10 Years Munich Peace Conference – For a World without War!
Every year since 2003, we have presented alternatives to military force at the “International Munich Peace Conference”. We protest against the military-backed “security policy” of the “Munich Security Conference”. Constructive alternatives should help our protest gain broad acceptance and ultimately success.
(Overview of topics and speakers of the peace conferences)
Military operations do not bring peace
Measured against the promises, all interventions have failed! The proclaimed “war on terror” leads to state terror and exacerbates the threat to civilians in many ways. This realization is becoming increasingly widespread and has led to a rejection of the Bundeswehr’s foreign missions among the majority of the population. The power claim to maintain a globally active intervention army is not shared by this majority.
An important task of the “Munich Peace Conference” is to give substantial support to this desire for a different policy. For this reason, the supporting group of the peace conference wants to go public again in 2012 with peace policy alternatives.
on 3.2. 2012 – Old Congress Hall
: Shaping Peace and Justice!
Opportunities for Strengthening a Civilian UN in the Context of the Wars on Terror
Bernd Hahnfeld, retired judge, co-founder and board member of IALANA.http://www.ialana.de/
Strengthening civil-social movements through cooperation in the face of globalization and war
Dr. Susan George, France/USA, co-founder of attac
Chances for peace and justice in Egypt?
Prof. Randa Aboubakr, teaches English and comparative literature at Cairo University.
Panel Discussion Current Round
New beginnings in North Africa – whose chance?
Situation in North Africa, especially in Egypt, Tunisia and Libya with reference to the current discussion at the security conference.
Participants: Prof. Werner Ruf, Kassel; Prof. Randa Aboubakr, Cairo; Magdi Gohary, Munich; Reiner Braun, IALANA, Berlin.
Greeting: Simone Burger, DGB Munich Region
Moderation: Dr. Angelika Holterman, journalist, Munich
The Munich Peace Conference 2012 on the Internet:
Speech by Susan George: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8vWXJPo-OE8
Impressions of peace conference and demo: http://www.youtube.com/user/ChrisBMuc?feature=mhee
An audio recording of the Peace Conference 2012 (without the appearance of Konstanin Wecker) http://freie-radios.net/46374
|:: Greenpeace chief Kumi Naidoo: Climate change threat to peace and security
The photo shows him at the peace conference taking place at the same time, at which Kumi was allowed to speak a greeting in the evening. Good evening, ladies and gentlemen, I must admit: despite all my public speaking engagements, it is strange for me to .. .
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|Peace conference and demonstration against SiKo 2012 ...
Impressions from the peace conference and the demonstration against the so-called ...
www.youtube.com/watch?v=9qOof5Mlyd0Vortragby Susan George, 2012https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8vWXJPo-OE8
Brief Report on the International Munich Peace Conference 2012
The main event of the 2012 International Munich Peace Conference, the
on February 3, was moderated by Clemens Ronnefeldt and he introduced the speakers as follows:
Bernd Hahnfeld was a judge in Hamburg and has lived in Cologne since his retirement. He is a founding member of IALANA, the English acronym for “Lawyers Against Nuclear, Biological and Chemical Weapons.” He was a participant in the “Judges’ Blockade” in Mutlangen against the stationing of nuclear missiles and was a member of the Hamburg Judges’ Theater.
Dr. Susan George is a social scientist, activist and author. She was born in the USA and now lives in Paris. She is chair of the board of the “Transnational Institute,” which develops analyses critical of globalization, publishes proposals for a just world, and brings together grassroots movements to form international alliances. In France, she is honorary chair of the globalization-critical movement “attac”. Several universities awarded her honorary doctorates.
Prof. Randa Aboubakr is a professor in Cairo of English and comparative literature. She is a member of the “March 9 Movement” launched in 2004 and describes herself as a revolutionary and Tahrir activist. Ms. Aboubakr advocates a separation between the security apparatus and academic work, one of her key phrases being, “The self-cleansing process in institutions is the key to the country’s future.” She is a visiting faculty member at the Universities of Texas-Austin, Leiden, and Florence, and a visiting professor at the University of Krakow.
Within the framework of its theme
“UN Civilian (Non-Military) Action in the War on Terror.”
Bernd Hahnfeld began by making it clear that international law prohibits the use of military force to resolve conflicts and permits it only in exceptional cases and under strict conditions. Further, he focused on the Security Council’s (SC) ability to act, as the SC became the sole UN body responsible for terrorism. He emphasized that – according to the UN Charter – no state has a right to go to war in the case of terrorist acts and that the SC has never ordered a war so far, but always only non-military measures, such as the arrest of assassins and their trials or the sealing of borders and the blocking of accounts. All “wars on terror” after 9/11 were clearly illegal.
The SC had been dealing with the terrorism problem very intensively since 1992. Using various SC resolutions, Hahnfeld showed how sanctions measures against terrorist suspects were increasingly harshly formulated. On the other hand, he also made clear how the UN Charter sets clear limits on the right of attacked states to defend themselves.
He does see (and names) concrete possibilities for the peace movement to use legal means to oppose violations of the law in connection with warfare, both vis-à-vis the Security Council and – in our case – the German government.
Susan George ‘s theme was :
Strengthening civil-social movements through cooperation in the face of globalization and war.
She began by describing how, since the end of the East-West confrontation, neoliberal globalization has dramatically worsened the state of our world compared to the Cold War. In the past, the competing great powers in the so-called Third World were interested in every spot on earth that they could annex to their sphere of influence. Now, however, huge territories would become uninteresting for the capitalist economy and the people living there would become superfluous, which would increase the spread of poverty to a stark degree. This was one of the reasons for the growing flow of refugees.
She stressed that a broad resistance of all protest movements worldwide is needed against the powerful and destructive neoliberal globalization policies. To this end, the various commitments in the environmental, peace, justice, and thus also in the social movements would have to network far more strongly locally, nationally, and internationally than they have in the past. In a common resistance against this economic globalization, solutions for a better world could be worked out.
Prof. Randa Aboubakr spoke in her paper titled.
Opportunities for peace and justice in Egypt ?
She sees the major changes in her home country as part of the many revolutions currently happening around the world. A common feature of all these awakenings is that they are supported by the population at large, and in Egypt especially by young people. The individual motives may differ in many places, but common goals can be observed, namely freedom of expression, respect for human dignity, and taking responsibility for shaping one’s own life and that of society. She wants to see this as a phenomenon that connects people around the world.
In Egypt, the protest was directed primarily against the regime, and the results were spectacular: the president and his clan were ousted, and the parliament, which was elected in 2010 in a highly undemocratic manner, was forced to resign.
After these initial successes, however, the regime remained capable of acting and has since been doing everything it can to suppress the revolution. For example, with over a thousand detentions, military court sentences and long prison terms, with the crackdown on civil society organizations or, most recently, the massacre in a soccer stadium. The transitional government deploys the army and air force in Tahrir Square, and they not only use tear gas and nerve gas, but also fire live rounds. The revolution that started peacefully seems to turn into war.
In conclusion, Ms. Aboubakr once again emphasizes the many similarities between the Egyptian revolution and other insurgency movements around the world. For the many protest movements to succeed, criminal regimes everywhere must be publicly condemned and resistance forces must work together internationally. Ms. Aboubakr believes that a world revolution can succeed on this path if we all work together to achieve it through our democratic means.
The International Forum was supplemented and introduced by a greeting from the City of Munich, delivered by Mayor Hep Monatzeder, by a greeting from Prof. Hans-Peter Dürr, who had been an observer at the Munich Security Conference immediately beforehand, as well as by a statement from Malalaj Joya, former member of the Afghan Parliament, and by a statement from Kumi Naidoo, Director of Greenpeace International. The latter also had the opportunity to speak in a forum at the Munich Security Conference that afternoon.
The cultural conclusion and highlight of the International Forum was a half-hour contribution of songs and thoughts by Konstantin Wecker, who has supported the Munich Peace Conference since 2003 and is also a member of the conference’s Honorary Board of Trustees.
Participants: 300- 350
The whole event was broadcast live by Radio LORA Munich, so it reached several thousand listeners again.
Discussion forum on Sat. 4.2.12, short report
by Gertrud Scherer Status: 16.4.2012
The discussion forum with the three speakers Bernd Hahnfeld, Susan George and Randa Aboubakr was again moderated by Clemens Ronnefeldt. After the opening statements of the speakers, the discussion was dominated on the one hand by the discomfort with our media coverage and the question of how we could obtain reliable information about the events of the “Arab rebellion” and what possibilities for action would result from this for us. On the other hand, interesting information was exchanged on how to explain the non-violent character of the Egyptian revolution.
On the first topic, there was criticism of the extent to which popular media spread propaganda that benefits our governments and justifies their actions. In some places, for example, armed uprisings against the government – as in Libya, Syria and Kosovo at the time – are presented as freedom struggles. However, they also warned against a blanket condemnation of media that are supposedly only manipulative. One must always check critically. Responding to a discussant’s request for a list of reliable news sources, Clemens Ronnefeldt named, among others:
– IMI (Information Point Militarization Tübingen)
– BIT (Berlin Information Center on Transatlantic Security)
– INAMO (Information Project Middle East)
– Le Monde Diplomatique
From another side, the “Junge Welt” was mentioned.
Randa Aboubakr emphasized the important role played during the revolution by new media such as Twitter, where demonstrators could post reliable messages themselves and stay in close contact with each other.
On the question of how we could move from correct information to effective action, Clemens Ronnefeldt referred to associations within the peace movement such as the “Netzwerk Friedenskooperative” (Peace Cooperation Network) and the “Kasseler Friedensratschlag” (Kassel Peace Council), but also to the support of joint newspaper advertisements, for example on the topics of “No NATO military intervention in Syria” or “No war against Iran” by means of signatures and money. Apart from that, the keyword “networking” came up again and again regarding the possibilities for action: networking of the movements for peace, environment and justice among each other and also between the non-violent resistance movements in the Arab countries, in North and South America, in Europe and in Asia.
As an explanation for the non-violence of the Egyptian revolution, Randa Aboubakr primarily cited resistance to the violent actions of Mubarak’s government, which was to be countered with completely different, new means and approaches, and the example of the peaceful revolution in Tunisia. The uprisings in Tunisia and Egypt, he said, were in turn models for nonviolent resistance groups in Syria.
Susan George, who did not experience the Egyptian revolution herself, added the importance of training for nonviolent action, in which certain techniques are taught and practiced. She attributes the fact that in 1999, for example, the strong protests against the meeting of the World Trade Organization (WTO) in Seattle were so non-violent and successful at the same time to the 6 months of intensive training in non-violence. She also reported – similar to Clemens Ronnefeldt – on the Serbian Otpor movement, which at the time contributed to the end of the Milosevic era by non-violent means. Meanwhile, Otpor nonviolent action training courses are attended by people from many countries. Susan sees it as a great benefit that learning such methods is spreading through international relations.
In the Arab world, too, the exchange of revolutionary experiences is being promoted. Randa Aboubakr, for example, reported on a summer camp planned for the end of August 2012 in Beirut, at which nonviolent resistance will be dealt with in theory and practice.
Workshops on 4.2. 2012
- Public debt and defense spending
The “thematic asamblea” was an attempt to test a new form of mediation and discussion. The workshop could be followed via livestream on the internet, about a dozen people were there live! It was good to get to know each other – “old” and “new” social movements.
After the discussion, the idea arose to make a radio program with the speaker Georg Zoche. (for Radio Lora, is in progress)
- Sudanese Spring or Return to the War Spiral
A lively presentation about the development in Sudan after the independence of the South and about possibilities of civil conflict management in this complex environment.
Abstract of the presentation by Julia Kramer with highlights from the discussion.
Current round on 4.2. 2012
Topic: “Awakening in North Africa- whose chance”.
From the recording of the current round, the DFG-VK Group Munich has prepared a program for Radio Lora, broadcast on 5.3. “Awakening in North Africa, Whose Chance?”
Participants in the roundtable were Prof. Randa Aboubakr, see above, Reiner Braun, executive director of IALANA (Lawyers Against Nuclear Weapons), Magdi Gohary, peace activist of Egyptian origin who has lived in Munich for 55 years, and Prof. Werner Ruf, Prof. emer. of the University of Kassel, Professor of International Relations and Foreign Policy.
Reiner Braun was critical of NATO’s interference and the forced regime change in Libya.
Werner Ruf analyzed the prehistory of the so-called revolution in Tunisia, in another statement he also described the situation of Algeria after the civil war. Magdi Gohary and Randa Aboubakr described the structures and events in Egypt from different perspectives and with their respective backgrounds.
Report from the Peace Prayer of the Religions on 5.2. 2012
We thank the supporters:
Bertha von Suttner Foundation of the DFG-VK; Kurt Eisner Association, cooperation partner of the Rosa Luxemburg Foundation; Berghof Foundation for Conflict Research; DGB Region Munich; DGB Youth; attac Munich; Club Voltaire; Kirchlicher Dienst in der Arbeitswelt; Katholischer Fonds; Koordinationsstelle Konfliktbearbeitung, Nürnberg; Ökumenisches Netz Bayern; Münchner Friedensbündnis; Vereinigung der Verfolgten des Naziregimes- Bund der Antifaschisten (VVN-BdA); GEW Bayern u. GEW Stadtverband München; Shabab Munich; Radio LORA Munich; Welt Ohne Kriege e.V.; Quaker Peace Committee; Stiftung Friedensbewegung; Stiftung the threshold.
Ulenspiegel Print Shop, Andechs: www.ulenspiegel.de
(As of 15.1. 12; further supporters in the area of online support