4th Annual Conference of the Independent and Peaceful Australia Network

Representatives of groups affiliated with the Independent and Peaceful Australia Network (IPAN) met in Melbourne over the weekend of September 8-10, 2017. (MPG is an affiliate of IPAN and was represented at the conference by Nick Deane.)


Those who attended heard some well researched presentations that speakers packed with a great deal of fascinating information and argument. Highlights included:

  • A/Prof David Vine (American University, Washington DC) author of Base Nation: How U.S. Military Bases Overseas are Damaging America and the World who discussed the impacts of the vast global network of U.S. military bases (800 bases in 80 nations, according to Vine);
  • Prof Richard Tanter (Nautilus Institute, Melbourne) who stressed the fact that Australia’s national interests will not always co-incide with those of the USA;
  • James O’Neill (Brisbane barrister), who pointed out that the US tends not to attack countries that are capable of fighting back;
  • Dr Vince Scappatura (University of Sydney) who predicted that the US/Australia alliance is going to be increasingly tested;
  • Dr Mike Gilligan (former Defence Department advisor) who argued that the ANZUS Treaty actually encourages self-reliance with respect to defence capability and that Australia had already attained this status.

The conference agreed on a declaration, which can viewed here. A full report will be forthcoming soon. Audio recordings of speakers’ presentations are available on the IPAN website.

UN adopts historic Nuclear Weapon Ban Treaty

A historic global agreement was reached at the United Nations headquarters in New York on Friday, July 7, 2017 when 122 nations adopted a treaty to ban nuclear weapons. Known officially as the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons, it will acquire legal force once 50 nations have signed and ratified it. Continue reading UN adopts historic Nuclear Weapon Ban Treaty

First session of UN’s nuclear ban treaty negotiations a success

Ban the Bomb*

The UN General Assembly adopted a resolution in December 2016 that agreed to “negotiate a legally binding instrument to prohibit nuclear weapons, leading towards their total elimination” and encouraged all member states to participate. The vote was 113 in favour, 35 against including Australia, with 13 abstentions. Continue reading First session of UN’s nuclear ban treaty negotiations a success

Sydney protest against Israeli Prime Minister’s visit to Australia

Sydney protest rally & march

Over 1,000 people demonstrated against the visit to Australia by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in Sydney’s Town Hall Square on Thursday February 23, 2017. Following the rally, the protestors’ planned march to Netanyahu’s hotel overlooking the harbour was blocked by police. Continue reading Sydney protest against Israeli Prime Minister’s visit to Australia

Australia should not welcome the Prime Minister of Israel

PM Netanyahu and PM Turnbull in New York.

A total of 60 prominent Australians have signed a statement opposing the visit this week by Israeli Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, due to the harsh and illegal policies that his government continues to inflict upon the Palestinian people. PM Netanyahu will be in Australia between February 22-25. Continue reading Australia should not welcome the Prime Minister of Israel

Will Israel expel Antony Loewenstein?

Antony Loewenstein

On December 12, 2016, Yair Lapid, leader of the Yesh Atid (There is a Future) party and a former finance minister, was the guest speaker at the Foreign Press Association in Jerusalem’s King David Hotel.

In attendance at this event was the Australian author and freelance reporter Antony Loewenstein, now based in Jerusalem. Continue reading Will Israel expel Antony Loewenstein?