This year’s CND AGM & Conference was held on 19-20the October in a wonderful old lecture hall in St Thomas’s Hospital, London, just over the river from the Houses of Parliament. The CND AGM was on Saturday the 19th and included the usual business and reports. All the candidates for officer and council positions were confirmed and there was a presentation of this year’s activities and a report from the Treasurer. We were reminded what a busy year it had been and we learned that we urgently need to raise more funds for next year.
After lunch the submitted resolutions, to determine our strategy for this coming year were debated. These included preventing a resurgence of intermediate-range missiles after the INF; safeguarding and strengthening arms control; preventing the militarisation of the EU; the Yorkshire CND resolution on the militarisation of space; opposing US/UK rearmament; highlighting the military’s contribution to the climate crisis; opposition to nuclear power; radiation and women’s health and defence diversification. There were other resolutions on supporting the campaign in Scotland and Christian CND’s 60th anniversary. Another resolution was referred back to the January Council meeting for further consideration. Whatever the result of the election, it is going to be another busy year!
At the same time as the CND AGM, just along the corridor, the International Peace Bureau was holding its triennial meeting. The IPB had awarded its annual Sean Macbride peace prize this year to our own Bruce Kent and we were all able to attend the award ceremony. It was a lovely tribute and recognition for the incredible contribution that Bruce has made (and is still making in his 91st year) for peace and nuclear disarmament.
On the Sunday CND & IPB held a joint International Conference on “21st century security: Challenges and solutions”. It featured activists and experts from around the world who provided a global take on the political and humanitarian problems we are facing.
The opening plenary focussed on understanding the key challenges with CND’s Kate Hudson, Aaron Kiely from Friends of the Earth and Konstantin Semin from Russia. After lunch (during which there was a fringe meeting on ‘Building links with towns and cities in the Mayors for Peace movement’ with Sean Morris, NFLA) there were a series of workshops on ‘Nuclear dangers’, ‘Climate change’, ‘Resource wars’ and ‘Human rights’. The closing plenary: ‘Building a different future’ included speeches by Philip Jennings, former General Secretary, UNI Global Union; Reiner Braun, Executive Director of IPB and Rieko Asato from Gensuikyo, Japan.
It was an extremely interesting and informative conference featuring a truly international picture of our shared challenges. It is clear that, to ensure our survival, humanity must come together, organise and cooperate on a global scale never seen before and citizen activists of the world can show the way, using modern communications technologies to help achieve a global voice. However, we must be aware of what we are facing and we must start to act now.
Report by Dave Webb