Together for peace, environment and climate protection – abolish nuclear weapons

Under this title, some 160 people gathered on 19 June 2022 in Vienna for a peace conference that was convoked to accompany the TPNW (Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons) activities at the UN (see the announcement here). Spiritus rector of the peace conference was an alliance for peace, active neutrality and non-violence of some 40 Austrian based organisations: ABFANG (Aktionsbündnis für Frieden, aktive Neutralität und Gewaltfreiheit).

The conference was held at the headquarter of the ÖGB, the Austrian Trade Union Federation, represented by Michael Wögerer from the international department, who gave a welcome speech at the opening. Philip Jennings, a leading figure in the international trade union movement, introduced a report published by the Olof Palme International Center, the International Peace Bureau (IPB) and the International Trade Union Confederation (ITUC) on Common Security 2022: For Our Shared Future – and this was done 40 years after the Independent Commission on Disarmament and Security Issues, led by the Swedish Prime Minister Olof Palme, had published the report Common Security: A Programme for Disarmament.

Science met peace and environmental movement. Political scientist Heinz Gärtner emphasised the salient feature of a neutral Austria as the only remaining bridge to the nuclear-weapons-free global south and other countries in the face of the NATOfication of Europe. Climate expert Helga Kromp-Kolb declared herself in favour of a confluence of the movement against war and the climate protection movement, since both address the same causes of global challenges. In the photo above you see the panelists of the conference: besides, on the left, moderator Katerina Anastasiou (Austria) from transform!Europe and Heinz Gärtner and Helga Kromp-Kolb (both Austria), you see Heidi Meinzolt (Germany) from Women’s International League for Peace & Freedom, Phill Gittins (UK) from World BEYOND War, Alex Praça (Brasil) from ITUC and Alessandro Capuzzi (Italy) from the Triest Antinuclear Movement.

With the words of Jennings, we see a needful beginning.

GSIS Member Elke Kolmanz, co-founder of the Hiroshima Group Vienna, at the conference promoting the Heimatland Erde video produced by ASPR and GSIS


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