TO: IPB member organisations--Science for Peace is a member
From: Colin Archer, Secretary-General of the International Peace Bureau
41 rue de Zurich, 1201 Geneva, Switzerland.
Tel: +41-22-731-6429, Fax: 738-9419
Email: ipb@gn.apc.org   -   Web: http://www.itu.ch/ipb/

PRESS COMMUNIQUE from the IPB, Monday, February 16, 1998

International Peace Bureau calls for worldwide protests against air 
strikes on Iraq; urges diplomatic solutions

The International Peace Bureau issued an urgent
call today for civil society in all countries to intensify its opposition
to the proposed military action against Iraq. "Since we are equally opposed
to the development of biological, chemical and nuclear warfare by any
state, we urgently demand diplomatic alternatives to bring Saddam Hussein
into compliance with the Security Council's resolutions", said IPB
President Mrs. Maj-Britt Theorin. "In our view the most urgent measure that
needs to be taken is the lifting of general economic sanctions which have
caused such immense suffering, especially among children and the elderly.
Instead we support sanctions aimed at the leadership, not the civilian
population. We endorse the efforts of Russia, France, Arab countries and
the UN Secretary-General to seek alternatives, and we call upon citizens to
be creative in thinking of solutions".

IPB points to the possible grave effects of strikes against Iraq:
- Direct attacks on weapon stores could release huge quantities of
poisonous agents that would contaminate huge areas.
- An attack by Western powers is likely to lead to a wave of Islamic
fundamentalism that could target civilians and even overturn governments.
- Iraq itself could be plunged into the chaos of civil war and/or invasion,
causing a huge outflow of refugees.
- Iraqi retaliatory air attacks could lead to a nuclear-armed response.
- The credibility of the United Nations would be jeopardized, since the US
will have shown it can act independently of majority world opinion - even
risking a major conflagration - and with impunity.

There is a strongly substantiated view among many legal specialists that
the US/UK do not have a legal mandate for the bombing campaign they are
preparing. Security Council resolution 687 cannot be interpreted as a blank
cheque for unilateral military measures against Iraq. It would require a
further SC authorisation to define how and by whom any enforcement action
may be undertaken.

The US and UK cannot on the one hand pose as the defenders of the
democratic world against tyranny armed with mass destruction weapons, while
at the same time ignoring international law and using the same bullying
tactics, and threatening the same weapons, that they claim to denounce. Let
us remember that they helped Iraq develop its military capacity in the
first place and have failed to comply with their own treaty obligations to
abolish nuclear weapons.

IPB urges citizens to bring overwhelming pressure to bear, as a matter of
urgency, on the US and its allies.

------------------------------------------------------------------------

 IPB is the world's oldest and most comprehensive international peace
federation, bringing together people working for peace in many different
sectors: not only pacifists but also women's, youth, labour, religious,
political and professional bodies. IPB was founded in 1892 and won the
Nobel Peace Prize in 1910. It has 170 member organisations, both
internationals and national/local groups in over 40 countries. Our priority
issues are nuclear weapons abolition, the prevention and resolution of
conflicts, international humanitarian law and peace culture - all of which
are included in our major project for the end of the century, the Hague
Appeal for Peace 1999. Further information is obtainable from the Geneva
secretariat.





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Subject: Call for Urgent Action to forestall war in Iraq
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From:	Colin Archer, Secretary-General, International Peace Bureau
Fax: 738-9419
Email:	ipb@gn.apc.org   
Web: http://www.itu.ch/ipb/

EUROPEAN PEACE MOVEMENTS CALL FOR URGENT ACTIONS TO FORESTALL WAR IN IRAQ
Geneva, February 22, 1998.

Representatives of European member organisations of Abolition 2000 (A 
Global Network to Abolish Nuclear Weapons) met today in Geneva and agreed 
to pursue a number of urgent actions to forestall war in Iraq. We urge that 
others give whatever support and cooperation they can, to ensure:

* that supporters of Abolition 2000 in nations with representation on the 
Security Council petition their governments to vigorously and publicly 
affirm the view that the US lacks the legal authority under current UN 
Security Council resolutions to conduct a military assault against Iraq.

* that approaches are made at once to Nobel Peace laureates, members of the 
Canberra Commission on the Elimination of Nuclear Weapons, and other 
distinguished advocates of peace, to form delegations - to Baghdad and/or 
other key capitals - to pursue a peaceful settlement and the prevention of 
a war that could be catastrophic for the region and for world security as a 
whole.

* that a Citizen Verification initiative is begun, by recruiting volunteers 
for Citizen Verification Teams, composed of NGOs and independent scientific 
experts from many nations, to act as impartial inspectors - either together 
with UNSCOM or separately - to verify the presence or otherwise of weapons 
of mass destruction in Iraq. This approach could also prove invaluable in a 
number of other countries. Contact: IPB, Fax: +41 22 738 9419, 
e-mail:ipb@gn.apc.org

* SOECIAL APPEAL: we call on organisations and individuals to offer all 
possible support to the Voices in the Wilderness peace camp outside the UN 
building in Baghdad. (Fax: +1 773 784 8837, email: kkelly@igc.apc.org

>>PLEASE consider these action ideas and mobilize support for them in every 
>>way you can with utmost gency.

This Statement is supported by representatives of the following International,
European, and other, organisations, who will be acting urgently on these ideas. 

o-Abolition 2000, UK
o-Alliance for Democracy, USA
o-Appel des Cent pour la Paix, France
o-Femmes pour la Paix, Switzerland
o-Gensuikyo, Japan
o-Grace, USA
o-International Network of Engineers and Scientists for Global Responsibility 
o-International Peace Bureau
o-International Physicians for the Prevention of Nuclear War, Germany,
                                     Netherlands, Sweden, Switzerland
o-Methodists United for Peace and Justice, USA
o-Mouvement de la Paix, France
o-No To Nuclear Weapons, Norway
o-War Resisters International
o-Women's International League for Peace and Freedom