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PSPD    People's Solidarity for Participatory Democracy

  • Peace/Disarmament
  • 2010.11.24
  • 2165
  • 첨부 3

Session2. Creating Civil Solidarity for NWF Disarmament and Prevention of Armed Conflict in the Asia-Pacific Region

Civil society strategies for prevention of armed conflict in the Asia Pacific : setting the NE Asia campaigns in a global context


Colin Archer / IPB(International Peace Bureau)

Many thanks to PSPD for inviting me to this conference. It is only my second visit  to Korea so I have much to learn of your country and indeed of this region. I have been asked to talk about campaigning and to set the anti-military struggles of this region in a global context. First let me tell you a little about my own background and that of my organisation the IPB.

Personal Background

I have been a peace and human rights activist in many different fields since the early 1970s. That was a good period to learn about politics! During my university studies I worked for a year in Latin America and the Caribbean, then directed a Third World Centre in northern England for several years, involving myself in projects in development education and North-South solidarity work. Later I taught in adult education for 10 years. I became especially active on nuclear issues in the UK during late 1980s, with the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament and the Institute for Law and Peace, and this experience led on to being appointed Secretary-General of the International Peace Bureau in 1990. Since then I have been heavily involved in the work on nuclear disarmament, the Hague Appeal for Peace (a major World Congress held in 1999), and the Global Campaign for Peace Education. All this work involves intensive global networking and a fair bit of travelling. But I have found time to write a couple of books, which form the basis for our Disarmament for Development campaign. These are Warfare or Welfare? and Whose Priorities? A guide for campaigners on military and social spending. I have copies available for those who may be interested.

 International Peace Bureau

The IPB has a long and very interesting history. Here is the short version! It was opened back in 1892 at the request of national peace societies who felt the need for a coordination system and a bureau to organise their annual congresses.  For most of its long life IPB has been run from Switzerland, though the conferences have been held in many parts of Europe and beyond. In the early years IPB concentrated mainly on promoting disarmament and arbitration, as well as other means of solving conflicts—including peace education. Later on, being a very broad movement, many other themes were tackled by IPB and its members.  IPB received the Nobel Peace Prize in 1910, and in the pre-1914 period many of its leaders also became Nobel laureates in their own right. But the ‘golden age’ of IPB was over already by the 1st World War. Frequently encountering financial difficulties, the Secretariat was isolated. It had to face a very challenging period with the two World Wars and the rise of fascism. The Secretariat moved to Geneva in 1924. Although IPB had encouraged the creation of a League of Nations, the result proved disappointing. IPB was overshadowed by the League and its supporters, and by the creation of other peace organizations.

After World War II, IPB went through a major restructuring. It was re-established with a new office in 1964. It launched a project on UN peacekeeping operations; opposed the Vietnam War; and prepared a major report to the UN on conscientious objection. Subsequently, the number of member organizations increased and IPB became engaged in the challenges of the Cold War: nuclear disarmament, and East-West dialogue, especially at the UN level. Since 1990 the IPB has had to adjust to many challenges. Peace movements have worked to re-position themselves in relation to the end of the Cold War, the intensification of economic globalisation, and the War on Terrorism. IPB members have responded in diverse ways to regional and civil wars - notably in the Middle East, the Balkans, and various parts of Asia and Africa. They have contributed to the transformation of the disarmament field via new campaigns against landmines/cluster munitions, and small arms/arms trade. And they have joined hands with progressive movements in opposing US military bases, building support for the International Criminal Court, banning the use of child soldiers, and supporting human rights. All this during the most intense period of technological change.

Nuclear weapons remain a major threat to world security, and they have been at the centre of IPB's work since at least 1985. Our main programmes have included the World Court Project, the international Test Ban campaign, the Abolition 2000 network, and support for the movements of mayors, parliamentarians and other professionals, most of which are focussed on achieving the goal of a Nuclear Weapons Convention.

 Disarmament for Development and Military Spending

Soon after 9-11, IPB launched a new project on human security, through which we aimed to amplify the voices of dissent against the Bush-led national-security doctrine and the new rounds of warmaking. This project then led on to a major long-term programme, entitled Disarmament for Development. This focuses on three main areas of work:

 1. The struggle to reduce spending on the military sector in favour of increased investment in sustainable development - including climate change mitigation and adaptation.
 2. Efforts to demonstrate, and to lessen, the effects of weapons of many types on poor communities, esp. in conflict zones. In this work we co-operate with a range of coalitions working to abolish or limit different weapons systems.
 3. A set of additional issues, such as the militarisation of aid, the spread of military bases, gender perspectives, and above all, the new justifications for militarism that flow from intensified resource competition in a multi-polar world.

Civil society leaders frequently express concern on the issue of military expenditure and the need to transfer these resources to social spending. However, for several reasons it is hard to tackle. The biggest difficulty is that there are no binding treaties on military expenditure as there are in other areas of disarmament. UN General Assembly resolutions have no legal power here, because military spending is decided at the national level of political decision making. For this reason IPB is keen to encourage the building of national coalitions and campaigns. In addition, we believe it is vital to engage in broad public education on this issue, since so much of this data is either secret or inaccessible to the media or the public.

The focus of lobbying efforts and pressure group work is normally on parliamentarians and the political parties who set the agendas and approve policies. Despite the growth of personality-driven politics, positions relating to fundamental issues such as national security and the disposition of the armed forces are usually the subject of firmly established party positions. It must be said that there is often a bi-party or multi-party consensus on matters relating to ‘national security’, which means that critical views have to be channelled through minor political figures or media outlets outside the mainstream.  But the situation is now changing. What is interesting is that as a result of the economic crisis, several Western governments are reducing their military budgets for the first time in 15 years or more. All the more reason to push for the re-allocation of this money to sustainable development programmes. 

On 12th April 2011 a Global Day of Action on Military Spending will be held to coincide with the release of the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute's annual statistics on military expenditures. On this day, coordinated by IPB and the Institute for Policy Studies in Washington, people all over the world will join together in actions to focus public, political, and media attention on the costs of military spending and the need for new priorities. Such events will help us to build the international network around this issue. I encourage all of you to join in this coordinated action, which we hope will give a new visibility to the need to reverse the pattern of over-investment in militarism and instead fund social and ecological needs.

 Campaigning Examples

Here are a couple of examples of successful campaigning in our field. This material comes from the second ‘D for D’ book: Whose Priorities? which showcases 18 different projects and campaigns from various regions, all related to military spending, arms trade and similar issues.

1. Guatemala

The Guatemalan Peace Accords of 1996 recommended a 33% reduction of military personnel and a military budget which should not exceed 0.67% of GDP, a level which was achieved in 2000. The UN mission to Guatemala, how-ever, found out that, because of budget manipulations, no real reduction of the armed forces, nor of the military budget had taken place. From 2002 onward, the challenge of promoting the implementation and follow-up of the peace accords was taken by civil society and in particular by the human rights organization Grupo de Apojo Mutuo (GAM) and Centro Internacional para la Investigacion en Derechos Humanos (CIIDH). With support from UNDP, a project was set up to monitor and analyze the defense spending in Guatemala with the aim of questioning the implementation of the peace accords in this aspect and to promote a re-orientation of the nation’s budget in favor of social development . The project was made viable by the availability of a web-based access to the national budget launched by the Ministry of Finance d by the involvement of journalists, local media and critical members of the Congress.

The project to monitor defense spending has revealed important information on how questionable transfers took place. The findings from the analysis were used in Congress to demand explanations from the Minister of Defense. Finally, the press made the analysis available to the broader public. In 2005 the monitoring team admitted that the Ministry of Defense had become aware of its obligation to inform the population and that the national budget was definitely on the correct course as social budgets were on the increase while the military budget was being reduced.  The Guatemalan case clearly illustrates how civil society organizations, using new democratic and transparent mechanisms, can be powerful actors, especially in alliance with elected officials and investigative journalists. http://www.gam.org.gt/

2. Belgium

Netwerk Vlaanderen, a Belgian NGO for sustainable investments, shows the financial world what its responsibilities are. Banks work with our money. They invest that money in various companies, including companies in the military sector. We demand that banks are open about which companies they finance, and we oppose their investments in the arms industry. The campaign ‘My money. Clear Conscience?’ has led to substantial changes in the investment policy of banks, and to groundbreaking legislation against investments in arms. The campaign model has been taken on in other European countries too. Netwerk Vlaanderen regularly publishes a report revealing the financial links between banks and arms producers. The research is based on financial databases and developed in cooperation with a specialised research bureau in the Netherlands. These reports provoke a strong reaction in the press and amongst clients, as they are mostly unaware of what banks do with their money. This in turn puts pressure on the banks to change their investment policy. The information about the investments is made public through documentaries, debates, press conferences, websites, newsletters, and actions at bank branches. We developed a wide range of creative action methods and imagery, ranging from ad-busting through petitions, street theatre, art projects and critical questions at Annual General Meetings of the banks -- to setting up a fake bank which is honest and open about investments in the arms industry and broadcasting television ads about controversial investments. Netwerk also goes into direct discussion with the management and talks to interested politicians about legislation against investments in the arms industry.  Towards bank clients, we offer a critical analysis of all financial products which are marketed as ‘sustainable’, pointing out which funds effectively stay out of the arms industry.

Some financial institutions have, under the pressure of campaigns and new legislation, severed their investment relationships concerning weapons producers. The extent to which they exclude arms producers differs greatly, but the general trend is the realisation this topic can no longer be avoided. It is not just banks, but also institutional investors, who are facing up to their responsibility. After a revealing documentary about their investments, several Dutch pension funds have decided to no longer invest in cluster munitions producers. The Norwegian Government Pension Fund also excludes these weapons producers.

 Campaigning Methods

In the final section I would like to offer some thoughts about campaigning methods. I am very conscious that civil society movements in Asia have a rather different history from those in Europe or North America; in particular since they often  grow out of the soil of nationalist/anti-colonial struggles and in many cases reflect very recent campaigns for basic rights: the right to organise, to demonstrate or even to vote in elections. There is a tradition of large-scale mass mobilisation in this region that for various reasons is being lost in the West. Having said that, many of our campaigning contexts are similar: we all have to find ways to engage with the mass media and use the internet effectively; we all need to build political alliances and lobby politicians; we all need to do basic education and outreach with the general public.

The section that follows is quoted directly from the work of Chris Rose, a former Greenpeace campaigner, who has done a lot of thinking about How to Win Campaigns, which is fact the title of his book.
I have put his basic ideas into 7 concepts, many of which may be obvious but together they make up a coherent approach.

1. Campaigning lowers the barriers against action and increases the incentives to take action until the battle is won. Education, in contrast, is a broadening exercise. It uses examples to reveal layers of complexity, leading to lower certainty but higher understanding. Campaigning maximises the motivation of the audience, not their knowledge. Try using education to campaign, and you will end up circling and exploring your issue but not changing it.  Of course all campaigns have some 'educational' effect but it is mainly education by doing, through experience, not through being given information. Moreover, information is not power until it leads to mobilisation. If information truly were power, the world would be run by librarians!

2. Analyse the forces : You know what you are concerned about. You know what needs to change. So you ask: 'why hasn't it happened already?' Try mapping out the forces for and against what you want to happen. Draw a map of the problem - the people involved, the organisations, the institutions – and work out exactly what the mechanisms are for the decisions you want to change. From this, identify potential allies and opponents. From that, work out who your target audience is for each step. Look at it from their point of view. Check - how will you now change the balance of forces for and against action in order to overcome the obstacle? If you don't know the answer to this, how can you specify an objective to be achieved?

3. Right components... right order. The campaign involves a deliberate series of revelations or communication exercises to take the 'audience' from ignorance, through interest and then awareness, into anger and engagement, and finally into a state of satisfaction or reward. If that happens, the campaign participants or supporters will be ready for more. Take the Greenpeace occupation of the Brent Spar oil installation. A struggle between activists and Shell went on over months and was covered daily by television, radio and the press. The drama, which was only resolved hours from the intended sinking, was simple - would it be sunk or not? Showing a problem may lead to concern, but in itself that won't lead to action. Show concerned people that there is a solution and they can become angry. Show them that now is the opportunity to force a change, to implement the solution, and give them a way to act - and you have the conditions for engagement. Campaigns are not about knowing something - such as knowing a solution, they are about involving people in changing events so that solution becomes attainable.

4. Complexity de-motivates, it makes people feel confused - and if they feel confused, they will think you are confused, and not worth listening to. This doesn’t mean over simplifying. Your campaign has to be like a red thread, the important line that runs through a complex picture, text or process. It cannot be the 'whole picture'. Communicate your campaign - what you think, the problem / solution / opportunity as you see it - and only that.

5. Events are the stuff of politics - whether formal politics, business politics, or personal politics. News is not about ideas or concepts, it is about things that happen. Ask yourself every day, what is this campaign doing? What's the verb? Is it starting something, publishing, blocking, rescuing, occupying, marching, lobbying, painting .... News connects with politics through events. Events are also the things that change our views. Sometimes campaigns achieve a decisive instant where society, or someone in it, struggles with a choice between two opposing options, and chooses the new one. When one talks of 'forcing an issue to a head' or when people say 'I remember the first time I realised that ...', this is what they are talking about. A campaign is about forcing a change to the status quo. Conflict is therefore built into it, indeed it almost defines campaigning.

6. Pictures : Why? Because pictures are far more powerful than words. Good ones tell the story and the best need no caption. Pictures cannot be interrogated or argued with. Your campaign can communicate emotions with pictures that will be filtered out of a written report. TV needs people doing things that tell the story, and preferably in a few seconds. Think of opera not theatre. Make your campaign speak in characters and symbols that are larger-than-life. The only things stronger than images are face to face contact and direct engagement in doing the campaign. I hear and I forget. I see and I remember. I do and I understand – said Confucius.

7. Communication : Communication occurs when your ideas get into the head of someone else and it is understood - not just when your message is sent, not even just when it arrives at 'their end'. Useful communication occurs when their ideas also get into your head. Many campaigns fail because they are communicating only with their existing supporters, and not with the audiences who can bring about change. Others fail because campaigners are more concerned with getting 'coverage' than they are in looking for signs of the effect of the campaign. Remember that your ears are as important as your mouth is.

Well…I have found this approach very helpful. Is it applicable in your contexts ? That is for us to discuss. I hope this talk has been of interest, and I look forward to hearing about your struggles and campaigns. We have much to share together. And there is much at stake.  ☼

◯ Colin ARCHER / UK
Born 1952, UK. Degrees in European languages and Development Studies. Peace and human rights activist in many different fields since early 1970s. Worked in Latin America and Caribbean 1973-4, then directed a Third World Centre in Manchester from 1976-83, and involved in many local and national projects in development education and North-South solidarity work. Later taught in community (adult) education for 10 years. Especially active on nuclear issues in UK during late 1980s, with the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament. Co-founder of the Institute for Law and Peace.  Secretary-General of the International Peace Bureau since 1990. Organiser of a wide variety of projects, publications and events for, and with, the international peace movement. Heavily involved in the World Court Project and Abolition 2000 (coalitions against nuclear weapons), Hague Appeal for Peace (World Congress 1999), and Global Campaign for Peace Education. Co-organiser of the major 5-day conference ‘Towards a World Without Violence’, part of the Barcelona Forum of Cultures 2004. Has edited/co-published many books, newsletters, reports etc. Author of Warfare or Welfare? Disarmament for Development in the 21st Century, published by IPB in 2005. and Whose Priorities? A guide for campaigners on military and social spending, published in 2007. These texts form the basis for IPB's principal programme: Sustainable Disarmament for Sustainable Development. Main administrator and fundraiser for the organisation. Languages: English, French, Spanish.


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    [Int'l workshop for Peace&Disarmament] Civil society strategies for prevention of armed conflict in the Asia Pacific(Colin Archer)
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