US Anti-Nuclear Activist to Receive MacBride Peace Prize

November 10th, 2008 - by admin

International Peace Bureau – 2008-11-10 20:23:16


GENEVA (November 10, 2008) — The International Peace Bureau announced today that its annual award, the Sean MacBride Peace Prize, will given to Jacqueline Cabasso, a well-known US advocate of nuclear disarmament. The prize will be awarded during the IPB’s annual seminar, which this year is held in Copenhagen. The ceremony will take place on Friday Nov. 14, during the session that opens at 16.30.

IPB President Tomas Magnusson declared: “At this crucial time in history, just days after the momentous US election result, IPB believes this award to Jackie Cabasso will help underline the urgency for the new Administration and for all other nuclear-armed states, of taking bold steps towards the elimination of nuclear weapons.

She has played a vital role within the movement by acting as a constant ‘watchdog’, monitoring closely (and challenging) the work going on inside the nuclear weapons laboratories; and as critical voice in the nuclear debate ‘beyond the Washington beltway’.”

Organised by the Danish Peace Council and the International Peace Bureau on the occasion of the centenary commemoration of F. Bajer’s Nobel Peace Prize (1908). Fredrik Bajer* — a Pioneer of Modern Peacemaking. An international seminar on disarmament, terrorism and poverty: challenges for peace and human rights movements.

About the Laureate
Jacqueline Cabasso has served as Executive Director of the Western States Legal Foundation (WSLF) in Oakland, California since 1984. Founded two years earlier, the nonprofit WSLF seeks to abolish nuclear weapons as an essential step in making possible a more secure, just, and environmentally sustainable world.

Grounded in commitments to nonviolence and international law, WSLF is affiliated with the International Association of Lawyers Against Nuclear Arms, the International Peace Bureau, the International Network of Engineers and Scientists Against Proliferation, and the Global Network Against Nuclear Power & Weapons in Space.

Cabasso has been involved in nuclear disarmament, peace and environmental advocacy at the local, national and international levels for over 25 years. In her home region, with WSLF, she has provided legal support for nonviolent protesters; engaged in environmental review proceedings and litigation to challenge new nuclear facilities, transportation of nuclear waste, and proposals to base nuclear-armed warships; and organized grassroots multi-issue coalitions, such as the Peoples Nonviolent Response Coalition in response to the September 11, 2001 attacks.

Cabasso is a leading voice for nuclear weapons abolition, speaking at conferences and events across North America, Europe, and Asia. She serves on the Steering Committee of United for Peace and Justice, the largest anti-war coalition in the U.S., and convenes its Nuclear Disarmament & Redefining Security working group. In 1995 she was a “founding mother” of the Abolition 2000 Global Network to Eliminate Nuclear Weapons, the largest anti-nuclear network in the world, and she continues to serve on its Coordinating Committee.

Since 1994, Cabasso has participated as an accredited NGO tepresentative in more than a dozen negotiating and review sessions of the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty and the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty. She was active with the World Court Project that led to the International Court of Justice’s historic 1996 opinion on the illegality of nuclear weapons, attending the 1995 hearings in The Hague, and co-authoring an article for the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists.

Today she remains active with the World Court Project to Abolish Nuclear Weapons. Cabasso is a co-author of Nuclear Disorder or Cooperative Security? U.S. Weapons of Terror, the Global Proliferation Crisis and Paths to Peace (2007) and co-author of Risking Peace: Why We Sat in the Road (1985), an account of the huge 1983 nonviolent protest at the Livermore Nuclear Weapons Laboratory and the subsequent mass trial conducted by WSLF.

Cabasso has written and co-authored numerous articles for publications including the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists and the journal Social Justice. Her editorials have appeared in the Oakland Tribune and the San Francisco Chronicle. She currently serves as North American coordinator of Mayors for Peace, an international organization headed by the Mayors of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. In August 2008, Cabasso was a featured speaker at the 20th annual United Nations Disarmament Conference in Saitama, Japan.

Nov. 9 – 17, Cabasso can be reached at +44-7872-847093. In California: +1-(510) 839-5877.
Email: wslf (at)

About the Prize
Every year the IPB awards a special prize to a person or organisation that has done outstanding work for peace, disarmament and/or human rights. These were the principal concerns of Sean MacBride, the distinguished Irish statesman who was Chairman of IPB from 1968-74 and President from 1974-1985. MacBride began his career 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) – awarded for his wide-ranging work, which included roles such as co-founder of Amnesty International, Secretary-General of the International Commission of Jurists, and UN Commissioner for Namibia. While at IPB he launched the Bradford Proposals on World Disarmament, which laid the ground for the first UN Special Session on Disarmament, held in 1978.

He also launched the MacBride Appeal against Nuclear Weapons, which gathered the names of over 11,000 international lawyers from all parts of the world, many of them at the very highest level. This effort 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. MacBride died in 1988, but the Prize was not established until 1992, IPB’s centenary year.

The award is decided by the IPB Steering Committee. IPB members are welcome to make suggestions and provide background documentation on potential candidates. The Prize is a non-monetary one, consisting of a medal cast by a well-known Irish craftsman.

About the IPB
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 organisations in 70 countries, and individual members, form a global network bringing together expertise and campaigning experience in a common cause. Our current main programme centres on Sustainable Disarmament for Sustainable Development. We welcome your participation.

MacBride Prize Laureates, 1992-2007
• 2007 : Jayantha Dhanapala, Sri Lanka, former UN Under Secretary-General for Disarmament Affairs

• 2006 : Mayors for Peace
Awarded in Helsinki to Tadatoshi Akiba, Mayor of Hiroshima; and in Nagasaki to Iccho Itoh, Mayor Nagasaki (who was subsequently murdered).

• 2005: No award made

• 2004 : Leaders of the Geneva Initiative on the Middle East: Yossi Beilin + Yasser Abed Rabbo + Prof Alexis Keller (Switz).

• 2003 : Nihon Hidankyo, the Japanese hibakusha or survivors of the A bomb attacks on Hiroshima and Nagasaki in 1945. They have devoted the rest of their lives to the elimination of nuclear weapons.

• 2002: Barbara Lee, only member of US Congress to vote against the war on Afghanistan.

• 2001 : Rosalie Bertell, Canada-based public health advocate, scientist, author – who has put her professional skills at the service of victims of nuclear and other disasters.

• 2000: Praful Bidwai and Achin Vanaik, Indian journalists who have been at the forefront of the international campaign against the nuclearisation of South Asia. The IPB salutes their persistence, commitment and scholarly attention to detail which have earned their work wide acclaim.

• 1999: Barbara Gladysch, Mothers for Peace, Germany, as a tribute to her outstanding and long-lasting commitment, both to disarmament and to practical solidarity with victims of war and disaster.

• 1998: John Hume, a member of the European Parliament for consistently advocating non-violent solutions in Northern Ireland. Subsequently awarded Nobel Peace Prize.

• 1997: The Seeds of Hope group, UK for disarming a Hawk aircraft bound for Indonesia.

• 1996: Selim Beslagic, Mayor of Tuzla, Bosnia, a key proponent of a multi-ethnic solution to the Bosnian crisis.

• 1995: The Committee of Soldiers’ Mothers of Russia, foremost among Russian citizens’ groups opposing the war in Chechnya.

• 1994: Mordechai Vanunu, Israel, a former nuclear technician, sentenced to 18 years solitary confinement for revealing details of Israel’s nuclear arsenal.

• 1993: Hilda Lini, Vanuatu, a former health minister who played a key role in the WHO’s decision to approve a request to the World Court on the legal status of nuclear weapons.

• 1992: Michael D Higgins, Ireland, a human rights lawyer, member of Parliament, Labour Party President and Spokesperson for Foreign Affairs and a former Minister for Arts, Culture & the Gaeltacht.

Event Ceremonies
• Venue: Vanløse Kulturhus, Frode Jakobsens Plads 4, First Floor
• (near Vanløse S – and Metro Station – end of M1 and M2 lines)
• Programme details are available at:
• (front page, scroll down)See annexe for details of the Prize and the laureates

• Friday Nov 14, 11.00 – International Press Centre
• 2, Vestergade, 2. floor
• DK-1456 Copenhagen K

Contact: Colin Archer IPB +41 22 731-6429 or Bent Christensen, DPC Tel. +45 20 32 24 85