - 5 Sept. 2014
Excerpt of the written report:
Disbanding NATO would be the alternative
Once again we saw the same images: vast areas sealed off, no-traffic and no-fly zones, and schools and shops being forced to shut. Safely shielded in their 5-star Celtic Manor Hotel resort, the “old and new warriors” held their meetings in surroundings far removed from the living and working realities of the region’s inhabitants – and far removed from any protests, too. In fact, the reality was better described as a “state of emergency”, with security measures costing some 70 million euros.
Despite the familiar scenes, there were actually new aspects to be greeted. The local population were obviously sympathetic to the cause of the protests. One of the main slogans attracted particular support – “Welfare instead of warfare” – since it resonates strongly with the wishes of many in a region characterised by unemployment and lack of future perspectives.
Another unusual and remarkable aspect was the committed, cooperative and non-aggressive behaviour of the police. With no signs of tension and, in fact, with a friendly approach, they accompanied a protest right up to the conference hotel and helped make it possible for a delegation of demonstrators to hand over to the “NATO bureaucrats” a large package of protest notes.
Read the full report by
Kristine Karch (Co-Chair of the Coordinating Committee of the international network "No to war - No to NATO"),
Reiner Braun (Co-President of the International Peace Bureau (IPB), Managing Director of IALANA and member of the Coordinating Committee of the international network "No to war - No to NATO"), and
Lucas Wirl (Program Director at INES, Co-Chair of the Coordinating Committee of the international network "No to war - No to NATO")
IPB to award annual MacBride Peace Prize to the Marshallese people and government
Excerpt of the IPB Press release:
The International Peace Bureau announced on August 6th 2014 that it will award its annual Sean MacBride Peace Prize for 2014 to the people and government of the Republic of the Marshall Islands (RMI), for courageously taking the nine nuclear weapons-possessing countries to the International Court of Justice to enforce compliance with the Non-Proliferation-Treaty and international customary law.
The prize ceremony will take place in Vienna early December at the time of the International Conference on the Humanitarian Consequences of Nuclear Weapons, and in the presence of the RMI's Minister of Foreign Affairs, Mr. Tony de Brum and other dignitaries.
On April 24th 2014, the Republic of the Marshall Islands filed actions against the nine main nuclear-weapons states (the USA, Russia, China, France, the UK, India, Pakistan, and North Korea) at the International Court of Justice in The Hague, claiming they violated their nuclear disarmament obligations under the Non-Proliferation-Treaty (NPT) and customary international law.
Marshall Islands Foreign Minister Tony de Brum stated in this regard: “Our people have suffered the catastrophic and irreparable damage of these weapons, and we vow to fight so that no one else on earth will ever again experience these atrocities. The continued existence of nuclear weapons and the terrible risk they pose to the world threaten us all.”
The Republic of the Marshall Islands has been the site nuclear testing between 1946 to 1958 under United Nation protectorate, during which it experienced 67 atomic tests. Best known is the „bravo shot“ at Bikini Atoll, a 15-megaton device equivalent to a thousand Hiroshima blasts which detonated in 1954. The Marshallese people have been and continue to suffer from serious health environmental effects ever since. Now, in unprecedented legal action, the RMI is suing the nuclear weapon states argueing they have violated their legal obligation to disarm.
The filed cases refer also to the 1996 Advisory Opinion of the ICJ, in which it unanimously concluded that there "exists an obligation to pursue in good faith and bring to a conclusion negotiations leading to nuclear disarmament in all its aspects under strict and effective international control." John Burroughs, who is on the International Legal Team of RMI, observed that the legal action taken against the Nuclear Weapon States serves to bring the issue nuclear disarmament back to the center of debate and action, where it belongs, and also ensures that the ICJ's 1996 Advisory Opinion “is not allowed to lie dormant and be ignored”.
Three of the nine respondent states have accepted the compulsory jurisdiction of the ICJ: the UK, India, and Pakistan. The other six states have been asked by the Marshall Islands to accept the jurisdiction of the Court in these specific cases; China has already notified the Court that it declines to accept its jurisdiction in this matter.
Phon van den Biesen, another representative of the International Legal team, explains that the RMI requests from the International Court of Justice to adjudge and declare that the respondent States are, in performing their obligations, not acting in good faith, and that they are breaching their obligations to pursue and conclude negotiations leading to nuclear disarmament. Those obligations arise from Article VI of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation-Treaty and also from the requirements developed under customary international law. Furthermore, in each of the cases the RMI requests the ICJ to order the respondent States to pursue, by initiation if necessary, negotiations leading to nuclear disarmament.
The „Alternative Nobel Prize“ is awarded annually by the Right Livelihood Award Foundation „for outstanding vision and work on behalf of our planet and its people“. This year, the Foundation has selected not four, but five Right Livelihood Award Laureates:
Edward Snowden (USA), Joint Honorary Award with Alan Rusbridger
„... for his courage and skill in revealing the unprecedented extent of state surveillance violating basic democratic processes and constitutional rights.“
Alan Rusbridger (UK), Joint Honorary Award with Edward Snowden
„... for building a global media organisation dedicated to responsible journalism in the public interest, undaunted by the challenges of exposing corporate and government malpractices.“
Asma Jahangir (Pakistan)
„... for defending, protecting and promoting human rights in Pakistan and more widely, often in very difficult and complex situations and at great personal risk.“
Basil Fernando / AHRC (Hong Kong SAR, China)
„... for his tireless and outstanding work to support and document the implementation of human rights in Asia.“
Bill McKibben / 350.org (USA)
„... for mobilising growing popular support in the USA and around the world for strong action to counter the threat of global climate change.“
We congratulate the Laureates and extend our cordial thanks for their outstanding enthusiasm and work for a more just, democratic and sustainable world!
U.S. Opposes New Draft Treaty from China and Russia Banning Space Weapon
Arms control pact sought as Beijing, Moscow secretly build anti-satellite, space arms
The United States is opposing a new draft treaty submitted to the United Nations last week by China and Russia that seeks legally binding curbs on weapons in space amid concerns that both states are secretly building space arms.
The draft treaty—updated from a 2008 version—cannot be verified, according to Frank A. Rose, deputy assistant secretary of state for arms control, verification, and compliance.
“The United States believes that arms control proposals and concepts should only be considered by the international community if they are equitable, effectively verifiable, and enhance the security of all,” Rose told a June 10 session in Geneva of the U.N. Conference on Disarmament.
The Chinese-Russian draft treaty “does not meet the necessary criteria,” Rose said, adding that the U.S. opposition is based on a preliminary assessment that the new draft fails to address “significant flaws” in the 2008 draft.
“Namely, there is no effective verification regime to monitor compliance, and terrestrially based anti-satellite systems posing the greatest and most imminent threat to space systems are not captured,” Rose said.
Rose instead said the United States favors a less formal “code of conduct” for space being promoted by the European Union. The code has come under fire from the Pentagon’s Joint Staff that stated in a 2012 assessment that the code would harm U.S. military space activities.
A U.S. official said the Chinese-Russian treaty proposal would effectively kill international efforts on a code of conduct for space.
(Foto: C. Bartosch, Hans-Peter Dürr, Hamburg, CFW-Forum der VDW 12.11.2010)
A warrior is no longer with us
In October we would have celebrated his 85th birthday - now we will have to do this without him. On May 18, 2014, Hans-Peter Dürr died. His fighting heart ceased to beat.
There are many issues we can associate with this intense, even restless, life. Hans-Peter Dürr was a great critical physicist who always questioned himself and his science with a considering and self-reflecting mind. He considered the insight that there are limits to our planet Earth to be a challenge to science and research, unceasingly striving for a paradigm shift in the scientific world.thanks all for a wonderful event.[Read the full memoriam here]
International Scholars, Peace Advocates and Artists Condemn Agreement
To Build New U.S. Marine Base in Okinawa
By Reiner Braun, spokesperson of the national “Cooperation for Peace” and Co-President of the IPB
Leading scholars, peace advocates and artists from the United States, Canada, Europe, and Australia today released the attached statement opposing the construction of the new U.S. Marine base at Henoko, Okinawa, planned by the US and Japanese governments as a replacement facility of Futenma airbase located in the middle of Ginowan City. Their statement urges “support for the people of Okinawa in their struggle for peace, dignity, human rights, and protection of the environment.”
Initial signers of the statement include linguist Noam Chomsky, academy award winning film maker Oliver Stone, Nobel Laureate Mairead Maguire, historian John Dower, former U.S. military officer and diplomat Ann Wright, and United Nations Special Rapporteur for Palestine Richard Falk. (See complete list of initial signers on statement. Additional names are being added.)
Speaking for the signers, Joseph Gerson of the American Friends Service Committee, who has worked with Okinawan base opponents and initiated the 1996 “Statement of Outrage and Remorse” following the kidnapping and rape of an Okinawan schoolgirl by U.S. servicemen, said the statement is intended to “ rally international support for Okinawans in their inspiring and essential nonviolent campaign to end seventy years of military colonization, to defend their dignity and human rights, and to ensure peace and protect their environment.”[Read on here]
January 7, 2014
For More Information Contact:
For Immediate Release Joseph Gerson : 1-617-661-6130/JGesonafscorg
Peter Kuznick: 1-202-885-2408/ pkuznickaolcom
Gavan McCormack: 61-2-6125-3164/gavanmccormackanueduau
(McCormack also available for interview in Japanese)
06. January 2014
Bitter Soup For Okinawans - The Governor’s Year-End Betrayal
The Asia-Pacific Journal, Volume 12, Issue 1, No. 2, January 6, 2014.
In and around Okinawa, events of unparalleled importance continue to unfold, with implications for Japan, the US-Japan and US-Japan-China relationships, and for peace and democracy generally. As former Governor Ota Masahide foresaw earlier in the year, 2013 turned out to be “the worst ever (obviously excluding the utter catastrophe of 1945) for Okinawa.”1
The “special series” (“Again Okinawa”) published in this journal in November pointed to the importance of two imminent decisions: one in December when the Okinawan governor was to give his response to the national government’s request that he license reclamation of the seas off northern Okinawa to allow construction of a major new military complex there for the US Marine Corps, and one in January when the electors of Nago City were to choose a mayor for the city designated as site of the new base. 2 The reverberations of the former were heard around the world in December. Here we focus on it.[Read on here]
Friday, 03 January 2014 11:20 By Dr Joseph Gerson, Truthout | Opinion
After years of threats, veiled political bribery and arm twisting, the US and Japanese governments finally extracted an agreement from Okinawa's governor to build a massive new Marine air base in Okinawa. Its implications are devastating for the Okinawan people and the prospects for peace in East Asia. The Okinawan people again are being sacrificed on the altar of militarism: the Obama Administration's military "pivot" to Asia and the Pacific and the US-Japan military alliance - the "keystone" of US Asia-Pacific power.
In late December 2013, Japan's militarist prime minister, Shinzo Abe, circumvented 16 years of deeply committed popular opposition to the construction of a massive new US Marine air base at Henoko, in northern Okinawa. With the lure of $3 billion a year through 2021 for economic development - an economic bonanza for local construction contractors and their workers - and the fact of escalated tensions with China, Okinawa Gov. Hirokazu Nakaima succumbed to pressures from Tokyo and Washington to build the advanced air base adjacent to the Marines' Camp Schwab. Other elements of the deal include transferring 5,000 Marines to Guam and 2,500 to Australia, while leaving roughly 12,000 Marines, as well as massive US Air Force, Navy and Army bases that occupy 18 percent of Okinawa Island.[Read on here]