Tag Archives: global

Mayors for Peace: Join us in promoting the culture of peace


An news flash from Mayors for Peace

Mayors for Peace outlines three objectives in the Vision for Peaceful Transformation to a Sustainable World (PX Vision): Peacebuilding by Cities for Disarmament and Common Security. One of them is to promote the culture of peace, which the PX Vision explains as follows:

[W]e will cultivate peace consciousness and cause the culture of peace—the culture in which the everyday actions of each member of the public are grounded in thinking about peace—to take root in civil society as the foundation of lasting world peace.

This April Issue of the Mayors for Peace News Flash features some of Mayors for Peace initiatives promoting the culture of peace. We hope these examples will inspire your city to implement initiatives.

Celebrate the month for the culture of peace

We encourage your cities to celebrate one particular month of the year as the “Month for the Culture of Peace”, holding a variety of cultural events to raise peace awareness among citizens. The aim is to have them think about the importance of peace through music, fine art, and other forms of art expressing desire for peace, as well as through sports and other activities that emotionally connect people across language barriers.

The City of Hiroshima, since 2021, has designated November as the “Month for the Culture of Peace.” This Month sees a variety of events under the theme of the culture of peace held intensively in cooperation with private sector companies and groups of citizens. These events include, for example, lectures on the culture of peace and stage performances and art exhibitions by youths. To raise the public awareness of This Month, we also put banners and run digital signage in some gathering sites and streets of city center.

“Month for the Culture of Peace 2023” by the City of Hiroshima (in Japanese): https://heiwabunka.info/

Organize Events to Commemorate the International Day of Peace

We recommend your cities organize outreach activities and commemorative events on the UN’s International Day of Peace, which is observed on September 21st every year, to have as many citizens as possible share in the wish for the abolition of nuclear weapons.

Pass down Atomic Bomb Experiences through Testimonies

We encourage member cities to provide their citizens with opportunities to hear hibakusha’s testimony while using online video conference platforms or on video to have as many people as possible share in the hibakusha’s sincere desire for the abolition of nuclear weapons and to encourage them to take action for peace.

If your city wishes to set up an opportunity to hear a testimony online, please contact the Secretariat.

Providing opportunities to hear hibakusha’s testimony (Mayors for Peace
website): https://www.mayorsforpeace.org/en/visions/initiatives/testimonies/

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Question related to this article:
How can culture of peace be developed at the municipal level?

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Hold Mayors for Peace Atomic Bomb Poster Exhibitions

Mayors for Peace provides member cities with “Mayors for Peace Atomic Bomb
Posters,” which visually present the realities of the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, consequences of nuclear weapons use, and Mayors for Peace initiatives, featuring photos, drawings created by hibakusha, and other images. Posters are available in the following nine languages: English, German, French, Russian, Dutch, Spanish, Catalan, Portuguese, and Japanese. To have more citizens deepen their understanding of the realities of the atomic bombings and share in the wish for the abolition of nuclear weapons, we encourage member cities to organize poster exhibitions at facilities to which many residents have access, such as city halls, community centers, and public libraries.

Mayors for Peace Atomic Bomb Poster Exhibition (Mayors for Peace website):

To download the posters from the above webpage, please contact the Mayors for Peace Secretariat to obtain a user ID and a password.

Exhibition organizers are encouraged to set up a petition booth at the venue for visitors to sign the petition calling for all states to join the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons (TPNW) at the earliest day. The petition form and the poster encouraging people to join the petition are available on the Mayors for Peace webpage below.

Petition drives calling for all states to join the TPNW at the earliest date (Mayors for Peace website): https://www.mayorsforpeace.org/en/visions/initiatives/petitions/

Nurture seeds and seedlings from atomic bomb survivor trees

We distribute to member cities seeds from hibaku trees—atomic bomb
survivor trees which have survived the atomic bombings of Hiroshima
and Nagasaki. We encourage you to raise second-generation hibaku
trees, which serve as symbols of peace, to help raise citizens’ peace

Should you wish to receive seeds from hibaku trees, please contact the

Distribute and nurture seeds from atomic bomb survivor trees
(hibaku trees) (Mayors for Peace website): https://www.mayorsforpeace.org/en/visions/initiatives/trees/

Participate in the Children’s Art Competition “Peaceful Towns”

Mayors for Peace organizes the annual Children’s Art Competition “Peaceful Towns” for children in all the member cities to further promote peace education in the member cities.

We organize the competition this year, too. Click here for details.

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‘Make Peace More Profitable Than War,’ UN General Assembly Hears, as It Adopts Text to Mark 25 Years Of Landmark Declaration on Culture of Peace


An article from the United Nations

As speakers discussed the importance of collective efforts to promote a culture of peace in a world torn by conflict and crisis, the General Assembly today adopted a draft resolution in pursuit of that goal, in addition to draft texts on a variety of other topics.

The draft resolution titled “Follow-up to the Declaration and Programme of Action on a Culture of Peace” (document A/78/L.57), adopted without a vote, proposes several activities to observe the twenty-fifth anniversary of the Assembly’s adoption of the Declaration and Programme of Action, including the convening of a day-long high-level forum during the 163-member organ’s seventy-eighth session. 

Presentation of resolution by Bangladesh ambassador Muhammad Abdul Muhith.

The representative of Bangladesh, who introduced the draft, recalled that Dhaka, in 1998, initiated the process leading to the Declaration, stating that his country — born out of a devastating war rooted in discrimination, intolerance and subjugation — made promoting peace fundamental to its foreign policy.  Today, amid spiralling conflict, “we must rekindle the brighter and harmonious faculties of the human minds, foster respect for equality and equal value of all human beings,” he urged. “And, most importantly, we must make peace more profitable than war.” 

In a debate on the topic, Member States outlined their views on what must be done at the international and national levels to promote a culture of peace in a fractious global context.

The representative of Brunei Darussalam, speaking for the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), recognized the necessity of institutionalizing a culture of prevention amid today’s sustainable-development challenges, socioeconomic inequalities and discrimination.  Voicing concern over borderless threats — such as extremist ideologies — she underscored the need to promote tolerance and mutual respect, adding: “Achieving peace among peoples and nations requires collective efforts, transcending individual endeavours.”

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Question for this article:

What is the United Nations doing for a culture of peace?

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Similarly, the representative of the European Union, in its capacity as observer, underlined the importance of multilateralism and observed: “This is the only way to respond collectively and efficiently to global crises, challenges and threats that no one can tackle alone.”  Additionally, she underscored the need to ensure freedom of the press and to protect civic space, both online and offline, and spotlighted the importance of safeguarding freedom of religion and instilling a culture of peace in children through inclusive, quality education.

For his part, Venezuela’s representative, speaking for the Group of Friends in Defense of the Charter of the United Nations, warned against mistakenly justifying racism, racial discrimination and hate speech by invoking the freedom of expression.  In that context, he condemned anti-religious sentiment, the glorification of Nazism and the stigmatization of migrants.  “Fostering understanding and respect among various cultures and religions is of paramount importance in our shared pursuit of global peace,” he emphasized.

Bahrain’s representative, also stressing the need to promote dialogue, understanding and mutual respect among religions, detailed his country’s efforts to promote tolerance and coexistence at the international and regional levels.  These include establishing the King Hamad Global Centre for Peaceful Coexistence and calling for the adoption of an international convention to criminalize religious or racial hate speech.  He also joined others in calling on the international community to shoulder its responsibility and stop the “current catastrophic humanitarian situation” in Gaza.

“Development and prosperity cannot be envisaged in a society that does not enjoy peace,” such as in Gaza, stressed the representative of Mauritania, also pointing out:  “We cannot preserve peace and stability in the midst of poverty and inequality.” Mauritania, therefore, created a national commission to provide health and education services and assist the victims of historical injustice.  He also spotlighted his country’s diplomatic efforts to enshrine peace in Africa.

In the same vein, Togo’s peace strategy for the Sahel and West Africa is based on exporting its vision of positive, authentic peace “which goes beyond the simple lack of war”, said that country’s representative.  Such vision supports democratic transitions, reconciliation efforts through mediation and inclusive governance, he said, also stressing that African ownership and responsibility are key concepts for managing crises on the continent.  Underlining the African Union’s peace and security architecture, he quoted former President of South Africa Nelson Mandela to observe:  “It is so easy to break and to destroy — heroes are those who make peace and who build.”

(Editor’s note: The resolution was initially proposed by Bangladesh, Kiribati, Qatar, Russian Federation, Turkmenistan and United Republic of Tanzania and eventually co-sponsored by 112 countries. The exact list of co-sponsors had not yet been published by the UN as of May 9. The resolution this year is the same as last year’s resolution except for three paragraphs stressing that this year is the 25th anniversary of the Declaration and Programme of Action on a Culture of Peace.)

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May 1, workers’ day, around the world


As usual for more than a century now, May 1 was celebrated by workers around the world. Here are photos from some of their events.

Union workers’ shadows are cast on the street as they march with flags on International Workers’ Day in Asuncion, Paraguay, Wednesday, May 1, 2024. (AP Photo/Jorge Saenz)

Protesters look at balloons in the colors of the Palestinian flag flying in the sky during a rally commemorating May Day, in Athens, Greece, May 1. REUTERS/Louiza Vradi

Supporters of the Iraqi Communist Party chant slogans during International Worker’s Day or Labour Day rally in Baghdad, Iraq, May 1. REUTERS/Ahmed Saad

Supporters of the Lebanese Communist party take a selfie, as they march during a demonstration to mark International Labor Day or May Day, in Beirut, Wednesday, May 1, 2024. Despite the tense situation and ongoing clashes on Lebanon‘s border with Israel over the past seven months, hundreds of protesters marched through Beirut’s streets to mark International Workers’ Day. (AP Photo/Hussein Malla)

Participants gather with banners and flags for the “Revolutionary” May Day demonstration in Berlin, Germany, on Labour Day, May 1, 2024. © Tobias Schwarz, AFP (France24)

Facebook: Supporters of Colombia’s Petro march on May Day in Bogota, Colombia

An artist unpacks a giant puppet head depicting President Javier Milei to take to the International Workers’ Day march in Buenos Aires, Argentina, Wednesday, May 1, 2024. (AP Photo/Rodrigo Abd)

Pro-Palestinian supporters take part in a May Day protest march at a rally in Cape Town, South Africa, May, 1, 2024 (Morning Star Online)

Government supporters rally marking International Workers Day, in Caracas, Venezuela, Wednesday, May 1, 2024. (AP Photo/Jesus Vargas)

May Day march in Chicago (USA). | Fight Back! News/Rich Varnes

Members of National People’s Power, a political alliance, carry placards at a Labour Day rally in Colombo, Sri Lanka, Wednesday, May 1, 2024. (AP Photo/Eranga Jayawardena)

People walk with flags at the 1st of May event organized by the Main Organization of Trade Unions in Faelledparken in Copenhagen, Denmark, May 1. REUTERS: Ritzau Scanpix/Mads Claus Rasmussen

Dans le cadre de la célébration de la journée internationale des Travailleurs ce mercredi 1er mai 2024, le Parti de l’Indépendance et du Travail (PIT – Sénégal) célèbre avec les travailleuses et travailleurs du Dakar, Sénégal, la Fête internationale du Travail.(Dakactu)

Al Jazeera: Garment workers shout slogans as they mark May Day in Dhaka, Bangladesh. [Mohammad Ponir Hossain/Reuters]

YouTube: Il corteo per la Festa del Lavoro, Firenze, Italia

Pressenza: 1st May 2024 – Ghent Belgium (Image by D.K.)

A man shouts slogans as he holds an image of late revolutionary hero Ernesto “Che” Guevara during the International Workers’ Day celebration in Havana, Cuba, May 1. REUTERS/Alexandre Meneghini

Fireworks light up over Victoria Harbour for the Chinese Labour Day ‘Golden Week’ holiday, in Hong Kong, China, May 1. REUTERS/Tyrone Siu

Voice of America: Union members march during Labor Day celebrations in Istanbul, Turkey, May 1, 2024. Police in Istanbul detained dozens of people who tried to reach the city’s main square, Taksim, in defiance of a government ban on celebrating May 1 Labor Day at the landmark location.

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Question related to this article:
What is the contribution of trade unions to the culture of peace?

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Al Jazeera: Workers attend a protest during a May Day rally in Jakarta, Indonesia. [Ajeng Dinar Ulfiana/Reuters]

Al Jazeera: Workers take part in a rally marking International Labour Day in Lahore, Pakistan. Participants demanded implementation of labour laws and wage increases. [K.M. Chaudary/AP Photo]

Anti-government protesters try to get past riot police blocking their path to the Palace of Justice during a demonstration marking International Workers’ Day, in Lima, Peru, Wednesday, May 1, 2024. (AP Photo/Martin Mejia)

Al Jazeera: Hundreds of workers from various labour groups took to the streets of Manila, Philippines, to mark Labour Day and demand wage increases and job security amid soaring food and oil prices. [Basilio Sepe/AP Photo]

Demonstrators attend a May Day rally in Madrid, Spain, Wednesday, May 1, 2024. (AP Photo/Bernat Armangue)

Workers march for the International Workers’ Day in Montreal, Canada, on Wednesday, May 1, 2024. (Matt Gilmour/CTV News)

Deutche Welle: Thousands of workers took the streets of Munich, Germany, in support of European solidarity and workers’ rights.

NBC News: Protesters hold a banner reading “International revolution” at a May Day rally Sunday in Nantes, France.Sebastien Salom-Gomis / AFP – Getty Images.

“Workers Have Power”: Thousands Rally in New York City for May Day, Call for Solidarity with Palestine. A report from Democracy Now.

Mercury News: Pro-Palestinian protesters march down Broadway as they head to a May Day rally at City Hall in downtown Oakland, California (USA), on Wednesday, May 1, 2024. Multiple protests took place throughout the Bay Area as part of May Day action in support of workers and Palestinian people. (Jane Tyska/Bay Area News Group)

People hold a banner as they attend the traditional May Day labour union march in Paris, France, May 1. REUTERS/Stephanie Lecocq

USA Today: A protester shouts slogans during a May Day (Labour Day) rally, marking International Workers’ Day, in Pristina, Kosovo, on May 1, 2024.

Frame from youtube video of May Day demonstration in Santiago, Chile.

My Northwest: People take part in a May Day march in Seattle (USA) on Wednesday, May 1, 2024. (Photo: James Lynch, KIRO Newsradio)

Members of the Korean Confederation of Trade Unions gather to attend a rally on May Day in Seoul, South Korea, Wednesday, May 1, 2024. (AP Photo/Ahn Young-joon)

Cinemata: Jumaana Abdu speaks out on International Workers Day at the annual May Day March held in Sydney, Australia.

Al Jazeera: Workers hold placards reading ‘The regime has no honeymoon’ during a May Day rally in Taipei, Taiwan. [Chiang Ying-ying/AP Photo]

Al Jazeera: Participants prepare to march in a May Day rally in Tokyo, Japan. [Hiro Komae/AP Photo]

USA Today: Protesters lift placards bearing labour rights demands during a rally marking International Workers Day in Tunis, Tunisia, on May 1, 2024.

Deutsche Welle: Protestors in Turin, Italy, paraded a puppet of Italy’s prime minister doing a fascist salute.

Live Peace – worldwide concerts and live entertainment for peace


Received at CPNN by email from Mayors for Peace France

In collaboration with Mayors for Peace France, we present Live Peace, a citizens’ initiative to organise concerts and live entertainment around the world in support of peace.

55 countries are at war. One country in four. On every continent. On Europe’s doorstep. More than 114 million people are displaced by conflict, and every day thousands of civilians and soldiers lose their lives or are injured.

Enough is enough! We must and can act, each at their own level.

Albert Schweitzer, winner of the Nobel Peace Prize in 1952, said: “Governments get along when people force them to get along”.

History is full of evidence of the impact of citizens’ movements on major societal advances: the independence of India, the end of apartheid in South Africa, the end of racial segregation in the United States, the fall of the Berlin Wall and, of course the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

United we stand, divided we fall. Strength against war. Strength for peace.

Live Peace is an event, a tool, a lever enabling people to peacefully ask for peace by taking part in peace concerts and/or live entertainment in their towns and cities on the same day.

Music and arts have the extraordinary power to unite us, to transport us, to uplift us through the collective emotion it generates. Music and live entertainment transcend barriers of religion, skin colour or ideology.

In 1985, 2 billion television viewers watched the legendary Live Aid concert, which brought together 69 of the greatest artists, including Queen, U2, Dire Straits, Elton John, Sting, Madonna and Bob Dylan, for 16 hours on two stages in London and Philadelphia.

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(Click here for the French version of this article)


Question related to this article:

What place does music have in the peace movement?

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Live Peace aspires to become a global event on 21 September each year, the UN International Day of Peace, with more and more concerts and live entertainment organised by cities, restaurants, bars and nightclubs, and with songs in every language in the world. We envisage a massive movement of millions of men, women and children calling for peace.

In 2010, at a Mayors for Peace conference, Ban Ki Moon, secretary-general of the United Nations, stressed that “peace is built in towns and villages all over the world, not just in conference halls in New York or Geneva”.

The 8,200 towns and cities that are members of Mayors for Peace represent the sparks that can light the fire of peace by creating together a global musical event that will one day be broadcast on every continent, with millions of citizens asking governments for peace between peoples.

Asking for peace and peacefully ACHIEVING peace through the strength of their numbers.

On 21 September, the towns of Grigny and Bonneuil sur Marne organised the first two Live Peace concerts in France.

On 21 September, we invite you to organise YOUR first Live Peace concert and/or live entertainment. In 1982, a handful of French towns launched the fête de la musique, now celebrated in over 120 countries.

On 21 September, we invite you to make history. The history of humanity united for peace.

This text twill be sent to all international media.

I, the undersigned:
Agree to sign the Live Peace Tribune – Concerts for Peace On at
Signature :

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UN Security Council Holds Rare Nuclear Disarmament Debate


An article by Daryl G. Kimball and Shizuka Kuramitsu in Global Issues

Japanese Foreign Minister Yoko Kamikawa a rare, high-level UN Security Council meeting on nuclear disarmament and nonproliferation on March 18.

Although the meeting underscored the urgency of addressing the growing threats posed by nuclear weapons, it also highlighted the chronic divisions among key states on disarmament and nonproliferation issues.

“The world now stands on the cusp of reversing decades of declines in nuclear stockpiles. We will not stop moving ahead to promote realistic and practical efforts to create a world without nuclear weapons. Japan cannot accept Russia’s threats to break the world’s 78-year record of the nonuse of nuclear weapons,” she added.

Japanese Foreign Minister Yoko Kamikawa chairs a UN Security Council meeting on nuclear disarmament in New York on March 18. She has warned that “the world now stands on the cusp of reversing decades of declines in nuclear stockpiles.” Credit: Japanese Foreign Ministry

UN Secretary-General António Guterres; Robert Floyd, executive secretary of the Preparatory Commission of the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty Organization; and Gaukhar Mukhatzhanova, director of the nonproliferation program at the Vienna Center for Disarmament and Non-Proliferation, were invited to brief the meeting.

All Security Council members were represented, including the five permanent members (China, France, Russia, the United Kingdom, and the United States). Many stressed the urgency of addressing growing nuclear weapons threats.

But the exchange also underscored the extent to which rising geopolitical tensions and long-standing divisions among leading states impede tangible progress on disarmament and nonproliferation issues.

In his opening remarks, Guterres warned that “umanity cannot survive a sequel to Oppenheimer. Voice after voice, alarm after alarm, survivor after survivor are calling the world back from the brink.”

“And what is the response?” he asked. “States possessing nuclear weapons are absent from the table of dialogue. Investments in the tools of war are outstripping investments in the tools of peace. Arms budgets are growing, while diplomacy and development budgets are shrinking.”

Guterres said the nuclear-armed states in particular “must re-engage” to prevent any use of a nuclear weapon, including by securing a no-first-use agreement, stopping nuclear saber-rattling, and reaffirming moratoriums on nuclear testing.

He urged them to take action on prior disarmament commitments under the nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty (NPT), including reductions in the number of nuclear weapons “led by the holders of the largest nuclear arsenals, the United States and the Russian Federation, who must find a way back to the negotiating table to fully implement the and agree on its successor.”

To catalyze action, he reiterated his call for “reforms to disarmament bodies, including the Conference on Disarmament …that could lead to a long-overdue fourth special session of the General Assembly devoted to disarmament.”

U.S. Ambassador Linda Thomas-Greenfield criticized Russia’s “irresponsible…nuclear rhetoric” and said that “China has rapidly and opaquely built up and diversified” its nuclear arsenal. In addition, “Russia and China have remained unwilling to engage in substantive discussions around arms control and risk reduction,” she said.

Thomas-Greenfield reiterated the U.S. offer to “engage in bilateral arms control discussions with Russia and China, right now, without preconditions.”

Dmitry Polyanskiy, Russia’s deputy UN ambassador, said that his country shares “the noble goal” of a nuclear-weapon-free world. Nevertheless, he described the possession of nuclear weapons as “an important factor in maintaining the strategic balance.”

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Question related to this article:
Can we abolish all nuclear weapons?

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Polyanskiy countered criticism of Russian nuclear threats by charging that it is the “clearly Russo-phobic line of the United States and its allies creates risks of escalation that threaten to trigger a direct military confrontation among nuclear powers.”

He said the current situation is largely the result of the “years-long policy of the United States and its allies aimed at undermining the international architecture of arms control, disarmament, and nonproliferation.”

Polyanskiy added, “As for the issues of strategic dialogue between Russia and the United States with a view to new agreements on nuclear arms control, they cannot be isolated from the general military-political context. We see no basis for such work in the context of Western countries’ attempts to inflict a ‘strategic defeat’ on Russia and their refusal to respect our vital interests.”

Maltese Ambassador Vanessa Frazier called on the nuclear-weapon states to fulfill their disarmament obligations under the NPT. “Current tensions cannot be an excuse for the delay…. Rather they should be a reason to accelerate the implementation,” she said.

Chinese Ambassador Zhang Jun acknowledged that “the risk of a nuclear arms race and a nuclear conflict is rising” and “he road to nuclear disarmament remains long and arduous.”

He reiterated Beijing’s long-standing position that “nuclear weapons states should explore feasible measures to reduce strategic risks, negotiate and conclude a treaty on no first use of nuclear weapons against each other” and “provide legally binding negative security assurances to non-nuclear-weapon states.”

Apparently in response to U.S. criticism of a Chinese nuclear buildup and refusal to engage in substantive arms control and risk reduction talks, Zhang said these “allegations against China do not hold any water.”

“Demanding that countries with vastly different nuclear policies and number of nuclear weapons should assume the same level of nuclear disarmament and nuclear transparency obligations is not consistent with the logic of history and reality, nor is it in line with international consensus, and as such will only lead international nuclear disarmament to a dead end,” the Chinese envoy said.

Some states proposed new initiatives. In response to U.S. concerns that Russia may be pursuing an orbiting anti-satellite system involving a nuclear explosive device, Japan and the United States announced they will “put forward a Security Council resolution, reaffirming the fundamental obligations that parties have under this Treaty,” which prohibits the deployment of weapons in space. (See ACT, March 2024.)

Japan also announced the establishment of a cross-regional group called Friends of FMCT “with the aim to maintain and enhance political attention” and to expand support for negotiating a fissile material cutoff treaty (FMCT) banning the production of fissile materials for nuclear weapons.

For decades, the 65-nation CD has failed to agree on a path to begin FMCT talks. Australia, Brazil, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Nigeria, the Philippines, the UK, and the United States will join the FMCT group, according to the Japanese Foreign Ministry.

High-level Security Council debates focused on nuclear disarmament and nonproliferation have been infrequent in the post-Cold War era, and few of them result in consensus statements or resolutions.

In 2009, the council held a summit-level meeting chaired by U.S. President Barack Obama on nuclear nonproliferation and disarmament. It adopted Resolution 1887, which reaffirmed a “commitment to the goal of a world free of nuclear weapons” and outlined a framework of measures for reducing global nuclear dangers.

In September 2016, the council adopted Resolution 2310, which reaffirmed support for the 1996 Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty. It called on states to refrain from resuming nuclear testing and called on states that have not signed or ratified the treaty to do so without further delay.

More recently, the council has held briefings on nuclear disarmament issues but without tangible outcomes.

The last such meetings were in March 2023, when Mozambique chaired a discussion on threats to international peace and security, including nuclear dangers, and in August 2022, when China organized a meeting on promoting common security through dialogue in the context of escalating tensions among major nuclear powers.

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Youth Lead Global Strike Demanding ‘Climate Justice Now’


An article by Olivia Rosane from Common Dreams (licensed under Creative Commons CC BY-NC-ND 3.0).

Ahead of Earth Day, young people around the world are participating in a global strike on Friday to demand “climate justice now.”

In Sweden, Greta Thunberg  joined hundreds of other demonstrators for a march in Stockholm; in Kenya, participants demanded that their government join the Fossil Fuel Non-Proliferation Treaty; and in the U.S., youth activists are kicking off  more than 200 Earth Day protests directed at pressing President Joe Biden to declare a climate emergency.

Climate strikers march in Stockholm, Sweden, on April 19, 2024. (Photo: Albin Haglund via Greta Thunberg/X)

“We’re gathered here to fight, once again, for climate justice,” Thunberg told Agence France-Presse at the Stockholm protest, which drew around 500 people. “It’s now been more than five and a half years that we’ve been doing the same thing, organizing big global strikes for the climate and gathering people, youths from the entire world.”

The first global youth climate strike, which grew out of Thunberg’s Fridays for Future school strikes, took place on March 15, 2019. Since then, both emissions and temperatures have continued  to rise, with 2023 blowing past  the record for hottest year. Yet, according to Climate Action Tracker, no country has policies  in place that are compatible with limiting global heating to 1.5°C above preindustrial levels.

“We are many people and youths who want to express our frustration over what decision-makers are doing right now: They don’t care about our future and aren’t doing anything to stop the climate crisis,” Karla Alfaro Gripe, an 18-year-old participant at the Stockholm march, told AFP.

The global strikes are taking place  under the umbrella of Friday’s for Future, which has three main demands: 1. limit temperature rise to 1.5°C, 2. ensure climate justice and equity, and 3. listen to the most accurate, up-to-date science.

“Fight with us for a world worth living in,” the group wrote on their website, next to a link inviting visitors to find actions in their countries.

Participants shared videos and images of their actions on social media.

European strikers also gathered in LondonDublin, and Madrid.

In Asia, Save Future Bangladesh founder Nayon Sorkar posted  a video from the Meghna River on Bangladesh’s Bola Island, where erosion destroyed his family’s home when he was three years old.

“I lost my home to climate change,” Sorkar wrote. “Now I’m fighting so that others don’t lose their homes.”

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Question for this article:

Are we seeing the dawn of a global youth movement?

Despite the vested interests of companies and governments, Can we make progress toward sustainable development?

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Also in Bangladesh, larger crowds rallied  in Dhaka, SylhetFeni, and Bandarban  for climate action.

“Young climate activists in Bandarban demand a shift to renewable energy and away from fossil fuels,” said Sajjad Hossain, the divisional coordinator for Youthnet for Climate Justice Bangladesh. “We voiced urgency for sustainable energy strategies and climate justice. Let’s hold governments accountable for a just transition!”

In Kenya, young people struck specifically to demand that the government sign on to the Fossil Fuel Non-Proliferation Treaty.

“As a member of the Lake Victoria community, the importance of the treaty in our climate strikes cannot be overstated,” Rahmina Paullette, founder of Kisumu Environmental Champions and a coordinator for Fridays for Future Africa, said  in a statement. “By advocating for its implementation, we address the triple threat of climate change, plastic pollution, and environmental injustice facing our nation.”

“Halting fossil fuel expansion not only safeguards crucial ecosystems but also combats the unjust impacts of environmental degradation, ensuring a more equitable and sustainable future for our community and the wider Kenyan society,” Paullette said.

In the U.S., Fridays for Future NYC planned for what they expected to be the largest New York City climate protest since September 2023’s March to End Fossil Fuels. The action will begin at Foley Square at 2:00 pm Eastern Time, at which point more than 1,000 students and organizers are expected to walk across the Brooklyn Bridge to rally in front of Borough Hall.

The strike “is part of a national escalation of youth-led actions in more than 200 cities and college campuses around the country, all calling on President Biden to listen to our generation and young voters, stop expanding fossil fuels, and declare a climate emergency that meaningfully addresses fossil fuels, creating millions of good paying union jobs, and preparing us for climate disasters in the process,” Fridays for Future NYC said in a statement.

The coalition behind the climate emergency drive, which also includes the Sunrise Movement, Fridays for Future USA, and Campus Climate Network, got encouraging news on Wednesday when  Bloomberg  reported  that the White House had reopened internal discussions into potentially declaring a climate emergency.

“We’re staring down another summer of floods, fires, hurricanes, and extreme heat,” Sunrise executive director Aru Shiney-Ajay said in a statement. “Biden must do what right Republicans in Congress are unwilling to do: Stand up to oil and gas CEOs, create green union jobs, and prepare us for climate disasters. Biden must declare a climate emergency and use every tool at his disposal to tackle the climate crisis and prepare our communities to weather the storm. If Biden wants to be taken seriously by young people, he needs to deliver on climate change.”

The coalition is planning events leading up to Monday including dozens of Earth Day teach-ins  beginning Friday to encourage members of Congress to pressure Biden on a climate emergency and Reclaim Earth Day mobilizations on more than 100 college and university campuses to demand  that schools divest from and cut ties with the fossil fuel industry.

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Amnesty International: Julian Assange’s five-year imprisonment in the UK is unacceptable


An article from Amnesty International

Today (April 11) marks five years of Julian Assange being detained in Belmarsh, a high security prison in the UK. As he fights the extradition request from the US authorities, Amnesty International’s Secretary General, Agnès Callamard, said:

“Julian Assange dared to bring to light revelations of alleged war crimes committed by the USA. It is unacceptable that years of his life have been stolen. He remains arbitrarily detained in the UK on politically-motivated charges, brought by the USA for exposing their suspected wrongdoing. The US authorities have failed to conduct a full and transparent investigation into their alleged war crimes. Instead, they have chosen to target Assange for publishing information leaked to him – even if it was of public interest. The ongoing persecution of Assange makes a mockery of the USA’s obligations under international law, and their stated commitment to freedom of expression.

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(click here for the article in French or click here for the article in Spanish.).)

Question related to this article:

Julian Assange, Is he a hero for the culture of peace?

Is Internet freedom a basic human right?

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“If extradited to the USA, Assange will be at risk of serious abuse, including prolonged solitary confinement, which would violate the prohibition on torture or other ill-treatment. Dubious diplomatic assurances made by the USA as to his treatment are not worth the paper they are written on, not least because they are not legally binding and are riddled with loopholes.

Assange is wanted for activities that are fundamental to all journalists and publishers, who often receive sensitive government information from outside sources. Wikileaks published evidence of civilian deaths and of alleged war crimes. The public has a right to know if their government is breaking international law. The US authorities are paving the way to a disastrous precedent for worldwide media freedom if Assange is extradited. The USA must drop all the charges against Assange, which will allow for his prompt release from UK state custody.”


Julian Assange faces prosecution in the USA under the Espionage Act of 1917, a wartime law never intended to target the legitimate work of publishers and journalists. He could face up to 175 years in jail. On the charge of computer misuse, he could receive a maximum of five years.

On 26 March, the UK High Court adjourned  to give the USA an opportunity to file fresh diplomatic assurances. The UK court will reconsider Julian Assange’s permission to appeal his extradition to the USA on 20 May 2024.

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Mary Robinson key note at the Inter-Parliamentary Union’s 148th Assembly (April 6)


Text transcribed from video on You Tube

Excellencies, distinguished delegates to the Inter-Parliamentary Union Assembly, it’s an honour to address the general debate of your 148th Assembly. I’m speaking to you  as Chair of The Elders, a group of independent global leaders founded by Nelson Mandela who work for peace, human rights and a sustainable planet. I’m also speaking as a former UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, a former President of my own country, Ireland and a former Senator.

Video of speech

I served for 20 years in the Upper House of the Irish Parliament and in all these roles  and all throughout my career, I’ve appreciated the opportunity to engage with the IPU. Parliaments play an indispensable role in building bridges for peace and understanding and consensus  on how to tackle shared challenges. This role is particularly valuable today  in an era of increasing social polarisation and geopolitical tensions.

The IPU plays a critical role as a forum where parliamentarians can come together,  exchange experiences and discuss the challenges of the hour, something I learned from attending  IPU events during my time in the Irish Senate in the 1970s and 80s and it has been a privilege  to be invited to address the Assembly on a number of occasions since. Today I’m happy to hear that the Assembly will also focus on multilateralism in this year when the world is gathering at the upcoming Summit of the Future convened by the UN Secretary-General to chart a new  pathway forward for international cooperation. It’s no exaggeration to say today that we are at  a moment of crisis in multilateralism.

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Questions related to this article:

Where in the world can we find good leadership today?

How can parliamentarians promote a culture of peace?

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Our world faces existential threats that can only be tackled collectively from the climate and nature crisis and pandemics to nuclear weapons and the risks  of unregulated artificial intelligence. But at precisely the moment when cooperation is critical,  geopolitical tensions and confrontations are rising and too much decision-making is governed  by short-term self-interested calculations. While the COP28 summit in Dubai last December  did make some progress producing the first text that directly recognized the need to move away  from fossil fuels, we remain in a climate and nature emergency.

Each month since June  last year has seen a new temperature high and the pathway we are on is unsustainable. Yet leaders are still not acting at the pace and scale required. We’re four years on from the  onset of COVID-19, a global pandemic that cost the lives of millions and exacerbated inequality  between and within nations.

But we are struggling to form consensus on a pandemic accord that would  help prevent and better prepare the world for future pandemics. 55 years after the treaty onthe non-proliferation of nuclear weapons, nuclear powers have not met their commitment to reduce  their arsenals. Instead, the few remaining nuclear agreements mitigating catastrophic risk are  expiring and we face a renewed nuclear arms race with some leaders openly threatening to use  nuclear weapons in current conflicts.

We see a proliferation of conflicts including Russia’s war of aggression on Ukraine and Israel’s disproportionate response to the horrific  October attacks by Hamas. The multilateral international peace and security architecture, most notably the UN Security Council, appears completely ill-equipped to deal with these crises. While conflicts elsewhere, from Myanmar to Sudan, are not getting the attention that they need.

It’s against this backdrop that The Elders are calling for long-view leadership to tackle existential threats and to build a more resilient and equal society. Long-view leadership means showing the determination to resolve intractable problems, not just manage them. The wisdom to make decisions based on scientific evidence and reason and the humility to listen to all of those affected.

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Dr. Shirin Ebadi Speech In Paris on International Women’s Day


A report from the Nobel Women’s Initiative

On March 8th, I congratulate all of you. I hope that in the coming year, we will witness better conditions for all women around the world.

Firstly, I would like to express my sympathy with the Palestinian and Israeli families who were killed or subjected to sexual violence after the October 7th attack. Undoubtedly, the terrorist attack by Hamas must be condemned, but the painful point is that innocent people in Gaza are paying the price for the actions of a few terrorists. In Gaza, not a single intact building remains, and one or more members of each family have been killed, prompting people around the world to ask, what is the guilt of innocent civilians? Some, including Mr. Netanyahu, argue that the people of Gaza chose Hamas in an election and must bear the consequences of their choice, but this argument is flawed.

On the other hand, Ismail Haniyeh, the leader of Hamas, lives safely with his family in Qatar, while innocent civilians in Gaza are being killed. Moreover, Netanyahu does not have the full support of all Israeli people, and opposition among Israelis against the continuation of the massacre of innocent people in Gaza has begun.

In my opinion, if both Hamas and Israeli leaders were women, we certainly wouldn’t see such conditions, neither would the events of October 7th occur, nor would innocent people in Gaza be killed and displaced.

Unfortunately, the world of politics has become more masculine than ever, and one of the reasons for the endangerment of peace in the world is this fact. After the Arab Spring, I stated in several articles and interviews that the Arab Spring would not begin in Islamic countries unless women achieve equality, and unfortunately, we saw how the spring turned into autumn.

In the negotiations currently taking place regarding Palestine, the discussion mostly revolves around ceasefire and the release of hostages, but I believe it is better to move towards peace. Peace will only be sustainable when an independent state of Palestine is recognized, and Gaza is handed over to the Palestinian people. Two independent states of Palestine and Israel, by forgetting their bloody past, can peacefully coexist. And in the early years, to prevent any unforeseen incidents, a UN peacekeeping force must be deployed at the border between Israel and Palestine.In this case, we will see how the Islamic Republic of Iran regime and other terrorist groups it supports, such as the Houthis and Hezbollah in Lebanon, are weakened. They justify their terrorist activities under the pretext of supporting the Palestinian people.

If we examine the situation of women worldwide, we will realize that women have not yet achieved full equality in all countries, and gender discrimination exists in all countries to varying degrees.

In some western countries like European countries and the United States, discrimination is less, while in others, it is more. In European countries, Canada, and the United States, there are laws against gender discrimination, and women are recognized as having equal rights. However, due to some issues such as dual responsibilities of children and caregiving, working outside the home, and also due to patriarchal culture in some social classes, women are less likely to enjoy equal rights.

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Questions related to this article:

Do women have a special role to play in the peace movement?

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A look at the number of women among presidents and leaders of political parties compared to men in such positions is quite indicative of a regrettable reality.

How many women are among the top bankers and CEOs of large multinational companies? Many examples indicate the existence of inequality, and it seems that equality remains on paper and has not yet occurred in society. But in some other countries, often Islamic countries, laws are the source of inequality and oppress women, and discrimination is prevalent. In Iran, after the 1979 revolution, many laws were passed against women. In some cases, they explicitly ignored women’s human identity, under the law of “Diyeh” (blood money), where a woman’s “Diyeh” is half of a man’s. The testimony of two women in court is equivalent to one man’s testimony. A man can have up to four wives and divorce his wife whenever he wants, but getting a divorce for a woman can be very difficult and sometimes impossible.

A girl who gets married for the first time, regardless of her age, needs written permission from her father. A woman who is married cannot travel without her husband’s written permission. And many other discriminatory laws. These medieval laws are not commensurate with Iran’s rich culture and the education of women because for years, half of the students in Iranian universities have been girls, and many professors are women. The mismatch between laws and the cultural conditions of society, especially Iranian women, has led to numerous protests and movements throughout the 45 years of the Islamic Republic regime’s rule. The latest of these was The Women, Life , Freedom Movement which occurred in 2022 following the murder of a young girl named Mahsa by government agents for not adhering to the compulsory hijab. Iranian men also actively participated alongside women in this movement, which was severely suppressed by the government.

According to statistics, over 590 people were killed on the streets by government agents, many were injured or lost their sight, and 20,000 were detained. 70 citizens have been sentenced to death for participating in protests, and eight of them have been executed so far. Although the government managed to suppress this movement to some extent and return people to their homes, Iran is like a volcano that could erupt at any moment.

The Mahsa Movement had the intention of the International community. The European Parliament awarded the Sakharov Prize for Human Rights to Mahsa, who had been killed, and invited her family to accept the prize, but the Islamic Republic banned Mahsa’s father, mother, and brother from leaving the country, preventing them from attending the ceremony. Additionally, the 2023 Nobel Peace Prize was awarded to Narges Mohammadi as a symbol of the Women, Life, Freedom Movement. Narges Mohammadi has been imprisoned for over six years for her human rights activism—these two examples alone is enough to show how any form of opposition in Iran is suppressed.

As for Afghanistan, the situation is even worse than in Iran. Afghan women don’t even have the right to attend high school or university, and they are deprived of any form of social activity. They don’t have the right to work in government offices or international organizations. They don’t have the right to obtain business licenses or engage in independent businesses, not even in small-scale activities. Recently, they have also been denied the right to speak to or be interviewed by the media if the reporter is a man, along with many other restrictions.

Afghan women activists have not remained silent. They continue their struggles both inside and outside Afghanistan, but we see that the Taliban suppress women even more ruthlessly than the Islamic Republic of Iran.

Warmest regards

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Peace Wave 2024


Announcement from World Beyond War

International Peace Bureau  and World BEYOND War  will hold the third-annual 24-hour peacewave on June 22-23, 2024. This will be a 24-hour-long Zoom featuring live peace actions in the streets and squares of the world, moving around the globe with the sun. There will be a live Q&A section on Zoom for the last 10 minutes of each hour

This Peace Wave will happen during the RIMPAC war rehearsals in the Pacific and just prior to protests of NATO’s meeting in Washington in July.

The Peace Wave supports work for global peace and opposes military buildup including alliances like NATO, its partnerships around the globe, and related alliances such as AUKUS.

The peace wave will visit dozens of locations around the globe and include rallies, concerts, production of artworks, blood drives, installation of peace poles, dances, speeches, and public demonstrations of all variety.

Watch all 24 hours below in twelve 2-hour parts:

Part 1
(13:00 to 15:00 UTC):
Part 01.1: (13:00 to 14:00 UTC) UK, Ireland, Portugal (European)
Part 01.2: (14:00 to 15:00 UTC) Ghana, Liberia, Morocco, DR Congo, Cameroon, Angola

Part 2
(15:00 to 17:00 UTC): South America / América del Sur – Chile, Brazil, Argentina, Peru, Colombia, Venezuela

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Questions related to this article:
How can we be sure to get news about peace demonstrations?

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Part 3
(17:00 to 19:00 UTC): USA and Canada (Eastern Time Zone)

Part 4
(19:00 to 21:00 UTC): Mexico and Central America

Part 5
(21:00 to 23:00 UTC): USA and Canada (Pacific and Mountain Time Zone)

Part 6
(23:00 to 01:00 UTC): USA (Alaska and Hawaii) and Guam

Part 7
(01:00 to 03:00 UTC): Australia, New Zealand

Part 8
(03:00 to 05:00 UTC): Japan and South Korea

Part 9
(05:00 to 07:00 UTC): Philippines, Vietnam and Myanmar

Part 10
(07:00 to 09:00 UTC): Bangladesh, Nepal, India, Sri Lanka, Pakistan

Part 11
(09:00 to 11:00 UTC):
Part 11.1: (09:00 to 09:45 UTC) Afghanistan, Iran, Georgia, Azerbaijan, Armenia, Kazakhstan
Part 11.2: (09:45 to 10:30 UTC) Israel, Palestine, Turkey, Syria
Part 11.3: (10:30 to 11:00 UTC) East Africa (Egypt, Ethiopia, Mozambique, Kenya, S. Africa)

Part 12
(11:00 to 13:00 UTC):
Part 12.1: (11:00 to 12:00 UTC) Central Europe and Scandinavia
Part 12.2: (12:00 to 13:00 UTC) Ukraine, Russia and Baltic States

(Editor’s note: Zoom videos from the 2023 Peace Wave are available on this website )

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