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Posted by on Jul 10, 2012 in General News

E-news for VOWS

In this e-newsletter 

  • from IPB Rio+20 summit, please sign
  • from IPB Tank of Bread
  • from IPB opportunity for an award – Henri La Fontaine International Prize for Humanism
  • from DPINGO, Social Media initiative


From IPB (International Peace Bureau)
Please sign on-line petition the Rio Appeal – Disarmament for Sustainable Development that you may have seen elsewhere.

If you go to the link here you can sign it and then share with your own contacts. That way it goes viral!

We plan to present the Appeal (already signed by many Nobel laureates and distinguished figures from science, politics and culture) at the Rio+20 Summit (June 20-22).

Why this is important

An international appeal to the 2012 Rio+20 Conference

20 years ago, during the Earth Summit in Rio de Janeiro, the international community connected environmental and development challenges. This connection, now known as sustainable development, was accepted as the challenge of the decade. But peace and disarmament issues were excluded. With the up-coming Rio+20 Summit in June, it’s time to include both issues into the discussion!

Disarmament for Development – today’s challenge

In 2011 global military spending amounted to $1740 billion – despite the fact that 1 billion people suffer from hunger, even more do not have access to safe water or adequate health care and education, and even in the developed world millions are without work. The Millennium Development Goals cannot be realized while the world squanders its wealth on militarism.

Today’s climatic and environmental conditions exacerbate this imbalance. In addition, the current economic crisis has made the world’s governments reduce spending on critical human needs and is once again hitting the weakest the hardest.

However, apparently unlimited financial resources seem to be available for military jets, tanks, ships, bombs, missiles, landmines and nuclear weapons. The technological developments in the armaments field are becoming more and more sophisticated and murderous.

How to reverse this process is the challenge of today.

The signatories of this appeal demand that the governments of the world seriously address the neglected issue of peace and disarmament, and agree on a global plan for disarmament for sustainable development at the Rio Summit in June 2012. The freed-up funds should be used for social, economic and ecological programs in all countries. Starting in 2013, military spending should be cut back substantially, that is, by a minimum of 10 percent per annum. The aim is to launch a dynamic towards sustainable development, which could start by establishing an internationally-managed Fund with a capital of more than $150 billion.

This plan for “Disarmament for Sustainable Development” should be announced in the final document of the Rio Summit and should be realized step-by-step under the direction of the United Nations.

Without disarmament, there will be no adequate development.

Without development, there will be no justice, equality and peace.

We must give sustainability a chance.

Sign this petition to urge world governments to address peace and disarmament at the Rio+20 Summit!

This is an initiative of the International Peace Bureau (IPB), the International Network of Engineers and Scientists for Global Responsibility (INES), Foreign Policy in Focus (FPIF), and World Future Council (WFC).

Numerous Nobel Peace Prize laureates have already endorsed the appeal such as Archbishop Desmond Tutu, Jody Williams, and Adolfo Peres Esquivel.

Join the campaign!


Media Advisory: disponível também em português mediante requisição!


Appeal to Rio+20: Disarmament for Sustainable Development

A Tank made of Bread


A life-size Tank made of Bread will support our Rio+20 appeal to redirect military spending to fund human needs and sustainable development. To demand the Rio+20 Earth Summit to address this issue, the initiative already counts with the endorsement of over 30 Nobel Prize laureates among other respected personalities (see full list).


In 2011 global military spending amounted to $1.74 trillion – despite the fact that every 3,5 seconds a person dies of hunger, billions have no access to safe water, adequate health care and education, not to speak about the environmental problems that challenge our times. According to the World Bank, less than 5% of the current yearly military expenditure would already be enough to reach the Millennium Development Goals.


For this reason we launched an appeal to the UN and the governments at Rio+20 that military spending should be cut back substantially – a minimum of 10 % per annum, starting in 2013, and that the freed-up funds should be used for social, economic and ecological programmes worldwide.


In 1992, states had already agreed to Article 16e in Chapter 33 of Agenda 21: “New ways of generating new public and private financial resources should be explored, in particular:” with “e. The reallocation of resources at present committed to military purposes.”  However, military expenditures reached unprecedented levels and almost doubled since Rio92, from US$ 1,08 trillion in 1992 up to US$ 1,74 trillion in 2011. The governments should seriously address this issue at Rio+20 and agree on a global plan for disarmament for sustainable development.



Main events for press:


Tuesday, the 19th of June – 11:00 in the community (¨favela”) of Santa Marta (Botafogo): the tank will be presented to the press with full support of the community of Santa Marta.  In cooperation with the Brazilian organization Viva Rio, a symbolic destruction of small weapons from the voluntary civil disarmament program will be made, and the bread will be served to the people of the community.


Wednesday, the 20th of June – 14:00 at the Global Day of Action March: the tank will accompany the march with the Samba School of the community of Vigário Geral, from Rio de Janeiro.


Thursday, the 21st of June – 11:00 AM at Athlete´s Park (across RioCentro) in front of the Global Town Hall (Pavillion of Rio State Government, close to main entrance): the media event with the breadtank will feature following speakers (with short statements): H.E. Ambassador Sergio Duarte, former UN High Representative on Disarmament; Mr. Milton Rondó, General Coordinator of International Actions to Fight Hunger from the Brazilian Ministry for Foreign Affairs; Ms. Valentina Herszage and Ms. Dora Freind, two 14 year old Brazilian students who will teach a simple lesson on “Disarmament for Development” with a black-board. Right Livehood Laureate Ms. Vandava Shiva (India) and Nobel Peace Laureate Mr. Jose Ramos Horta (former President of East Timor) (tbc). Short supporting statements will also be made by local governments representatives Mayor João Coser, President of National Front of Mayors (Brazil) (tbc), Rio Mayor Eduardo Paes (tbc) and David Cadman, President of ICLEI – Local Governments for Sustainability (tbc).

Note the Global Town Hall has its main Rio+20 event starting at 11:30 AM with high-level speakers for the Cities Leadership Day.


Friday, the 22nd of June, the tank will be exhibited all day long at the People’s Summit at Território Futuro.




Additional information for photographers and TV crews:


The Tank (aprox. 4m wide, 3,5m tall and over 8m long which can drive 20km/hour) is covered with bread which will be eaten during our events, and give view to a garden built inside the structure, as a symbol of what military expenses could be used for. Exhibition panels will accompany the tank, bringing information about military expenditures and its comparison to the costs of basic human needs.




For more information, our media Contacts in Rio de Janeiro:


World Future Council: Holger Güssefeld +55-21-8076-0765 (German, English)

Cinthia Heanna +55-24-9995-7483 (Portuguese, English, German)

Mayors for Peace: Pol Heanna Dhuyvetter +55-24-9812-1739 (French, Dutch, English)

Viva Rio: Shelley de Botton  +55- 21-2555-3793 (Portuguese, English)




Partner and Links:


The International Network of Engineers and Scientists for Global Responsibility (INES) is a multidisciplinary independent professional non-profit organization dedicated to fostering peace and sustainability. It represents scientists and engineers worldwide. Link


The International Peace Bureau (IPB) works mainly on Disarmament for Sustainable Development and on the reduction of military expenditure. Nobel Peace Laureate in 1910, they are the initiators of the Global Day of Action on Military Spending’. Link


Mayors for Peace, with 5,276 member cities in 153 countries and regions, is the leading international organization devoted to protecting cities from the scourge of war and mass destruction. With the Rio+20 Appeal the global network of local authorities calls for redirecting military expenditures to fund sustainable development“.  Link


Viva Rio is an organization committed to research, field work, and to the formulation of public policies aimed at fostering a culture of peace and social inclusion. The institution was established in December 1993, by representatives from several sectors of civil society, in response to the growing violence that has plagued Rio de Janeiro. Link


The World Future Council (WFC) consists of 50 respected personalities from all five continents. They represent governments, parliaments, the arts, civil society, academia and the business world. Together they form a voice for the rights of future generations. Link


World without Wars and Violence is active in around 40 countries and carries out grassroots social activities and also develops international campaigns such as “2000 without war”, “Education for Nonviolence”, “The World March for Peace and Nonviolence” and “The World Forum for Peace and Nonviolence”. Link

Not so many people now remember Henri La Fontaine. Yet he was one of the peace movement’s great figures in the first half of the 20th century. A Belgian Senator representing the Socialist Party, he was President of the IPB from 1907 to his death in 1943 – a remarkable period of tenure. Next year is the centenary of the Nobel Peace Prize he won in 1913, and naturally IPB is involved in some of the commemorations – which will include a conference in the city of Mons in the spring. More details of this (and a book, and an exhibition…) will follow later.

Today I am pleased to announce that the year-long commemorations will open already on 4th December 2012 with the award of the prestigious Henri La Fontaine International Prize for Humanism, organised by the Henri La Fontaine Foundation. The ceremony will take place in the Senate chamber itself in Brussels, in the presence of the renowned author Stéphane Hessel.

You are invited to submit nominations of an individual or organisation to the Prize Secretariat, by 31 July 2012 at the latest.

Please see the illustrated brochures (English and French versions), please go to and click on Download complete rules.

Points to note: the prize is worth 10,000 Euros. Nominees must give their written permission to be nominated.

The Prize is “intended to honour living persons, institutions or active public or private organisations that have made a significant
contribution to defending, disseminating and embodying the values held by 1913 Nobel Peace Prize laureate Henri
La Fontaine, such as humanism, social justice, feminism and freedom of inquiry.”


Remember 15 February 2003? The day when tens of millions of people in every corner of the world said no to war in Iraq: the largest mobilization of people in human history when up to 30 million in nearly 800 cities around the world took to the streets.


Were you one of them?


WE ARE MANY ( will for the first time tell the story of this day in a powerful new international feature-length documentary. The film will trace the story of that historic day and reveal its as yet untold legacy.


Ten years on, the power still resonates. Time Magazine named “The Protestor” as Person of the Year, 2011, a telling recognition of the resurgence of people power.


The protest of 15 February 2003 represents the high water mark of the peace movement. The generation that emerged from that movement is active today in Britain, Spain, Greece, the Arab world and the global Occupy Movement.


WE ARE MANY is a once-in-a-generation opportunity to tell our story and inspire a new generation to even greater and long-term activism for social change.


Though the Iraq war was not stopped, that was far from the end of the story. Watch the short teaser and please give us your support. You help will be invaluable to the completion of WE ARE MANY:


With your support we can complete this film. There are many ways you can help:


DONATE: Please donate whatever you can through JustGiving

● Online:

● By phone through JustTextGiving: Text our charity code IRAQ77 plus an amount to 70070 – so, your text might look like this: ‘IRAQ77 £15’

● Gift Aid text – all donations given through JustGiving by UK taxpayers will attract Gift Aid and be worth an extra 25 per cent at no cost to you.


TELL: Many of those who marched had done so for the first time in their lives. If you marched on the day, please tell us your story on the WE ARE MANY website: We will select and interview some of you for possible inclusion in the film.


SHARE: Please consider sharing our fundraising and story appeals with your friends. Simply use/click the button below:








TONY BENN urges support for WE ARE MANY




Thank you so much for your support.




Dear NGO Colleagues,

As many of you are already aware, last Thursday, 28 June 2012, we launched our Social Media Initiative with our new website, Facebook and Twitter accounts, soon to be followed by a Youth Blog, a project with which we are currently fully involved.

We want to invite you to visit and explore our website, join the NGOs already part of our Facebook community, and find a moment to follow us on Twitter. We would like to hear what you have to say so that our partnership can be strengthened and we can continue working together to make a difference.

You can find our website at

Our Facebook page can be found at

And our Twitter account can be accessed through!/undpingo

We hope you join us in our new initiative.


NGO Relations

Outreach Division

Department of Public Information

United Nations Headquarters in New York