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The Board of the International Peace Bureau is pleased to announce that the Sean MacBride Peace Prize will be awarded this year to our own Secretary-General Colin Archer, who since 1990 has served the organization with outstanding commitment and competence. Colin Archer, who will retire next year and return home from Geneva to the UK, has spared no efforts over the last 26 years in the service of peace and of the IPB community in particular. He has with huge engagement, knowledge and friendliness met the concerns and demands of seven different IPB Presidents, more than 300 member organizations and an enormous number of partners from individual activists to civil society organizations, diplomats, researchers, educators, artists, media people and governments. A large number of young people are grateful for his guidance and help in the search for their own path to peace.
Colin Archer has played a decisive role, both in building the membership base and in the development and implementation of IPB’s program over these years. He has a solid grasp of the many very varied aspects of peace work, be it disarmament, peace history, conflict transformation, peace education, gender dimensions, development or building a culture of peace. He has written a series of booklets and co-initiated the IPB photographic exhibition Making Peace. At the same time, he is the chief administrator and fundraiser for the organization. He has travelled widely and been involved in a very extensive range of international peace and disarmament conferences and programmes, including: the World Court Project on nuclear weapons, the Hague Appeal for Peace, the Global Campaign for Peace Education, and since 2005 Disarmament for Sustainable Development and the Global Campaign on Military Spending. The network around this latter campaign was important for the success of the recent IPB World Congress in Berlin: Disarm! for a Climate of Peace: Creating an Action Agenda.
Colin grew up in London and was active in the British peace, development and human rights movements from 1970 to 1990, including various roles in the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament. His first degree was in French and Spanish Studies, and his Master’s in Development Studies. For 10 years he was the Coordinator of a Third World solidarity centre in Manchester (now Oxfam-run). He spent 15 months teaching and visiting projects on behalf of a news agency in Latin America and the Caribbean. He later worked as an adult educator for 10 years, teaching migrants and refugees. This broad background was very relevant when he was invited to take up the position of Secretary-General at the IPB, just as the world was emerging from the Cold War period.
At the award ceremony we will hear more about the IPB Action Agenda and how it will be followed up. The Prize will be formally awarded on Friday, 11 November, at a ceremony in Geneva. For further details and registration for the ceremony, contact: Arielle Denis: email@example.com
Ceremony venue: The Ecumenical Centre, Geneva, Friday, 11 November 6.30 – 8.00 pm.
You are equally welcome to the IPB Round Table on military spending organized in the same location just prior to the ceremony (from 4-6 pm), with Reiner Braun and Lisa Clark (IPB Co-Presidents).
About the MacBride Prize
The prize has been awarded each year since 1992 by the International Peace Bureau (IPB), founded in 1892. It is named after Nobel Peace Prize Laureate and IPB President Sean MacBride and is given to individuals or organizations for outstanding work for peace, disarmament and human rights. The (non‐monetary) Prize consists of a medal made in ‘Peace Bronze”, a material derived from recycled nuclear weapons components. IPB is deeply grateful to the manufacturers of the medals:
The list of previous Sean MacBride Prize laureates is available at:
About Sean MacBride (1904-88)
Sean MacBride was a distinguished Irish statesman who was IPB Chairman from 1968-74 and President from 1974-1985. MacBride began as a fighter against British colonial rule, studied law and rose to high office in the independent Irish Republic. He was a winner of the Lenin Peace Prize, and also the Nobel Peace Prize (1974), for his wide-ranging work. He was co‐founder of Amnesty International, Secretary-General of the International Commission of Jurists, and UN Commissioner for Namibia. While at IPB he launched the MacBride Appeal against Nuclear Weapons, which gathered the names of 11,000 top international lawyers. This Appeal paved the way for the World Court Project on nuclear weapons, in which IPB played a major role. This resulted in the historic 1996 Advisory Opinion of the International Court of Justice on the Use and Threat of Nuclear Weapons.
The International Peace Bureau is dedicated to the vision of a World Without War. We are a Nobel Peace Laureate (1910), and over the years 13 of our officers have been recipients of the Nobel Peace Prize. Our 300 member organizations in 70 countries, and individual members, form a global network which brings together expertise and campaigning experience in a common cause. Our main program centers on Disarmament for Sustainable Development, whose central feature is the Global Campaign on Military Spending.