Message from World Beyond War Annual Report


An excerpt from the annual report of World Beyond War

Message from David Swanson, Executive Director

World BEYOND War is growing at an increasing rate. In 2023 we hired organizers in Latin America and Africa, who join our Canada Organizer and our Organizing Director on staff, along with our Executive Director, Education Director, Technology Director, Development Director, Social Media Manager, a researcher, and an intern. Much of our activity is done by volunteers, however, and we leaped from 22 active chapters the year before to 32 chapters in 21 countries in 2023. Our Declaration of Peace now has signers in 196 countries.

In 2023 we placed an increased focus on media work (production of web tools, videos, podcasts, articles, and social media, as well as outreach to media outlets) and reshaped our strategy for ongoing work to emphasize not only education and activism, but the third area of media and communications.

This was a year in which two very different wars, in Ukraine and in Palestine, were big stories in the media. We’ve worked to increase opposition to those wars, to nudge war opponents toward opposing all sides rather than cheering for certain warmakers, to activate newly engaged peace advocates, and to recruit them into a lasting movement for war abolition and peace-building beyond the current crises.

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Questions related to this article:

Where in the world can we find good leadership today?

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In 2023, we sought, through our annual conference, our annual film fest, and numerous articles and interviews, to more effectively address the perennial question of how to use nonviolence in the face of violence, how to employ unarmed civilian defense, diplomacy, the rule of law, and alternatives to mirroring the violence of an attacker or invader. We’ve planned a new online course on the topic for 2024.

With the close of 2023, World BEYOND War becomes 10 years old. We’ve educated huge numbers of people about peaceful alternatives. We’ve played a leading role in passing resolutions, in divesting funds from weaponry, in preventing the construction of new military bases. We’ve built a large and growing community of informed global citizens working together, strategically, and cooperatively for steps away from the institution of war and toward a sustainable world. We aim to do much more each year than the year before.

With the close of 2023, World BEYOND War was working with allies around the world to press — with some intial success — for the application of the rule of law to the horrific war on Gaza — among many other steps, generating a half-million emails to governments in support of prosecution at the International Court of Justice. Not only is the reliability of international bodies being tested, but the risk of even wider and more deadly wars is on the rise.

The case for a wiser path is needed more desperately than ever. We are finding our global footing none too soon. Peace!