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The Wagner Group is just the latest example of privatized war

July 12, 2022

For many years, substantial military operations have been conducted by mercenaries, ranging from professional soldiers hired to fight wars for European potentates in the 14thcentury to the combat forces of Blackwater, a private company employed by the US government to undertake violent activities in the “War on Terror” of the early 21st century.

Today, the Wagner Group, a shadowy Russian company engaged in the thriving mercenary business, is perhaps the leading private enterprise partner in global military ventures.  Employing as many as 10,000 military personnel, it is headquartered in the Russian town of Molkino, right beside a military base run by the GRU, Russia’s military intelligence agency.  It relies heavily on the Russian government’s approval and military infrastructure for its far-flung operations.

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Collective action is most effective when it is inclusive

July 7, 2022

Youth Statement to the First Meeting of States Parties to the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons

Marcina Linguine (l) and Alice Filiberto (r) address the 1MSP on issues of diversity and inclusion. ICAN photo by Alex Papis

Delivered by Alice Filiberto (Middle East Treaty Organisation) and Marcina Langrine (Reverse the Trend), June 22, 2022, Vienna

President and Esteemed Delegates of the States Parties to the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons (TPNW),

As we stand before you today, we recognise that we are in a room full of friends and changemakers from every corner of the world united towards the goal of a world without nuclear weapons. The diversity of backgrounds from which we all have gathered to work towards a collective goal is inspiring, reassuring, and hopeful. The global community is taking strides to ensure that a greater diversity of communities are represented in conversations and efforts towards establishing a world free of nuclear weapons.

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Evidence is the foundation of the TPNW

July 7, 2022

IPPNW statement to the First Meeting of States Parties on the importance of establishing a scientific advisory panel

Carlos Umaña: “These warnings about the humanitarian impact of nuclear weapons are the most compelling reason for eliminating nuclear weapons and the most powerful argument we have for the need to universalize the TPNW.”

Delivered by Co-President Carlos Umaña, June 23, 2022, Vienna

Mr. President, distinguished delegates, fellow civil society representatives,

My name is Carlos Umaña and I am co-President of the International Physicians for the Prevention of Nuclear War and member of ICAN, the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons. Thank you for the opportunity to speak in support of a proposed Scientific Advisory Panel.

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Gun Violence: A Public Health Crisis

June 27, 2022

The 8th Biennial Meeting of States of the UN Programme of Action (UN PoA) on Small Arms and Light Weapons convened today at the UN headquarters in New York City. This 2001 international agreement’s overarching goal was to reduce human suffering. Over two decades later, the goal has not been realized. Health effects of the horrific gun violence that continues worldwide ranges from death to physical injury to mental and emotional consequences that can last a lifetime.

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Russia’s justifications for invasion are not persuasive

June 22, 2022

The Russian government’s justifications for its war in Ukraine―the largest, most destructive military operation in Europe since World War II―are not persuasive. 

Although Russian President Vladimir Putin’s primary argument in defense of the Russian invasion has been the threat of Ukraine joining NATO, that action, had it occurred, would have been perfectly legitimate under international law.  The UN Charter, which is an instrument of international law, does not ban membership in military alliances.  And, in fact, a great many such alliances are in existence.  Russia currently heads up the Collective Security Treaty Organization, a military alliance comprised of six nations in Eastern Europe and Central Asia.

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Why Finland will seek NATO membership and why I still think we shouldn’t

May 11, 2022

by Kati Juva, PSR-Finland

Finland for decades has regarded itself as part of Western society, with shared values such as human rights and democracy. Step by step we have come loose from the sphere of interest of Russia and the former Soviet Union, first by ending our Agreement of Friendship, Co-operation and Mutual Assistance in 1991, when the Soviet Union came to its end, then by joining the European Union and many other European organizations starting in 1995.

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Imperial nostalgia and its perils

May 9, 2022

Although great empires rank among the most powerful engines of world history, they are also among the most dangerous, especially as they brood over their decline.

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Nuclear weapons pose the greatest immediate threat to human health and welfare

May 2, 2022

Joint International Health Statement for the 1st Meeting of States Parties of the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons

Representing physicians, nurses, public health professionals, and medical students worldwide, we speak with a united voice on the urgent need to eliminate nuclear weapons as a matter of global health and survival. Updated evidence on the catastrophic consequences of any use of nuclear weapons, the acute and growing danger of their use, and the impossibility of any effective humanitarian and health response following nuclear explosions on populations, should underpin the work of the upcoming 1st Meeting of States Parties (1MSP) of the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons (TPNW).

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Military and economic power once again fail to produce happiness

April 18, 2022

Although the rulers of the world’s major military and economic powers have repeatedly claimed that they are making their nations great again, their policies have not resulted in widespread happiness among their citizens.

That conclusion emerges from the recent World Happiness Report-2022, published by the UN Sustainable Development Solutions Network.  Based on Gallup World Polls conducted from 2019 through 2021, this extensive study provides a revealing look at how roughly 150,000 respondents in 146 countries rated their own happiness.  The study’s findings underscore the limited levels of happiness in the world’s major military-economic powers.

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An upside to the end of privacy: it might someday abolish nuclear weapons

April 10, 2022

by Matt Bivens

In Stanley Kubrick’s comedic masterpiece “Dr. Strangelove or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb,” a series of unfortunate events has the world hurtling toward all-out nuclear war. Desperate to prevent this, the US president has the Russian ambassador brought to the White House’s top secret “War Room” for emergency consultations.

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