Tag Archives: Europe

France: FSU course on building peace, fighting without violence: a revolutionary idea!


An announcement from Syndicat National Unitaire des Instituteurs – 35

Every year the trade union federation, FSU Bretagne, organizes a large federal training course at regional level. This year we are returning to the two-day colloquium formula as for the 2019 internship on Food in Guitté.

Our course will be held at the youth hostel in St Malo (35) on Wednesday 18 and Thursday 19 October. The theme of these two days will focus on peace and the need to develop a culture of peace and non-violence, in conjunction with the activists of the Mouvement de la Paix Bretagne.

In addition to the theme of educating young people for peace, which is dear to us, we will give a large place to the issue of multilateralism and social and climate justice in international relations. Our work will also focus on the issue of violence in social and political relations in our societies. This second part of the internship is of particular urgency in our current situation marked by the government’s repression of social movements in the name of “republican order”, their fight against “ecoterrorism”, and their plans to force youth to be obedient.

(article continued in right column)

(click here for the original French version)

Question related to this article:
What is the contribution of trade unions to the culture of peace?

(article continued from left column)

The program for these two days is not yet completely fixed and the FSU is currently continuing contacts with the prospective speakers. The following have already given, among others, their agreement to participate in these two days:

– David Adams of the Seville Statement on Violence and Unesco Culture of Peace,

– Bertrand Badie, specialists in international relations, professor emeritus at Sciences -Po Paris and CERI,

– Alain Bergerat, historian, author of the History of France through songs, Jacques Fath, author of Putin, NATO and war,

– Amélie Hart-Hutasse, teacher, head of the history-geography group at SNES which follows the ‘Universal National Service’ file,

– Venance Journé, physicist, representative of the Climate Action Network at the ESEC, author of Weapons of Terror Ridding the world of nuclear, biological and chemical weapons,

– Frédéric Mathieu, parliamentarian, member of the commission of Defense at the National Assembly,

– Sebastian Roché, director of research at the CNRS, specialist in relations between the police and the population, author of De la police en democratie,

– Laura Lema Silva, specialist in social movements in Colombia, head of studies at the Institute for Peace and associate member of the LCE laboratory of Lyon-2,

– Nathalie Tehio lawyer, member of the national office of the LDH and of the Paris Observatory of public freedoms, author of a report on the BRAV-M units.. .

You can register now online by following this link: https://framaforms.org/construire-la-paix-lutter-sans-violence-une-idee-revolutionnaire-1681734847 or by means of the registration form below. Registration confirmations with the precise program and organizational arrangements for these two days will be sent to registrants at the end of September.

Don’t wait to register and to submit your request for leave of absence to your school (strict deadline of 1 month, i.e. a deadline for submission on Friday 09/15/2023).

Register early and spread the word – the course is open to FSU union members and non-union members alike.

The registration form can be sent by post to the address indicated or sent by email to aetj.le-bourg@wanadoo.fr Online registration can also be done via the website https://bretagne.fsu.fr

Global Women for Peace United Against NATO


A Declaration for Peace from Women against NATO

As NATO prepares for its upcoming summit in Vilnius, Lithuania, on July 11th and 12th, the peace movement is organizing internationally. We are organising protests – and as well as saying No to NATO, we are saying Yes to peace, presenting alternatives to war, and a new vision of security.

In March, many women got together online, from across the world, to present an action plan: to ensure women’s mobilization on this crucial issue. We call ourselves Global Women for Peace United Against NATO and we have produced a Declaration for Peace, outlining our message of peace, justice, solidarity, and common security.

As part of the international protests, we are organizing a programme of events in Brussels, home of the NATO headquarters. This will take place from July 6th to 9th; there will be meetings, debates, seminars, and street actions – and much of it will be available online as well as in person. Find the programme here.

Please join us however you can – and help us expand participation, especially from those living in NATO states, or in NATO ‘partner’ countries. The events are women-led but we welcome all who are against NATO to participate.

The Declaration, together with the names and affiliations of the first signatories can be found on this page. Click here to find the Declaration translated into many languages. More are being added all the time.

(Article continued in right column)

Questions related to this article:

Do women have a special role to play in the peace movement?

Can NATO be abolished?

(Article continued from left column)

The Declaration and list of signatories will be sent to the NATO headquarters, NATO members and partners, and their parliaments, together with the EU Commission and members of the European Parliament. We will make sure our voices are heard – our voices for peace and justice.

Will you join us?

Will you sign now?

Let’s build this movement for peace together!



Women for Peace Finland:

Ulla Klotzer: ullaklotzer[at]yahoo.com
Lea Launokari: lea.launokari[at]nettilinja.fi


George Friday: geo4realdem[at]gmail.com
Nancy Price: nancytprice39[at]gmail.com 


Kate Hudson: kate.hudson[at]cnduk.org


Emmelien Lievens: emmelien[at]vrede.be (especially for media and press)

France: For an Emergency Plan to Overcome the Crisis


A declaration of the Groupe parlementaire La France insoumise -NUPES & La France insoumise (translation by CPNN)

The death of young Nahel on the morning of June 27 in Nanterre triggered a wave of emotion and anger in the country. It has also acted as a spark, triggering a revolt in many cities across the country, which urgently demands a political response.

Faced with this situation, the government has locked itself into an escalation of verbal security that only serves to worsen the situation. They shirk their own responsibility and target rebellious France to hide their incompetence and inability to act. At the same time, they give up looking for a way out of the crisis, and they abandon the victims of damage to public property, housing and businesses essential to daily life.

We advocate no strategy of violence, but we demand that the causes of the situation be addressed because the problems are not new. For working-class neighborhoods, racism, police violence or discrimination in access to employment or housing are the daily lot of the inhabitants. The destruction of public services, social protections and associative solidarity, due to neoliberal austerity policies, has been going on for decades. For there to be harmony, strong actions are needed on the part of the government which, today as yesterday, are absent. Since the revolts of 2005, there has been no response.

(Article continued in right column)

(click here for the original French version)

Question for this article:

Where are police being trained in culture of peace?

(Article continued from left column)

Restoring trust is all the more difficult since the government has distinguished itself in recent years by its inability to deal with popular demands by any means other than contempt and ignorance, whether during the mobilization of yellow vests or against retirement at 64. They make it seem like no change is possible within the current framework. Therefore what is required is a complete break and exceptional responses.

For this, we request a debate in the National Assembly under Article 50-1 of the Constitution in order to propose an emergency plan including:

* The immediate repeal of the “license to kill” provisions of the Cazeneuve law of 2017, responsible for the explosion of deaths when the subject refuses to comply

* The creation of a “Truth and Justice” commission to establish all responsibilities concerning police violence that has resulted in the death or mutilation of citizens

* The immediate expatriation of any case of police violence, the complete reform of the IGPN and the creation of an independent investigation service.

* State support for repairs to shops, housing and public places that have damaged in recent days

* An in-depth reform of the national police to rebuild a better trained republican police and to get rid of all forms of racism, including in particular the dissolution of the BAC, the restoration of the code of ethics of 1986, the strengthening of training, the introduction of genuine community policing and the end of lethal immobilization techniques. We must close the period started by Sarkozy in 2002 that treats young people from working-class neighborhoods as an enemy from within.

* A global action program against discrimination including in particular the creation of a Commissioner for Equality, specialized centers within the courts of appeal and the implementation of the identity check receipt to fight against the face control

* A public investment plan in poor neighborhoods for the restoration of public services, housing, public schools, access to health and culture, financing of associations and social centers

Two analyses of the Paris Climate Summit


An article from Reuters

A statement from Greenpeace

Analysis by Reuters

A Paris summit to discuss reforming the world’s financial system scored some notable wins that should tee up greater action before climate talks later this year, though some participants were disappointed with progress to address poorer states’ debt.

The Summit for a New Global Financing Pact saw French President Macron host around 40 leaders, many from the Global South, to debate changes to multilateral finance institutions in the face of climate change and other development challenges.

Much of the discussion centred on the key requests of developing nations, framed through the “Bridgetown Initiative” led by Barbados leader Mia Mottley, and her adviser Avinash Persaud said he was pleased with the outcome of the talks.

“It’s a roadmap for genuine change,” he told Reuters on the sidelines of the talks. “What’s emerged here is a real … understanding of the scale and pace of what is required.”

Among the highlights were confirmation that the richer world will likely hit a long-overdue target of providing $100 billion annually in climate finance to poorer countries, a long-delayed debt deal for Zambia, and a package to boost Senegal’s renewable energy capacity.

The World Bank and others also said they would start adding clauses to lending terms that allow vulnerable states to suspend debt repayments when natural disaster strikes.

Yet it was the wording of the final statement from attendees and subtle changes in the tone of discussions behind the scenes that gave hope to Persaud that even greater change was coming.

Specifically, for the first time, the document acknowledged the potential need for richer countries to provide fresh money to multilateral development institutions like the World Bank. This came alongside a plan to draw on more of their current assets, to the tune of $200 billion over 10 years.

Another first was in the explicit target for multilateral development banks to leverage “at least” $100 billion a year in private sector capital when they lend.

(article continued in right column)

Question for this article:

Sustainable Development Summits of States, What are the results?

(Article continued from the left column)

A reference was also made to finding “new avenues for international taxation”, as well as other Bridgetown Initiative requests including offering investors foreign exchange guarantees.

“That was widely discussed here and (there’s) lots of support behind an initiative that’s happening outside of Paris, at the International Maritime Organisation in a couple weeks time, on a levy on shipping emissions,” Persaud added.

Still, the summit was not without its critics.

“Unfortunately, the Paris Summit has not provided the breakthrough needed to find the funding for our planet’s survival,” Teresa Anderson, Global Lead on Climate Justice for ActionAid International, said, pointing to new funding pledges being loans or temporary debt relief instead of grants.

All eyes now turn to more traditional events later in the year, including the International Monetary Fund and World Bank annual meetings, a G20 meeting in September and the COP28 climate talks in Dubai.

Persaud said his focus would be on making sure the plan to scale up multilateral development bank lending was in place by the time of annual meetings in October, and that pilot work began on reducing the cost of capital for developing countries.

The summit, held against a backdrop of criticism that the world is moving far too slowly to address climate change, was a success in that it delivered a roadmap requiring specific actions by specific dates, some observers said.

“They’ve got a clear timetable of what they want to see happen and it’s that timeline that puts the pressure on and means that it’s harder to just kick things into the long grass,” said Sonia Dunlop from think tank E3G.

Analysis by Greenpeace:

 President Macron’s Summit for a New Global Financing Pact ends with very limited progress to make polluters pay for the escalating costs of the climate crisis. Governments failed to commit to concrete and ambitious action to make the fossil fuel industry pay.  

Tracy Carty, Climate Politics Expert at Greenpeace International, said:

“The Summit ended with mild recognition of the need for new taxes to pay for climate action and identified a role for the G20 and COP28 to take them forward.  Taxing big polluters should be top of the agenda for these global moments, but rich country governments don’t have to wait to act – they already can and must introduce taxes on big polluters, above all the fossil fuel industry, to pay for loss and damage now.

“Silence on the fossil fuel industry paying for the mess they have caused was deafening at this Summit. Fossil fuel companies are racking up obscene profits, while millions in low-income countries pay the price as drought, floods, sea level rise and other climate catastrophes wreak havoc.” 

Pierre Terras, Head of Climate and Energy campaigns at Greenpeace France, said:

“President Macron’s promotion of fossil gas as an energy of transition during this Summit was totally irresponsible and resonates with his poor record of domestic climate in-action. Unsurprisingly, he also has fallen short in recognising the need to tax the fossil fuel companies to pay for the damage they have caused. Both nationally and globally, the French president seems stuck on protecting the wealthiest and the polluters.”

Lula meets the Pope, talks world peace


An article from Prensa Latina

Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva on Wednesday (June 21) met Pope Francis in the Vatican for 45 minutes and the two discussed world peace, along with other matters.

The Brazilian leader thanked the Pope on social media for the audience and for the “good conversation about peace in the world.”

The behind-doors meeting took place in the Vatican close to the residence of the Pope, who recently underwent surgery for hernia.

The meeting was followed by the Brazilian delegation meeting the Pope and the traditional exchange of gifts.

(Continued in right column)

Questions related to this article:
Can the peace movement help stop the war in the Ukraine?

(Continued from left column)

Lula, who had received a letter from the Argentine-origin Pope while in prison, gifted him a print of the painting Sagrada Familia by Pernambuco-based artist JF Borges.

On his part, Francis presented Lula with his 2023 Message of Peace, the document on human brotherhood and the book on Statio Orbis from Mar. 27, 2020, when he had prayed for the end of the pandemic at a deserted St Peter’s Square.

Lula invited the pontiff to make another visit to Brazil – as his first international visit as Pope had been to Rio de Janeiro in July 2013 – and attend the festival honoring Our Lady of Nazareth in October.

The Brazilian president’s office had already announced that he intended to discuss the fight against hunger with the Pope along with other issues such as his initiative to end the Ukraine war.

Lula has proposed forming a group of countries to mediate in possible negotiations between Kyiv and Moscow, although his proposal has elicited little response from the international community.

The Brazilian leader arrived in the Vatican in a convoy of around 15 official cars along with the first lady, and was received at the doors of the Paul VI audience hall by the Pope’s aide, Leonardo Sapienza.

After his Vatican visit, Lula is set to meet Italian Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni on Wednesday evening at her official residence and seat of power, the Chigi Palace in Rome.

He will also meet Rome’s mayor Roberto Gualtieri, an old friend who had met Lula in prison while he was behind bars on corruption charges that were later revoked by the judiciary. On Thursday, the Brazilian president will fly to Paris for the next stop of his Europe tour.

France: “You are, we are, Earth Uprisings”


An article by Reporterre (translation by CPNN)

Even dissolved, Earth Uprisings (Les Soulèvements de la Terre) will continue to be talked about. In this forum, readers are invited to create a movement of resistance.

Earth Uprisings was officially disbanded on June 21 by the government. Faced with this unprecedented attack on the ecological movement, Reporterre undertakes to continue to speak about Earth Uprisings, their actions and their convictions. Here is their column published at the end of the dissolution.

On June 21, in the Council of Ministers, the government initiated a judicial procedure for dissolution of Earth Uprisings. After throwing his mutilating grenades in our faces, the government claims that we would no longer have the right to exist together, nor to organize ourselves. It now claims to dissolve an uprising, by all means.

From the sinister offices of Place Beauvau, this dissolution is intended to be a guillotine that ends the life of this story. And yet the noise that runs through the country, where hopes are still budding, says something else entirely. Contagious whispers, countless outbursts of solidarity remind us that the worst attacks sometimes produce unexpected reversals.

What if this dissolution was actually a ministerial call to join a great resistance movement? A network already strong with 110,000 declared members, 180 local committees, with as many people involved in public life, in collectives and unions. A supposedly forbidden movement, but collectively unstoppable, targeted by power, but anchored in the territories, present in places of work and studies, barns and back rooms, even within the administrations. The government claimed to make us disappear, in reality we will be more and more visible every day.

“Despite the dissolution, The Uprisings will resurface”

Faced with the persistence of this threat, we offer you a great game. A game that could not be more serious, a game that constitutes a network of resistance. We will together, in the days and weeks to come, continue to make Earth Uprisings appear in 1,000 ways in the public space: in front of bars and social centers, at coffee breaks, through open meetings, antennas international relations, inscriptions on the walls, pennants and celebrations, disarmaments and snubs.

Despite the dissolution, Les Uprisings reappeared suddenly on construction sites or in the heart of an industrial site, overflowing streets crowded with clamor against the market order, taking root in private gardens, people’s houses or common farms. It’s up to you, ours to find.

(article continued in right column)

(Click here for the original article in French

Question for this article:

Despite the vested interests of companies and governments, Can we make progress toward sustainable development?

Local resistance actions: can they save sustainable development?

(Article continued from the left column)

What grows back everywhere cannot be dissolved

These upsurges begin tonight [Wednesday June 21], with rallies of support organized in already more than 100 cities in France at 7 p.m., in front of the prefectures.

We, participants from everywhere in the Uprisings, therefore call on you to join the more than 180 local committees that have been formed in recent months, the hundreds of territorial resistance groups, local struggles and already existing trade union sections which have publicly claimed their membership of the movement. The word of the Earth Uprisings belongs to them, it belongs to you.

Together we will continue to support our injured people. We will continue the struggles on the ground everywhere and converge in even more numbers.

Two next deadlines have already been set this summer, two essential action times for water sharing in the middle of summer and in the midst of historic drought:

* the water convoy from Poitiers to Paris on the 18th to August 27;

* the action campaign 100 days to dry them out.

Beyond these few landmark actions, we are going to forge everywhere the necessary complicities to concretely stop the advance of concrete, the drying of the soil, the intoxication of the water and the dissolution of the links.

We will meet again. You are, we are, Earth Uprisings.

“A movement cannot be dissolved!” »

In solidarity with the dissolution measure, various media are committed to providing spaces to disseminate information on the variations of the movement across the country in the weeks and months to come. Here are the first ones: Basta!, Brains Not Available, La Relève et la Peste, Contre-Attack, Le Média, Sharing is Nice, Monday Morning, Dijoncter.info, Reporterre, Terrestrials, etc.
These different channels, created in solidarity by supporters or organizations, will also host the multiple decentralized voices that today claim to be Earth Uprisings:

* a Mediapart blog of friends of the Earth Uprisings ;

* an inter-organ Telegram channel to join.

An email address of friends of the movement who are committed to collecting and relaying the way in which different organizations and existing local struggles intend to follow up on this call locally: lesamiesdessoulevements@cryptomail.ch

Support and international relay antennas of the Earth Uprisings are announced in Italy, Switzerland, Belgium, Spain and the United States by a certain number of organizations and media in the face of threats of censorship by the French government.

Legal support teams will continue to monitor the proceedings initiated: antirep-bassines@riseup.net, legal-lutteslocales@riseup.net

A movement cannot be dissolved!

Vienna’s International Summit for Peace in Ukraine Issues a Global Call for Action


An article by Medea Benjamin published by Code Pink

During the  weekend of June 10-11 in Vienna, Austria, over 300 people representing peace organizations from 32 countries came together for the first time since the Russian invasion of Ukraine to demand an end to the fighting. In a formal conference declaration, participants declared, “We are a broad and politically diverse coalition that represents peace movements and civil society. We are firmly united in our belief that war is a crime against humanity and there is no military solution to the current crisis.” (See CPNN June 12 for full text.)

To amplify their call for a ceasefire, Summit participants committed themselves to organizing Global Weeks of Action–protests, street vigils and political lobbying–during the days of September 30-October 8.

Summit organizers chose Austria as the location of the peace conference because  Austria is one of only a few neutral non-NATO states left in Europe. Ireland, Switzerland and Malta are a mere handful of neutral European states, now that previously neutral states Finland has joined NATO and Sweden is next in line. Austria’s capital, Vienna, is known as “UN City,” and is also home to the Secretariat of the OSCE (the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe), which monitored the ceasefire in the Donbas from the signing of the Minsk II agreement in 2015 until the Russian invasion of Ukraine in 2022. 

Surprisingly, neutral Austria turned out to be quite hostile to the Peace Summit. The union federation caved in to pressure from the Ukrainian Ambassador to Austria and other detractors, who smeared the events as a fifth column for the Russian invaders. The ambassador had objected to some of the speakers, including world-renowned economist Jeffrey Sachs and European Union Parliament member Clare Daly. (See CPNN June 9 for details.)

Even the press club, where the final press conference was scheduled, canceled at the last minute. The Austrian liberal/left newspaper Der Standard piled on, panning the conference both beforehand, during and afterwards, alleging that the speakers were too pro-Russian. Undaunted, local organizers quickly found other locations.The conference took place in a lovely concert center, and the press conference in a local cafe. 

The most moving panel of the conference was the one with representatives from Ukraine, Russia and Belarus, who risked their lives to participate in the Summit. Yurii Sheliazhenko, secretary treasurer of the Ukrainian Pacifist Movement, is unable to leave the country and therefore spoke to attendees from Kyiv via Zoom. 

“Like many Ukrainians, I am a victim of aggression of Russian army, which bombs my city, and a victim of human rights violations by the Ukrainian army, which tries to drag me to the meat grinder, denying my right to refuse to kill, to leave the country for my studies in University of Münster … Think about it: all men from 18 to 60 are prohibited from leaving the country, they are hunted on the streets and forcibly abducted to the army’s serfdom.” 

(Continued in right column)

Questions related to this article:
Can the peace movement help stop the war in the Ukraine?

(Continued from left column)

Sheliazhenko told the Summit that the Armed Forces of Ukraine had tried to deny conscientious objector status to Ukrainian war resisters, but relented when international pressure demanded that the Ukrainian military recognize rights secured under the European Convention on Human Rights.

Several groups at the Summit pledged to provide support for conscientious objectors from Ukraine, Russia and Belarus, and also took up a collection for Ukrainian families lacking access to clean water following the recent destruction of the Kakhovka dam. 

Highlights of the Summit also included remarks by representatives from the Global South, who came from China, Cameroon, Ghana, Mexico and Bolivia. Bolivia’s Vice President  David Choquehuanca inspired the crowd as he spoke of the need to heed the wisdom of indigenous cultures and their mediation practices. 

Many speakers said the real impetus to end this war will come from the Global South, where politicians can see the widespread hunger and inflation that this conflict is causing, and are taking leading roles in offering their services as mediators.

Almost all of Europe was represented, including dozens from Italy, the country  mobilizing the continent’s largest peace demonstrations, with over 100,000 protesters. Unlike in the United States, where the demonstrations have been small, Italian organizers have successfully built coalitions that include trade unions and the religious community, as well as traditional peace groups. Their advice to others was to narrow and simplify their demands in order to broaden their appeal and build a mass anti-war movement.

The eight-person U.S. delegation included representatives from CODEPINK, Peace in Ukraine, the Fellowship of Reconciliation and Veterans for Peace. U.S. retired colonel and diplomat Ann Wright was a featured speaker, along with former Congressman Dennis Kucinich, who joined remotely.

Despite the uniform bottom line of the participants, which was a call for peace talks, there were plenty of disagreements, especially in the workshops. Some people believed that we should continue to send weapons while pushing for talks; others called for an immediate end to weapons transfers. Some insisted on calling for the immediate withdrawal of Russian troops, while others believed that should be the result of negotiations, not a pre-condition. Some put more blame on the role of NATO expansion and the interference of the U.S. in Ukraine’s internal affairs, while others said the blame belongs exclusively at the doorstep of the Russian invaders. 

Some of these differences were reflected in discussions surrounding the final declaration, where there was plenty of back and forth about what should and should not be mentioned. There were strong calls to condemn NATO provocations and the role of the U.S./UK in sabotaging early attempts at mediation. These sentiments, along with others condemning the West, were left out of the final document, which some criticized as too bland. References to NATO provocations that led to the Russian invasion were deleted and replaced with the following language:

“The institutions established to ensure peace and security in Europe fell short, and the failure of diplomacy led to war. Now diplomacy is urgently needed to end the war before it destroys Ukraine and endangers humanity.”

But the most important segment of the final document and the gathering itself was the call for further actions.

“This weekend should be seen as just the start,” said organizer Reiner Braun. “We need more days of action, more gatherings, more outreach to students and environmentalists, more educational events. But this was a great beginning of global coordination.”

Putin tells Africans: Russia doesn’t reject negotiations with Ukraine


An article by EFE published in Prensa Latina

Russia remains open to negotiations on a resolution to the conflict that began with its invasion of Ukraine, President Vladimir Putin said Saturday (June 17) in a meeting with officials of seven African nations on a peace mission.

“My dear friends, not we, but the leadership of Ukraine, announced that it would not conduct any negotiations. Moreover the president of Ukraine signed a decree prohibiting these negotiations,” the Russian head of state said in St. Petersburg

“We are ready to consider any of your proposals without preconditions,” Putin told Presidents Cyril Ramaphosa of South Africa, Azali Assoumani of the Comoros, Macky Sall of Senegal, and Hakainde Hichilema of Zambia.

The delegation, which also includes Egyptian Prime Minister Mostafa Madbouly and envoys representing the presidents of the Republic of the Congo and Uganda, met Friday in Kyiv with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy.

(Continued in right column)

Questions related to this article:
Can the peace movement help stop the war in the Ukraine?

(Continued from left column)

The purpose of what Ramaphosa described as a “historic” mission was to present to the Ukrainian and Russian governments a 10-point peace plan drawn up by African countries.

“We welcome the balanced approach of African friends to the Ukraine crisis,” Putin told the visitors. “We’re open to constructive dialogue with all those who want peace based on the principles of respect for each other’s interests, as well as justice.”

“This war has to have an end. It must be settled through negotiations and through diplomatic means,” Ramaphosa said during the meeting at Konstantinovsky Palace.

“This war is having a negative impact on the African continent and indeed, on many other countries around the world,” the South African said.

Putin took the opportunity to show the delegation what he said was a draft peace agreement from March 2022.

“I would like to draw your attention to the fact that with (Turkish) President (Recep Tayyip) Erdogan’s assistance, as you know, a string of talks between Russia and Ukraine took place in Turkey so as to work out both the confidence-building measures you mentioned, and to draw up the text of the agreement,” Putin said.

“We did not discuss with the Ukrainian side that this treaty would be classified, but we have never presented it, nor commented on it. This draft agreement was initialed by the head of the Kyiv negotiation team. He put his signature there. Here it is,” the Russian president, holding up a piece of paper.

“It was called treaty of permanent neutrality and security guarantees of Ukraine,” Putin said, adding that the document included 18 articles pertaining to Ukraine’s security.

“Well, after we – as promised – withdrew troops from Kyiv, Kyiv authorities … threw it all away,” the Russian president said.

International civil society from Vienna: “We need negotiations that can strengthen the logic of Peace instead of the illogic of war.”


An article from Pressenza

After two intense days of work and discussion, the Final Declaration of International Civil Society has been circulated by the Promoters of the Vienna Peace Summit, and it will be sent to political leaders around the world, calling on them to act in support of a ceasefire and negotiations in Ukraine.

An important achievement – to which, among the summit organizers, the Italian entities of the “Europe for Peace” coalition contributed – that will enable the international peace movement to work jointly in the coming months on paths toward a just and possible Peace; a path to Peace that must be based on the principles of common security, international respect for human rights and self-determination of all communities. And with an upcoming date already defined: in fact, the Summit’s Final Declaration includes an invitation to civil society in all countries to join together in the implementation of “a week of global mobilization (from Saturday, September 30 to Sunday, October 8, 2023) for an immediate ceasefire and for Peace negotiations to end this war.”

The two days of debate [were used to] build a political alternative to a war that continues to upset the entire World with its evil and its capacity to destroy lives and the environment. Plenary speeches and working groups addressed from different perspectives what determines this war in terms of suffering, disasters, crises, and risks of nuclear accident or war. They also addressed, of course, how to be able to concretely solidarize with the Ukrainian people [who have been] under siege and bombardment for 16 months. Because saving lives is the priority, and war is certainly not the answer.

“We listened, moved, to the testimonies of Yuri, Olga, Oleg, Karina, and Nina who conveyed to us what it means to live under bombs or in exile, to have to decide in a matter of seconds where to go, whether to flee one’s own country or to hide so as not to end up in jail on terrorism charges. Those who participated in the Vienna Summit measure themselves against this reality, seeking paths of dialogue to rebuild mutual trust, to reaffirm solidarity. The path we call for must be taken by all civil society movements in order to make the alternative to war possible,” stresses Sergio Bassoli of the Peace Disarmament Network and one of the coordinators of “Europe For Peace.”

In the Final Declaration, the organizations of the broad coalition present highlight that they are “firmly united in their conviction that war is a crime against humanity and that there is no military solution to the current crisis,” expressing alarm over the ongoing war.

Condemnation for Russia’s illegal invasion of Ukraine is explicitly reiterated, stressing that “the institutions created to ensure Peace and Security in Europe have failed, and the failure of diplomacy has led to war. Diplomacy is now urgently needed to end the armed conflict before it destroys Ukraine and endangers humanity.”

The work of all civil society organizations involved will converge on this shared demand: “negotiations that can strengthen the logic of Peace instead of the illogic of war.”

(Continued in right column)

Questions related to this article:
Can the peace movement help stop the war in the Ukraine?

(Continued from left column)

Below is the text of the “Vienna Declaration for Peace” drafted by the organizations participating in the summit:

Peace by peaceful means. Ceasefire and negotiations now!

We, the organizers of the International Summit for Peace in Ukraine, call on the leaders of all countries to act in support of an immediate ceasefire and negotiations to end the war in Ukraine.

We are a broad and politically diverse coalition representing Peace movements civil society, including believers, in many countries. We are firmly united in our belief that war is a crime against humanity and that there is no military solution to the current crisis.

We are deeply alarmed and saddened by the war. Hundreds of thousands of people have been killed and injured, and millions are displaced and traumatized. Towns and villages throughout Ukraine, as well as the natural environment, have been destroyed.

Far greater death and suffering could still occur if the conflict escalates to the use of nuclear weapons, a risk that is higher today than at any time since the Cuban Missile Crisis.

We condemn Russia’s illegal invasion of Ukraine. The institutions created to ensure Peace and Security in Europe have failed, and the failure of diplomacy has led to war. Diplomacy is now urgently needed to end the armed conflict before it destroys Ukraine and endangers humanity.

The path to Peace must be based on the principles of common security, international respect for human rights, and self-determination of all communities.

We support all negotiations that can strengthen the logic of Peace instead of the illogic of war.

We affirm our support for Ukrainian civil society defending its rights. We pledge to strengthen dialogue with those in Russia and Belarus who put their lives at risk to oppose war and protect democracy.

We call on civil society in all countries to join us in a week of global mobilization (Saturday, September 30 to Sunday, October 8, 2023) for an immediate ceasefire and for Peace negotiations to end this war.

Vienna, June 11, 2023

(Editor’s note: Some participants, according to Medea Benjamin regretted that the final declaration failed to condemn NATO for provocations that led to the war and sabotage of early attempts at mediation.)

Austrian Censorship of Peace Conference Is An Outrage


An article by By David Swanson, Kathy Kelly, John Reuwern and Brad Wolf from World Beyond War

Forty-eight hours before a global peace conference in Vienna, Austria, was to begin, the venue host abruptly cancelled. Peace, it seems, cannot be discussed, especially peace in Ukraine.

This news is a disturbing step in a growing trend.

Owners of the venue which was to host the Summit for Peace in Ukraine, announced on Wednesday, 7 June, 2023, their decision to cancel the agreement holding the summit on their premises. Fortunately, a new location was secured in Vienna (and anyone on Earth can sign up to take part online), but not before a smear campaign against the summit had been launched.

The venue owners reportedly explained: “We have decided to comply with the wishes of Ukraine and its embassy operating in Austria and have cancelled the rental of all rooms in the ÖGB catamaran for the event ‘International Summit for Peace in Ukraine’ next weekend.”

This was not just one venue taking this position. “On Wednesday, the Press Club Concordia also refused to make its premises in a central location in downtown Vienna available for a press conference of the ‘summit’.”

Supporters of the summit note the chilling innuendo caused by the abrupt cancellation of the summit. Speakers widely regarded for their moral and intellectual guidance have been undermined in statements intended to justify objections to the summit.

This is not an isolated incident. Western liberal ideals have long asserted that the best answer to mistaken speech was wiser speech and more of it. We now have a rapidly growing liberal consensus in favor, instead, of censoring media outlets, canceling speaking events, and forbidding people with unwanted points of view from even gathering together. Powers are being granted to governments, social media platforms, and other tech corporations that believers in democratic self-governance spent centuries claiming nobody should have.

Those who turn against free speech are often groups afraid they cannot win an honest debate. And so, they take up censorship. The movement for peace in Ukraine can take this as a compliment. Governments fear such a discussion of peace and instead smear this peace summit and the speakers.

An Austrian press report announced on Thursday that the venue (ÖGB Catamaran) had been withdrawn because the event was “under suspicion of propaganda.” What sort of propaganda? Well: “According to its own statements, the ‘International Summit for Peace in Ukraine’ wanted to show ways out of the war.” Under international law, propaganda for war is illegal and must be banned. Not a single nation on Earth complies with that requirement, raising up the value of free speech as trumping the rule of law. But speaking in favor of bringing a war to an end has now acquired the status of forbidden propaganda.

Moreover, the report explains, “some announced participants have no current fear of contact with the media of the aggressor.” In other words, if talk of negotiating peace is shut out of the media controlled by only one side of a war, speaking to media controlled by the other side — even to say exactly what one would have said to any other media outlet — is grounds for not only censorship but a ban on meeting and strategizing.

(Article continued in the column on the right)

Question related to this article:
Free flow of information, How is it important for a culture of peace?

Can the peace movement help stop the war in the Ukraine?

How can we be sure to get news about peace demonstrations?

(Article continued from the column on the left)

The report gives some specifics: “The internationally prominent U.S. economist Jeffrey Sachs, for example, as well as Anuradha Chenoy, ex-dean of India’s Jawarharlal Nehru University and an important representative of global civil society networking, have given interviews to the TV station Russia Today (RT). The channel has been blocked across the Union for Russian war propaganda in the wake of EU sanctions. Sachs also answered questions from Russian TV host and war advocate Vladimir Solovyov in December 2022. Solovyov has often called for attacking Germany and Great Britain as well.”

The “Press Club Concordia” also explained that the problem was that Jeffrey Sachs might do an interview on Russian media.

Not only is diplomacy shunned, but speaking to members of the media with whom one disagrees is equated with advocating whatever those journalists have advocated. This can only contribute to distrust, enmity, and war without end.

Not only did the venue say it was doing the wishes of the Ukrainian embassy, but the Ukrainian ambassador to Austria tweeted that peace activists were the fifth column and henchmen of the Russian government.

And who created the idea that the whole world must obey the wishes of the government of Ukraine? The government of the United States — a country where little time passes these days without news of some event cancelled to fulfill the wishes of the government of Israel.

Further, “Noam Chomsky, who will speak at the summit via video, for example, believes that NATO has ‘marginalized’ Russia for too long.” Whether that fact is in dispute, or merely the acceptability of stating it out loud, was not explained.

“Also physically present in Vienna, according to the program, should be Clare Daly, an Irishwoman and member of the EU Parliament and the parliamentary group Die Linke. Daly also spoke repeatedly to RT about the West’s ‘complicity’ in the war in Ukraine. She believes the sanctions are wrong: they would not harm Russia and would not help Ukraine. In the EU Parliament in early 2023 voted against a resolution holding Russia legally responsible for the war. Daly said she does support those parts of the text that condemn Russia for the invasion and call on the government in Moscow to immediately cease all military action and withdraw from Ukraine. However, she said she opposes providing weapons to Ukraine and expanding NATO’s presence in the region.”

So, opposing both sides of a war is just as unacceptable as opposing one side, in the view of these censors.

This is where we have arrived. Proposing to negotiate peace — without even suggesting what those negotiations should arrive at — is so unacceptable to proponents of war, that it cannot be discussed — not in any large gathering. And yet, despite the wars being waged in the name of “democracy” it is not clear how such censorship is driven by democracy or in align with democratic values. Nor is it clear how many steps, if any, remain between the varieties of censorship we have now and hardcopy book burnings of the past.

(Editor’s note: We were informed on June 13 that “the websites for the International Peace Bureau and the Peace in Ukraine summit were hacked the day after the conference but should be up and running soon.”)