International Press Syndicate

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Formerly Globalom Media Information . Communication . Publishing Agency Established in March 2009

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Photo: An overview of the UNGA First Committee. Credit: ICAN

By Xanthe Hall, IPPNW and ICAN Germany

Note: This article first appeared in the IPPNW Peace and Health Blog on November 3, 2016.

BERLIN (IDN-INPS) - For once, the United States, France and the United Kingdom are in agreement with Russia: plans to negotiate a nuclear weapons ban need to be stopped. Before the vote on October 27 in the UN First Committee, they pulled out all the stops to pressurise other states to vote against or abstain on a draft resolution co-sponsored by 57 states for a conference to be convened in 2017 to negotiate a nuclear ban.

Image: IPB

By Kimiaki Kawai

The author is Director, Peace and Human Rights, Soka Gakkai International (SGI). This is an abridged version of his presentation at a panel discussion 'Not in the Name of Religion' on the occasion of IPB World Congress 2016 on Military and Social Spending, at the Technical University in Berlin, on October 02, 2016.

BERLIN (IDN-INPS) - While "the use of violence is always a defeat for humanity”, there are still more than 15,000 nuclear warheads in the world, which continue to threaten our very existence. They are at the peak of a pyramid of violence as the most destructive of all our tools of war.

By Kazuo Ishiwatari

The author is Executive Director, Peace and Global Issues, Soka Gakkai International (SGI). Following is the text of his remarks in Panel Session IV: Initiatives and campaigns – legislators, religious leaders and civil society' on the occasion of the International conference: Building a nuclear-weapon-free world on August 29, 2016 in Astana, Kazakhstan.

ASTANA (IDN-IINPS) - We are standing at an important juncture in history. Calls for a legal prohibition or banning of nuclear weapons are mounting as a first concrete step toward a world finally and permanently free from nuclear weapons.

Image credit: Cinema for Peace Foundation.

By Courtesy of Cinema for Peace Foundation

RIO DE JANEIRO (IDN-INPS) - The Olympics should have been a time of peace, but the world was at war. There were 19 wars and 16 war-like conflicts in the world during the Olympic Games. Overall, there are 409 conflicts, of which 223 are violent.

To shine a light on conflicts and to endorse the peaceful ideals of Olympic Games the initiative Sports for Peace, who hosted at the London Olympics Muhammad Ali's farewell, presented the 'Olympic Ideal of Peace' light installation in the Santa Marta Favela in Rio.

The projections in the favelas served as a reminder of the Olympic ideals which were not brought to life in Rio de Janeiro, especially the Olympic ideal of laying down all arms: all over the world the killings went on, especially in Syria.

Photo: Nobel Laureate Prof. Muhammad Yunus. Credit: Wikimedia Commons.

Viewpoint by Prof Muhammad Yunus*

DHAKA (IDN-INPS) - We are living in a time of unparalleled prosperity, fuelled in part by revolutions in knowledge, science, and technology, particularly information technology. This prosperity has changed the lives of many, yet billions of people still suffer from poverty, hunger, and disease. And now, food, oil price and financial crises have combined forces to bring even greater misery and frustration to the world bottom 3 billion people.

Sadly, however, we saw headlines reporting news of a sort many people assumed we would never experience again: skyrocketing prices for staple   foodstuffs like grains and vegetables (wheat alone having risen in price by 200 percent since the year 2000); food shortages in many countries; rising rates of death from malnutrition and undernourishment; environmental threats   to agricultural production; even food riots threatening the stability of countries around the globe.

Photo: Prosecution and Defence benches at the Tribunal. Credit: UnfoldZero

BERLIN | SYDNEY (IDN | UNFOLDZERO) - An International Peoples’ Tribunal on Nuclear Weapons and the Destruction of Human Civilisation held in Sydney handed down its judgement on August 16 affirming the illegality of any use or threat to use nuclear weapons and convicting the leaders of the nine nuclear-armed States of war crimes, crimes against humanity, crimes against peace and crimes of threatening, planning and preparing acts which would constitute genocide, ecocide and omnicide (the destruction of humanity as a species).

Photo: China has released a road map on genetically modified organisms and crops, giving priority to the development of non-edible cash crops. Source: GRAIN

Viewpoint by GRAIN

BARCELONA (IDN-INPS) - Ever since the ink dried on the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), people have become aware of another mega-trade deal being negotiated behind closed doors in the Asia-Pacific region. Like the TPP, the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) threatens to increase corporate power in member countries, leaving ordinary people with little recourse to assert their rights to things like land, safe food, life-saving medicines and seeds.

RCEP is being negotiated between the ten countries that form the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) and their six biggest trading partners in the region: Australia, China, India, Japan, New Zealand and South Korea.

According to the latest leaked draft of the RCEP agreement, dated October 15, 2015 and published by Knowledge Ecology International, the negotiating countries fall into two camps when it comes to legal rights over biodiversity and traditional knowledge useful for food production and medicine.