IPB WORLD CONGRESS – BERLIN 30th SEPT. – 3rd OCT. 2016 Registration now open!!!

Registration Open

The International Peace Bureau (IPB) has worked for over 10 years to develop a programme on Disarmament for Sustainable Development. A primary topic within this programme is military and social spending. The Congress — Disarm! For a Climate of Peace – Creating an Action Agenda — from 30th September to 3rd October 2016 at the Technical University of Berlin will bring together a wide variety of experts and advocates from around the world.

The aim of this Congress is to bring the issue of military spending into the broad public debate and to strengthen our global community of activism. The enormous global challenges of hunger, unemployment and climate could be brought closer to a solution by real disarmament steps – steps that need to be clearly formulated and put into political reality.

The objective is to ensure participation from at least 40 countries gathering between 700 and 1000 participants. A particular focus will be on having participants from the “Global South”, including the so-called emerging economies.

Another target group are young people for whom a “Youth Gathering” will be organised, providing an opportunity to exchange experiences and to network.

We have succeeded in attracting a broad support that goes far beyond peace organizations, including from development, environment, faith, human rights, social welfare, women, workers’ and youth organizations, such as Friends of the Earth, ITUC (International Trade Union Confederation), Pax Christi International, UNI Global Union, WILPF (Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom), Religions for Peace, World Future Council.

There are ample opportunities for participation and collaboration: all those interested may propose workshops and/or organize other events, which will be part of the side events’ program.

The Congress program is accompanied by cultural events, including exhibitions of photos and paintings, and a book exhibition. An “International peace party” will also be organised, featuring international music in a variety of languages.

The registration for the Congress opens on 1st of February. One can easily register at the congress-website.

Contact:

Reiner Braun

Tel: +49 30 20 65 48 57

GLOBAL DAY OF ACTION ON MILITARY SPENDING, 2016 edition: April 5-18 – Important information

18 January 2016: Times change, and with them, our reactions to events. Here is the latest news about the Global Campaign on Military Spending :

1. The dates: This year’s Global Day/GDAMS will not in fact be a day but a fortnight! For diverse reasons it will be held from April 5th- 18th. On the 5th, the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI) will publish the global military expenditure figures for 2015, together with its analysis of the trends. The 18th is Tax Day in the USA, a traditional moment in the calendar for civil society to challenge the uses put to public money. This new style ‘Global Day’ offers our participants more scope to choose a suitable moment to organise events that fit local or national contexts. As usual, IPB will publish all events that are notified to us as being within the GDAMS framework.

2. The context: Recent (and continuing) terrorist attacks and the militaristic responses of several governments have created a rather new context for our actions on military spending. ‘Rather new’ since clearly this is more an intensification than an entirely new phenomenon. But the random violence and the extreme ideology of Islamic State has led many people to support the ongoing military campaigns – and the increased budgets to support them. Nevertheless there are large sections of the population who have serious doubts about the wisdom of the policies enunciated by François Hollande and other Western leaders. See IPB’s statement Tackling Terror on the IPB website. We urge our partners to reach out as widely as possible to other sectors of civil society, to draw in support for our message, and to help organise really effective GDAMS events.

3. The Congress:  This year is a special one for IPB and for the GCOMS. We will hold a major world congress around these themes, in Berlin, on Sept 30-Oct 3rd. The title is: Disarm! For a Climate of Peace: Creating an Action Agenda. As the name suggests, the issue of financial resources to tackle climate change will be a live issue long after COP 21. In the runup period, IPB conducted a daily social media effort to get the military issue into the COP 21 debate. See: https://www.facebook.com/ipb1910. Meanwhile we are also working with members and partners in many cities to organise ‘prepcomms’ in advance of the Congress. These can be on any topic, and can take many forms. We hope that the GDAMS 2016 period will be an opportunity for generating media and public attention, not only to the issues but also to the Congress.

4. The committee: We have re-convened the International Steering Committee that has worked successfully over the past few years in helping the IPB Secretariat with the coordination. The USA coordinator this year will be Joseph Gerson, replacing Mary Zerkel, both of American Friends Service Committee (Quakers). Joe is also a member of the IPB Board, and a very experienced peace activist and organiser – we are delighted to have him in the team.

World Congress on Military Spending, Berlin: ONE YEAR TO GO !

Exactly 365 days from today will see the opening of the IPB’s world congress in Berlin: Disarm! For a climate of peace: creating an action agenda.

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Our aim with this congress and the related events is to make the issue of public spending on the military more visible in the media and in political debates. The UN’s Sustainable Development Goals have just been agreed by the General Assembly. In December the world expects a bold agreement on climate change to be signed in Paris. Meanwhile the tide of refugees arriving in Europe shows no sign of slackening. All three issues require major commitments of public money. Where better to find these resources than from the military, which time after time shows it is incapable of solving international tensions and conflicts? Every year $1700 billion are spent on a system whose actions seem only to make crises worse.

Our planning process is fully on track: we have new partners, some distinguished speakers, and a whole series of preparatory events around the world. Funding is gradually coming in. Between now and the conference itself we shall celebrate our international cooperation in the Global Day of Action on Military Spending. This is scheduled to be held around mid-April 2016 (date to be confirmed soon), when the spending figures for 2015 will be announced. It’s not too soon to start planning now!

In the coming weeks we will issue a declaration for which we will be seeking as many organisational endorsements as possible.

If you are keen to support this initiative, or simply interested in what develops, please let us know. Write to us with your suggestions and ideas at mailbox@ipb.org, ‘like’ us on Facebook, circulate our materials vis social media, newsletters etc. Make sure the Congress is on your calendar.  And if you would like to make a donation…go to the IPB website.

CONTACT INFO

Feel free to get in touch with us at:
Email: info@ipb2016.berlin
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/events/1457282777925108/

Congress Website: www.ipb2016.berlin

Pope Denounces Arms Trade – Historic Speech to Congress

Pope Francis arrives to address the joint session of Congress on September 24, 2014 in Washington, DC. The Pope is the first leader of the Roman Catholic Church to address a joint meeting of Congress, including more than 500 lawmakers, Supreme Court justices and top administration officials including Vice President Joe Biden.    AFP PHOTO/PAUL J. RICHARDS

“Being at the service of dialogue and peace,” he said, “also means being truly determined to minimize and, in the long term, to end the many armed conflicts throughout our world. Here we have to ask ourselves: Why are deadly weapons being sold to those who plan to inflict untold suffering on individuals and society? Sadly, the answer, as we all know, is simply for money: money that is drenched in blood, often innocent blood. In the face of this shameful and culpable silence, it is our duty to confront the problem and to stop the arms trade.”

For David Swanson’s article click here.

For Pope’s full speech to click here.

 

 

Berlin Conference 2016 on Military Spending: New Flyer, Web Pages, and Videos!

ipb-pic-300x240I hope you share our pleasure that plans for our big GCOMS conference next year are taking shape: now in the form of a FLYER and a new section on our website CONGRESS 2016. 

There are also two VIDEO clips: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qHyH_rfYlRE, and another at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dDwpk4OFt0s

Right now the most important thing is to get the message out — so please use these tools to engage and excite your own communities.