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Organization: International Peace Bureau, Bureau international de la paix
The following information may be cited or quoted as long as the source is accurately mentioned and the words are not taken out of context.
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PROGRESS: Has your organization seen progress toward a culture of peace and nonviolence in your domain of action and in your constituency during the first half of the Decade?

The most significant, and most encouraging, evidence of progress towards a culture of peace and non-violence was provided by the massive 2003 protests against the illegal invasion of Iraq. This was however (as so often) a reactive rather than pro-active mobilisation. A second indicator on the large scale has been the growth of the World Social Forums and their regional/national/local manifestations. Hundreds of thousands of citizens have gathered around the world to seek alternatives to the negative aspects of globalization – including its worst and most militaristic features. This cannot be characterised as a fully-fledged ‘nonviolent’ movement but it does represent a significant breakthrough in non-hierarchical social organising.
Since 2001 the IPB has been associated with a wide range of social movements that seek to advance the ‘peace agenda’ in the broadest sense, such as: democracy-building, women’s participation (esp. work on UNSC Resolution 1325), anti-poverty, International Criminal Court, nuclear abolition, landmines, small arms, conflict prevention, non-violent intervention, human rights, human security and UN reform. In most of these areas – despite a very challenging political climate - we have seen some significant advances in the last 5 years.

OBSTACLES: What are the most important obstacles that have prevented progress?

The largest political obstacle to the peace and non-violence during this period has been the posture adopted by the Bush administration, notably since 9-11. This has involved not only two major wars but also the curtailing of human rights, rapid spread of new military bases, alarming increases in military spending, a unilateral attitude to international law, and the undermining of the UN. This has only increased tensions with other states and communities around the world, and encouraged them to enact similar measures.
The most severe hurdles for civil society relate to a) lack of resources, primarily financial and b) mobility restrictions such as refusal of visas for essential travel, and restrictions on UN access rights. Expansion of communications by internet etc only partly compensates for this.

ACTIONS: What actions have been undertaken by your organization to promote a culture of peace and nonviolence during the first half of the Decade?

NOTE: IPB's global network includes over 230 member organisations in 60 countries and 20 international organisations.
For details of their work go to www.ipb.org - Membership. The material below relates to activities undertaken by the Geneva secretariat.

For full details of IPB's programme see Activity Report 2001-3 at www.ipb.org


International Day of Peace: Sept 21, 2002, Inauguration in Geneva of a moument (bust) of Elie Ducommun, first Secretary-General of the International Peace Bureau, and Nobel Peace Prize laureate 1902. This prize was shared with IPB's second Secretary-General, Albert Gobat, also a Swiss politician.


Anti-war organising programme, post-11 Sept 2001.

International networking prior to 20 March 2003, in support of efforts to oppose the attack on Iraq, including participation in massive worldwide protest on 15 February.

Development of human security programme
series of conferences in Mediterranean region: Athens (03), Barcelona (04) and Florence (04)
exchange of information around the concept of Human Security with agencies such as the Human Security Commission, the Human Security network and UN agencies
drafting of a book on this theme (forthcoming)

Disarmament advocacy programme 2001-3: information, publishing and lobbying programme around a range of disarmament concerns
Final product: Farewell to Bombs, 2004, an introduction to the politics of 7 weapons systems.
Series of conferences on behalf of the Geneva-based NGO Committee for Disarmament. This included a major programme as part of the World Civil Society Forum, Geneva 2002, and several consultations related to the Non Proliferation Treaty Review.

Armed Conflicts: a range of activities in support of peace processes in conflicts such as india-Pakistan, Burma, Israel-Palestine and elsewhere.

Publication of the book From War to Peace, lessons to be drawn from 9 different peace processes. Co-published with Nonviolence International SE Asia office. (2003)

Women and peacemaking: publication every year of a reiew of women's peacemaking efforts. Co-published with the International Fellowship of Reconciliation. Launch of the Women in Peacemaking programme 2005-6, on the occasion of the centenary of the first Nobel Peace Prize awarded to a woman, Bertha von Suttner (IPB Vice-President), 1905. This involves networking, publications and events/exhibitions in 30 cities in 22 countries. (www.berthavonsuttner2005.info)

Global Campaign for Peace Education: IPB has acted as the Geneva secretariat for this campaign from 1999-2003. This included support for the Youth programme, which built up an impressive worlwide network of youth activists.

Nobel prizes: variety of activities related to the Nobel Prize, including playing a key role in the annual Nobel Summits organised by the Gorbachev Foundation and the Mayor of Rome.

MacBride Prize:
Every year the IPB awards a special prize to a person or organisation that has done outstanding work for peace, disarmament and/or human rights. These were the principal concerns of Sean MacBride, the distinguished Irish statesman who was Chairman of IPB from 1968-74 and President from 1974-1985. MacBride died in 1988, but the Prize was not established until 1992, IPB´s centenary year.
The award is decided by the IPB Steering Committee, usually early in the calendar year. IPB members are welcome to make suggestions and provide background documentation on potential candidates. The Prize is a non-monetary one, consisting of a medal cast by a well-known Irish craftsman.

2001: Rosalie Bertell, President and founder of the International Institute of Public HealthInstitute of Concern for Public Health, awarded for her work with indiginous and developing peoples as the struggle to preserve their hunam right to health and life in the face of industrial, technological, and military pollution.

2002: For her demonstration of commitment to peace and non-violent resolution, US Congresswoman Barbara Lee was awarded 2002´s MacBride prize.  She was the only congressperson to vote against the US bombing of Afghanistan following the September 11th attacks.

2003:  Founded in August 1956, Nihon HIDANKYO is a national network of the Hibakusha - the atomic bomb sufferers of Hiroshima and Nagasaki - and the winner of this year´s prize.  Whilst initially striving for State Compensation Relief for bomb sufferers, it has since contributed to the movement for total abolition of nuclear weapons by educating the public about the tragic experiences of the Hibakusha.

2004: the Prize was awarded at a ceremony in Florence to the leaders of the Geneva Initiative on the Middle East: the Palestinian Yasser Abed Rabbo and the Israeli Yossi Beilin, together with Prof. Alexis Keller (Switzerland), who was the moving spirit behind the 2-year negotiation process that led to the Geneva Accord. Mr Rabbo was represented by Mr Radi Jarai, and Mr Beilin by Ms Michal Radoshitzky.

ADVICE: What advice would you like to give to the Secretary-General and the General Assembly to promote a culture of peace and nonviolence during the second half of the Decade?

The UN should set up a new Fund to support the work of developing the Decade and making it more visible among civil society north and south.
Extend inter-agency cooperation to avoid the tendency to see it as relevant only to UNESCO and its partners.
Launch a new programme to give as much priority to Peace Education as has been given to Human Rights Education, for example by launching a special decade and a secretariat.
Build on the work of the Expert Group (and GA resolutions) on Disarmament and Non-Proliferation Education.
Publish a poster set and CD ROM with photos and multilingual texts (+sound recordings) of great figures from the field of non-violence. This should feature equal numbers of men and women and a good regional/cultural spread. These materials should be the subject of a well-planned UN distribution campaign to ensure they reach large numbers of educational institutions, civil society organisations and libraries all over the world.

PARTNERSHIPS: What partnerships and networks does your organization participate in, thus strengthening the global movement for a culture of peace?

In recent years IPB has supported the development of several key networks and projects:
Abolition 2000: A Global Network to Eliminate Nuclear Weapons
European Network Against Arms Trade
International Campaign to Ban Landmines
International Women’s Day for Peace and Disarmament (May 24)
International Action Network on Small Arms
Hague Appeal for Peace (world conference 1999) and Global Campaign for Peace Education
Barcelona Forum 2004
Middle Powers Initiative (nuclear disarmament)
Global Network to ban Nuclear Power and Weapons in Space
Nonviolent Peaceforce
IPB is also a member of:
Conference of NGOs in Consultative Status with ECOSOC (CONGO)
NGO Committee for Disarmament (Geneva)
Ubuntu – a network of civil society networks
Federation of International Institutions in Geneva

PLANS: What new engagements are planned by your organization to promote a culture of peace and nonviolence in the second half of the Decade (2005-2010)?

Women in Peacemaking Programme
Disarmament for Development programme
Commemoration of the centenary of IPB’s own Nobel Prize in 2010, coinciding with the end of the Decade.

Postal address of organization

IPB, 41 rue de Zurich, 1201 Geneva, Switzerland

E-mail address of organization


Website address of organization


Highest priority action domain of a culture of peace

1.International Peace and Security

Second priority action domain of a culture of peace

2. Education for a Culture of Peace

Highest priority country of action (or international)


Second priority country of action (or international)

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Organization: International Peace Bureau, Bureau international de la paix

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