|Archive Photo: WPC anti-NATO rally in Brussels.|
The Assembly took place in an iconic country whose people fought and defeated like only few other peoples, all-powerful adversaries such as the Japanese empire as an invader, the French colonialists who occupied Indochina and the American imperialists who slaughtered the country with over 3 million victims and with consequences to this day .
After the meeting of the outgoing Executive Committee on November 21, which reviewed the work done by the EC in the last years and the preparations for the Assembly to start, all international delegates paid homage to the historical revolutionary leader Ho Chi Minh at the Mausoleum and visited the premises where he lived and worked. On the same day, 22nd November, a briefing session about Vietnam was held in which the President of the Vietnam Union of Friendship Organisations (VUFO) Ambassador Nguyen Phuong Nga, made a presentation of the achievements, progress and challenges Vietnam is facing today, on national and international level. Many questions were answered along with short interventions by guests were made.
The session of the Assembly began on 22nd November with the welcome speech of the Vietnam Peace Committee by its President Uong Chu Luu, former vice-Speaker of the National Assembly of Vietnam, who saluted all participants on behalf of the host organisation, stating the historical importance of the XXII Assembly of the WPC for the first time on Vietnamese soil, wishing success and fruitful outcome to its deliberations. Thus, the VPC President declared the opening of the WPC assembly.
The Assembly continued with the speech of the outgoing President of the WPC, Socorro Gomes who underlined: “It is a great honor to return to this country, where its heroic people upholds a fruitful work in search of economic prosperity and social development, the consolidation of their independence, opening new pages of progress, performing a sovereign role in the world. We reiterate our full solidarity with their constructive efforts and, once more, condemn those who caused the colonialist war that left tragic and indelible consequences. Here, criminally, weapons of mass destruction were used, like Agent Orange, which caused prolonged and damaging consequences for the country. But the Vietnamese people were able to achieve their liberation and rebuild their nation, which demonstrates their revolutionary character. Socorro Gomes stated in her speech furthermore: Humanity lives a troubled time, marked by chronic economic and social crises for which it finds no solutions, surrounded in contradictions and political and military conflicts, militarist escalation, wars that are spreading and intensifying the threat of a nuclear hecatomb. This conjuncture brings complex challenges to the organizations that struggle for world peace, social justice, the peoples’ rights, and equality between the nations”. Socorro Gomes concluded her speech by stating: “Facing this complex and challenging scenario, the World Peace Council is called upon to play a uniting, organizing and mobilizing role to confront the militarist forces causing wars, interventions and coups, and to move forward, in the struggle for peace and the peoples’ emancipation This struggle will require from us ever greater clarity of purpose, spirit of unity, initiative, and militancy, to open a clear path in this historical crossroads where humanity finds itself.”
During the presentation of the Report of the outgoing General Secretary, Thanassis Pafilis, who, thanked the Vietnam Peace Committee on behalf of the WPC and expressed the undivided solidarity of the WPC to the heroic people of Vietnam, he noted: "In the years that have passed since the 21st Assembly of the WPC in Sao Luis, the WPC developed multifaceted action in conditions of tension of imperialist aggression, heightened rivalries between monopolies and states that give rise to wars, in conditions of the intensity of capital's attack against the working class, the peoples, the youth, in conditions of a capitalist crisis that worsens the lives of the people for the profits of the few, of those who steal wealth from the many who produce it". He highlighted the rich actions of the WPC against the imperialist plans of the USA - NATO - EU, the solidarity actions for the people of Palestine, Western Sahara, Cuba, Venezuela, but also for the people of Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria, and Libya that were the victims of the long-standing imperialist wars of interventions by the US, NATO, the EU and their allies.
Referring to recent developments, after condemning the imperialist war in Ukraine, he noted: "The recent NATO Summit in Madrid in June 2022 reviewed, renewed and accelerated a series of decisions from previous years. This war machine is increasing its aggression even more through the NATO 2030 strategy and the New Strategic Concept that it is preparing for the next year. Old and new pretexts, such as hybrid threats, cyber security and the so-called climate crisis, the energy crisis, etc. are mobilized to pave the way for new interventions. The WPC participated in the mass demonstration of June 26 in Madrid, with its own distinct presence. (....) The NATO 2030 Strategy foresees the strengthening of the military means of the alliance, but also its technological modernization, its planned expansion around the world, its enlargement with new members, but also the development of partnerships with dozens of states, the formation of ready combat units, the integration of Sweden and Finland, the sending of troops to Eastern Europe, around Ukraine. This is what the creation of 30 infantry units, 30 naval units and 30 aviation units aims at, which, being fully equipped, have the ability to intervene within 30 days on any front chosen by NATO. NATO forces are spread across the globe, from Afghanistan and the NATO protectorate of Kosovo to the Baltic, the Caucasus, the Mediterranean, the Black Sea and Africa."
With reference to the role of the European Union, Thanassis Pafilis highlighted its further militarization in order to more effectively serve the needs of European monopolies, through its Global Strategy, but also its "Strategic Concept", so that it can operate both autonomously and in addition to NATO ,a fact recorded, among others, by the establishment of the Permanent Structured Cooperation (PESCO), the European Initiative for Interventions, etc., within the framework of the Common Security and Defense Policy (CSDP).
Concluding, he noted "Despite the negative correlation of forces and the militarization of international relations, we are optimistic that the anti-imperialist peace movement is gaining strength and our Assembly is such proof that we are holding high the flag of anti-imperialist struggle and solidarity."
The opening ceremony of the XXII assembly of the WPC was also attended by Ambassador Nguyen Phuong Nga, President of the Vietnam Union for Friendship Organisations (VUFO), which contributed decisively to the success of the Assembly. The special chief guest of the opening was Tran Thanh Man Standing Vice-Chairman of the National Assembly (Parliament) of Vietnam and member of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of Vietnam, who welcomed warmly all delegates to Vietnam and to the Assembly. As per decision of the President of the Socialist Republic of Vietnam Nguyễn Xuân Phúc, the Supreme Order of Friendship was awarded to the World Peace Council and separately to Socorro Gomes, Thanassis Pafilis and Iraklis Tsavdaridis, for their contribution to the anti-war, anti-imperialist, peace movement. The order was awarded by Tran Thanh Man in a very emotional fraternal ceremony.
During the rich and diverse program of the 22nd WPC Assembly, the international delegates were received by the President of the Socialist Republic of Vietnam, Nguyễn Xuân Phúc, the local authorities of Hanoi, the Chairman of the Central Committee of the Fatherland Front of Vietnam Do Van Chien, as well as by officials of the Vietnam Peace Committee and the Vietnamese Union for the Friendship of Peoples (VUFO), who were the hosts of the events. The international delegates had also the opportunity to visit the Quang Ninh province where one of the most emblematic sites is situated, the Halong Bay whereas all international guests enjoyed the marvelous environment and local hospitality.
During the Assembly and after the presentation of the five regional reports, a rich discussion took part in which more than 50 delegates and guests took part. The greetings speeches of five International Organisations and structures were conveyed by their representatives such as Rafael Cardino, member of the Presidential Council of the World Federation of Trade Union (WFTU), Aritz Rodriguez, President of the World Federation of Democratic Youth (WFDY), Annie Raja, Vice-President of the Women International Democratic Federation (WIDF), Jun Sasamoto, Member of the Bureau of the International Association of Democratic Lawyers (IADL) and Corazon Valdez from the Asia-Europe Peoples’ Forum (AEPF).
After the organizational and financial reports the 22nd Assembly of the WPC elected its new Executive Committee (EC) consisting of 40 organizations. At its first meeting, the new Executive Committee elected a 13-member Secretariat, consisting of movements from the following : All India Peace& Solidarity Organisation (India), Greek Committee for International Détente &Peace (Greece), Portuguese Council for Peace & Cooperation (Portugal), U.S. Peace Council (USA), South African Peace Initiative (South Africa), Palestinian Committee for Peace &Solidarity (Palestine), Cuban Institute for the Friendship of the Peoples(Cuba), Cyprus Peace Council (Cyprus), Syrian National Peace Council (Syria), Sudan Peace& Solidarity Council (Sudan), Brazilian center for the solidarity of the peoples and struggle for Peace ( Brazil), Nepal Peace &Solidarity Council (Nepal) and Japan Peace Committee (Japan).
During the first session of the new EC, Pallab Sengupta on behalf of the All India Peace and Solidarity Organization (AIPSO) was elected unanimously as the new President of WPC, while Thanassis Pafilis and Iraklis Tsavdaridis were re-elected unanimously to the posts of General and Executive Secretary respectively, representing the Greek Peace Committee (EEDYE). Words of thanks and appreciation were expressed by Iraklis Tsavdaridis and Thanassis Pafilis about Socorro Gomes for the 14 years of contribution and service to the WPC as its President.
The Executive Committee appointed also five Vice-Presidents from respective number of regions, namely: Elisa Salvador, President of the Angolan League for the Friendship and Solidarity of the Peoples (LAASP), Alfred Marder, President of Honor of the U.S. Peace Council (USPC), Uong Chu Luu, President of the Vietnam Peace Committee (VPC), Milan Krajca, Chairman of the Czech Peace Movement (CMH), Jamshid Ahmadi, Coordinator of the Association for the Defense of Peace, Solidarity and Democracy, Iran (ADPSD)
During the meetings of the Executive Committee of 21st and 24th November the following five (5) new Member Organisations were affiliated to the World Peace Council:
- Tunisian Council for Peace and Solidarity
- Kuwaiti Peace and Solidarity Committee
- Network of Struggle for Peace & International Solidarity, SOLI Puerto Rico
- Western Sahara Peace Council
- Solidarwerkstatt Austria
The Assembly of the WPC discussed and unanimously approved a political declaration.
“We Strengthen the Anti-imperialist Struggle and Solidarity
for a World of Peace and Social Justice”
22nd World Peace Assembly 2022 – Political Declaration
The 22nd Assembly of the World Peace Council, held in Ha Noi from 22nd to 24th November 2022, hosted by the Viet Nam Peace Committee, in which 108 delegates and guests from 58 organizations from 53 countries participated, concluded with the adoption of the following declaration:
The World Peace Council held with pride its 22nd Assembly in November 2022 in Viet Nam, in a land that is renowned for its heroic people who, for many decades, resisted and successfully defeated the hegemonic, colonial, and imperialist forces that invaded and destroyed their country, killing millions of people. In particular, the Assembly took note of the ongoing consequences of the toxic “Agent Orange” used by the US military in the US war against Viet Nam, with continuing consequences for new generations up until today. The Assembly expressed its wholehearted solidarity with the families of the victims and demanded rightful compensation and relief from the US companies and authorities which bear responsibility.
In a period of deep and ongoing systemic economic, social, and ecological crisis, the world is facing new dangers and threats to peace resulting from increasing imperialist interference and aggression. Humanity is facing the serious danger of a generalized war of global dimensions. However, this is also a time of new struggles on the part of the peace-loving peoples of the world to counter and stop the pro-war tendencies. We need to recall past lessons from historical struggles and strengthen and unite all peace forces in a strong mobilization against the “enemies of peace”, with the aim of preventing new tragedies from occurring in the future.
The timing of the WPC Assembly was “affected” by the COVID-19 pandemic and could not be held in 2020. More than 4.5 million people on the planet lost their lives and hundreds of millions were infected. The unequal and unjust access to and distribution of the medicine and vaccines necessary to save lives in the different continents, and within each country, underlines once more the mechanisms and tools used in a world dominated by capital and imperialism. At the same time, solidarity actions and efforts undertaken by various countries to combat the effects of the pandemic should be valued, as is the case of Viet Nam and Cuba, among other examples.
The six-year period since the last WPC Assembly in Brazil has been rich with activity and struggle. During the first half of this period, the WPC and its member organizations in the various continents promoted and participated in street actions and demonstrations, seminars, debates, congresses and regional meetings among many other initiatives. These were intense moments for reflection, sharing opinions and experiences, in all of which we firmly held high the flag of peace and anti-imperialist solidarity. Through penetrating analysis of the main threats to peace, and by proposing clear tactics aimed at the widest possible unity, we helped to strengthen the broad movement for humanity’s most noble ideals. In this process, we have strengthened our WPC with new members and friends, as well as our convictions, our hope and our confidence in the peoples’ will to move forward and achieve a world in which peace, sovereignty, democracy, and social justice will triumph. During the second part of this period, due to the health pandemic, the WPC and its members were forced to adjust their ways of working to the conditions and many of our activities were held on virtual basis. Nevertheless, the WPC “restarted its engines” in November 2021 and held regional meetings and undertook regular activities up to the 22nd Assembly.
During this period, the WPC reaffirmed its firm commitment to strengthening the international mobilization for peace, as an international organization struggling for peace and against the root causes of imperialist wars, misery, hunger, and exploitation, as well as advocating for a new international order based on peace, equitable and sustainable development, social justice, and solidarity.
After the dissolution of the USSR and the overthrow of socialism in the of Central and Eastern Europe and the fundamental change in the international balance of forces, the world faced a huge setback in which the great democratic and social achievements of the post-war period (including decolonization and national independence; social, economic and cultural development; and the expansion of the international rule of law in areas such as peace and sovereignty and other important principles of international relations established in the UN Charter and international law) were systematically and aggressively weakened from the 1990s. During this period, imperialist forces intensified their drive to impose and maintain their dominant position in the world while fiercely competing for a bigger share of markets and spheres of influence.
The current international situation demonstrates that imperialism pursues and intensifies its policy of threats, blackmail, sanctions, blockades, and aggression, trying to prevent the sovereign development of the peoples, including their right to determine for themselves their own path of development, all matters relating to the sovereign use of national resources and the pursuit of an independent foreign policy.
Since the last WPC Assembly, we have witnessed an increased level of imperialist aggressiveness and heightened arms race, the reinforcement and expansion of NATO and the appearance of new military alliances, ongoing plans to control the Middle East and its resources; the destruction and partition of Libya by NATO into different protectorates serving the imperialist powers and their regional allies; and the imperialist intervention in Syria, with the aim of overthrowing the legitimate government, which failed, but kept the country under a multi-part occupation — in the Northeast by the US and its allies, in the Northwest by Turkey, and in the Golan Heights by Israel. All the while, the above forces are “recycling” and utilizing fundamentalist armed mercenaries for their plans in Libya, Yemen, and other countries, along with the creation and promotion of the “Islamic State” and others, as assets in the imperialist plan for destabilization and fragmentation of the region.
Throughout this time, colonization, ethnic cleansing, and terrorism by the State of Israel against the Palestinian people has continued. With the open support of US and UK imperialism, and the complicity of the EU, new provocations were added: attacks on the Palestinian Gaza Strip; movement of the US embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem; the Israeli “National Law,” which is further discriminating against non-Jewish citizens in Israel, establishing an “Apartheid-like state;” the expansion of settlements in the Palestinian West Bank; cuts to resources for UNRWA; and the closure of the PLO office in Washington D.C. All the above are continuing under the Biden-administration in the USA.
A very serious situation has developed in and around Ukraine in recent years. After the coup within Ukraine in 2014, which brought successive reactionary governments into power (including Nazi forces), the population of the Eastern provinces of Donbas was for eight years brutally attacked and bombed by the regime in Kiev with the support of the US, UK, EU, and NATO. More than 14,000 people lost their lives by 2022, while a massacre took place on 2nd May 2014 in the Ukrainian city of Odessa, in which anti-government protesters were set on fire and brutally executed in the Trade Union Building of the city — events which the WPC denounced in 2014.
The war in Ukraine did not start on 24th February 2022 when the Russian army started its military action in that country. In previous years, NATO had developed its plans to extend its reach and encircle Russia militarily in a belt from the Artic and the Baltic Sea to Bulgaria, together with deployment of troops and Missile Defense Shields in Poland and Romania, US withdrawal from major disarmament treaties and the carrying out of military manoeuvres and diversified provocations along the borders of Russia, particularly from 2020. After attacking countries in Europe, Asia and Africa, NATO targeted Russia openly, tried to demonize its leadership, and promoted anti-Russian hysteria and hatred. A long time before the war broke out discussions were already underway about the affiliation of Ukraine to NATO.
The peoples of Russia and Ukraine were living peacefully together in the framework of the USSR, where the fraternal bonds and unifying spirit of the Soviet Union led its peoples to great social, scientific, and economic achievements. The disintegration of the USSR, despite the referendum of 1991, which was overwhelmingly in favor of maintaining the USSR, led to the restoration of capitalism and acute social problems and setbacks. Control was taken everywhere by the privatized corporations and big monopolies in all sectors and political life. We reject the anti-Soviet and anti-communist political campaigns, particularly the rhetoric about the Bolsheviks and the October Revolution, who allegedly organized a “Red Coup”, the result of which was the creation of Ukraine, clearly showing the nature of the forces that are ruling in the former Soviet Union.
From the first moment in 2014 until today, the WPC has not endorsed the war in the Ukraine. We are committed to the just cause of the peoples who must live peacefully together in control of their resources and lives. The WPC Secretariat took a position on 25th February, which we reiterate, by calling for the end of hostilities, the peaceful settlement of differences by dialogue and negotiation, and denouncing NATO’s expansionist strategy. Never before were so many modern and sophisticated weapons delivered to one country than have been given by NATO countries to Ukraine. They are increasingly fuelling the war. The WPC is troubled by the rhetoric pushing for use of nuclear weapons, which would lead to a new World War and the destruction of humanity. The WPC took and continues to take a principled position, based on international law, including for respect of the right of the peoples to sovereignty and independence and for the peaceful solution of international conflicts and for non-interference in the internal affairs of states. The WPC does not accept any unilateral recognition of territories and borders, which thus far has been used, and can be abused in the future, by imperialist powers in other corners of the world.
We express our serious concern about the continuing suffering and loss of innocent lives during the war in Ukraine. In addition to the people of Ukraine and Russia, with thousands of casualties and destruction, the conflict is deepening, with much political manipulation, double standards and a growing “Russo phobia” by the West and NATO that does not cease in its efforts to expand its military and hegemonic domination at European and world level, while the peoples of Europe and the world are at the same time paying a high price for this war. We reject the economic sanctions by the US and EU against Russia, and we denounce vehemently the “games” played to replace Russian Natural Gas by US Natural Liquid Gas (NLG). These are not only fueling the profits of the US, UK, and EU monopolies but also impoverishing masses of people through the soaring prices of electricity and heating and the price-hiking of food. At the same time, we demand the immediate end of the war in Ukraine and call upon the parties to resolve all issues through peaceful negotiation.
The implementation of US military strategy that targets Asia & Pacific, including China, is reaching new levels. Increased global military spending, which reached more than two trillion USD in 2021
,militarization of the planet and space and new developments in nuclear “defense” and weapons technology, which have increased their threat levels, are of great concern. Imperialism has intensified interventions, including coups, to halt and reverse the democratic, sovereign economic and social achievements in many areas of the world. The new reactionary military treaties such as the “Quadrilateral Security Dialogue (QUAD)” between the USA, India, Japan and Australia and the agreement between the US, UK, and Australia (AUKUS), in addition to the existing US military treaties with Japan and South Korea, are increasing the threats and dangers to peace and security in the region and are clearly aimed at China.
The United States' doctrine of “full-spectrum dominance” defines its global orientation and combines dismantling sovereign countries in the Middle East, confronting the expansion of the emerging economy of China, and promoting openly full-scale war against Russia, as overtly demonstrated by NATO. This reflects fierce rivalry and NATO’s strategy of creating a comprehensive “wall of containment” against Russia which extends through the Balkans and Eurasia. It is an action led by NATO, the UK, and the EU, which have been expanding their war machine and seeking the incorporation of former USSR republics into NATO.
However, the world situation is characterized not only by threats to peace, but also by the growing movements and struggles for a world of peace and justice. As we have witnessed, peoples’ movements in different parts of the world are playing ever more important roles in the defense of peoples' rights, their right to self-determination and sovereignty. Recent examples are the huge demonstrations against NATO during its Summit in Madrid (June 2022) in which the WPC participated, the massive protests and actions against the old and new US/NATO military bases, and the demonstrations for peace and against NATO in many countries.
As an organization and movement struggling for a cause that concerns all of humanity, we feel connected to the hardships affecting the majority, the deprived and oppressed peoples all over the world, imposed by an unjust socio-economic system. The current threats of war are directly related to the wide range of multi-dimensional crises affecting the world. The dominant economic system increasingly shows its exploitative and oppressive nature
,in the contradictions between those owning capital and those dispossessed. In addition to economic and financial aspects, the systemic crisis also affects energy resources, food, and the environment.
As the exploitation of workers, employees and peoples intensifies, the liquidation of workers’ rights is extended and policies of cutting public spending result in the deterioration of education, health and other public services that are essential for social well-being. The crisis is deepening social polarization and inequalities in the distribution of wealth and manifests itself as particularly destructive.
The reality before our eyes also shows that imperialism instigates reactionary, obscurantist, anti-democratic, and anti-communist conceptions, and instrumentalizes extreme right-wing, xenophobic, fascist forces to attack freedoms, rights, democracy, and sovereignty.
While the all-around crisis is escalating and the peoples’ struggle for their rights, for development and progress, for protection of the environment, an end to poverty and hunger, and a just world, the US-UK-EU, together with their military alliance NATO, continue with their commitment to militarist policies in preparation for war. According to a report of the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI), in 2021, 2.2% of the world’s GDP was spent in the military sector, indicating a return to the tendency of escalating military expenditure which had previously been briefly interrupted. In other words, in 2021, the world spent US$ 2,113 trillion in this sector. The US was the single highest spender, with US$ 801 billion, more than double that of the second highest spender, China, which spent US$ 293 billion, while NATO countries accounted for over 60% of total global military expenditure. Only a small portion of this global military spending would be enough to eliminate hunger, lack of clean water, and curable diseases from the world.
Despite contradictions and given the EU and its militarization as the European pillar of NATO or in its complementary to this political-military bloc, the EU launched the «Permanent Structured Cooperation», the «European Defence Fund», the «European Defence Industrial Program» and the « European Interventions Initiative» for developing the weapons industry and funding for battle groups, among other warmongering initiatives. This EU-UK step up in militarization also aims to respond to US demands for a greater European military expenditure within NATO, with European member states spending at least 2% of GDP by 2024.
Europe was one of the regions most affected by the economic and financial crisis during recent years. The European Union, as a political and military structure dominated especially by Germany and France, imposed, together with the governments of the member states, a brutal offensive against social rights and the national sovereignty of its peoples, a process that led to national ruin in many countries. The impoverishment of broad masses, the dismantling of social rights and achievements, and the growing unemployment that have been promoted by EU and national government policies, are accompanied by huge profits for big capital and the monopolies. Efforts for peace are bound together with solidarity with the peoples of Europe in their struggle to build another Europe of peace, cooperation, progress, and social justice, where the peoples will be in control of their wealth and of their fortunes.
For over 48 years, 37% of Cyprus’s territory has been under illegal Turkish occupation in violation of UN resolutions. The WPC reaffirms its solidarity with the Cypriot people in their struggle for a just, viable and sustainable solution for Greek Cypriots, Turkish Cypriots, Armenians, Maronites and Latins, with the withdrawal of all occupation forces, and all military bases and personnel. The WPC supports the effort for a reunited Cyprus — people, land, and economy — a Cyprus free from custodians and guardians, in a bi-zonal and bi-communal federation with one sovereignty, one citizenship and one international entity, as is provided for in UN resolutions and high-level agreements. At the same time, the WPC rejects and denounces the efforts to affiliate Cyprus to NATO and the use of its ports and facilities by the US and NATO.
The millions of refugees and migrants from Syria, Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya, and other African countries are the result of imperialist policies and wars, of which these people are victims. The same forces causing the wars are showing their hypocritical concern about the consequences by applying the Schengen and Dublin agreements. The WPC strongly denounces the EU bilateral agreements with Turkey, Libya and Morocco, and the offensive actions of EU agencies which often prevent by force the movement of people towards Europe. These agreements are in violation of the UN Convention on the Status of Refugees 1921. We defend the right of refugees to go to the destination of their choice. The WPC supports the struggle of Lebanese people for the liberation of their land occupied by Israel and for control of their oil and gas resources in the sea and on land. The WPC expresses its solidarity with the Syrian people in their struggle against all imperialist and terrorist aggression and demands the withdrawal of Israeli forces from the Golan Heights
Israel’s aggressive and imperialist policy in Palestine is continuing through multiple actions: the expansion of settlements, the theft of lands, and apartheid-like policies. The WPC reiterates its solidarity with the Palestinian people’s heroic struggle against the Israeli occupation and genocidal policy, which subjugates them to a cruel form of colonialism. We defend the Palestinian people’s sovereign right to constitute their independent and sovereign state, within the borders prior to 4th June 1967, with its capital in East Jerusalem, and the refugees’ right to return to their homeland, in accordance with United Nations’ Resolution 194. We demand the dismantling of all Israeli settlements in occupied Palestinian territory and the demolition of the separation wall, as well as the liberation of the 7000 Palestinian political prisoners in Israeli jails — including over 300 children. We call for the recognition of the Palestinian state as a full member of the UN and for the governments of UN member states urgently to recognize the State of Palestine.
After 20 years of occupation of Afghanistan by the US and NATO, and after two trillion USD was spent on perpetuating its foreign military presence, the US left the country after handing over power to the Taliban, their supposed enemy, who are reinstalling religious fundamentalism and a reactionary and theocratic regime that suppresses secular forces, parties and trade unions, especially victimizing women and children.
We express our solidarity with the people of Iran and their struggle for social, political, and civil rights, and social justice and strongly denounce the recent repressive actions of the security apparatus against women, youth and working people. The WPC supports the right of women in Iran and around the world to make decisions about their own personal and social lives, and matters, including decisions about what they wear. We oppose the use of the above by Western powers to trigger “velvet revolutions” and to their taking advantage of such phenomena for their own agenda. We unequivocally reject any foreign intervention in Iran, including crippling economic and banking sanctions that harm the Iranian people the most. It is only up to the people of Iran, and they alone, to decide on their lives and future. We strongly oppose any interference in the internal affairs of any country of the region, including Iran. All the countries of the region and their peoples can resolve any differences between them through dialogue, diplomacy, and political process, without the intervention of foreign powers.
The WPC calls for making the Middle East a nuclear-weapons-free zone. To this end, it is urgent to abolish the nuclear weapons of Israel, which is the only nuclear state in the region. We strongly denounce US and Western hypocrisy in exerting pressure on Iran while keeping quiet on Israel’s possession of nuclear weapons.
The African continent continues to be a target of the big powers and regional players’ neocolonialist and aggressive action, as demonstrated by the destruction of the Libyan state. Besides France’s military presence in about ten countries of the continent (including, but not limited to, participation in UN operations), US troops are also turning Africa into their experimentation lab. The presence of the US Africa Command (AFRICOM), the military drills, and the installation of military bases, often in cooperation with the EU and NATO, reveal that the African continent is also a target of various powers and their warmongering policies. Africa was hit by strong economic impacts deriving from the crisis caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, having little or no access to vaccines from the developed countries. Africa also suffers the impact of terrorism, transnational crime, and armed groups that, despite peace missions in their territory, are ever-increasing phenomena.
The occupation of Western Sahara by Morocco is a flagrant example of injustice, national oppression, and violation of International Law. It is an abhorrent expression of colonialism — Western Sahara is the last colony in mainland Africa — which is contrary to the tendency of the current historical epoch toward achievement of national emancipation, independence, self-determination, and sovereignty. The WPC supports the right of the Saharawi people to determine their destiny through a free and fair referendum under the auspices of the UN. As opponents of colonialism, we defend the Saharawi people’s right to seek decolonization through the independence of the Saharawi Arab Democratic Republic (SADR) — a member of the African union which is already recognized by many countries — as a form of national liberation of the Saharawi people. We demand the release of all Saharawi political prisoners from Morocco’s jails.
We salute the Japanese people, especially the Ryukyu people and the people of Okinawa, in their struggle against US military bases in their country, including Okinawa, and against the government's plans for Japan's re-militarization. We reiterate our firm position on the abolition of all nuclear weapons, remembering always the nuclear crime committed by the US in bombing Hiroshima and Nagasaki causing a nuclear holocaust.
The intensification of joint military maneuvers by the US and its allies is responsible for the escalation of tensions with the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, in and around the Korean peninsula. The continuing US mobilization of its allies to impose sanctions, pressure, and military threats against the DPRK is causing the existing volatile situation to deteriorate further. This should be solved through diplomatic means, through the withdrawal of the 28,000 US troops from Korea, the closure of the Missile Defense Shield (THAAD), and the signing of a genuine Peace Accord in place of the of the 1953 “Armistice Agreement.”
The WPC is concerned about the growing tension and militarisation in the South China Sea, which is a serious threat to peace, stability, freedom, and the safety of navigation and the air space above this region. We object to the use of force to impose or expand unilateral control over these important international waters as well as to military escalation by any party from within or outside the region. The WPC supports peaceful resolution, bilaterally and multilaterally, of all disputes in accordance with international law, particularly the UN Charter and the 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS 1982).
Although the US aggressive war in Indochina ended nearly five decades ago, its legacy continues to pose serious obstacles and danger to Laos’ national development, especially to agriculture, the livelihood of the people, and the development of infrastructure, as well as to investment programs in the UXO (Unexploded Ordnance) contaminated areas. The clearance of UXO will take a long time and require huge resources. In this regard, the World Peace Council expresses its support for and solidarity with the brave Lao people and demands the appropriate compensation and measures to end this problem by those who have created it.
South Asia has become a major flashpoint in respect of the relations between India and Pakistan, both nuclear powers, which are deteriorating to a new low. Cross-border terrorism and frequent breaches of the line of control increase the risk of a full armed conflict. The growth of religious fundamentalism and sectarianism further add to this danger. As part of US imperialism's objective to create an Asian version of NATO, India has been co-opted by means of a military and strategic partnership with the US, to share military bases and facilities.
The WPC considers the presence and actions of the 7th US Naval Fleet in the Pacific Ocean along with its hundreds of military bases as a threat to peace and the security of nations and demands their withdrawal and removal.
We express our solidarity with the more than 1.4 million Rohingya refugees who were forced to leave Myanmar for Bangladesh, resulting in an unprecedented humanitarian crisis. We demand that Myanmar and the UN create the conditions for immediate reparation of Rohingya refugees from Bangladesh with full citizen’s rights, security, and dignity. We also demand a stop to atrocities committed by the military on minority communities in Myanmar.
The WPC condemns US actions and provocations around Taiwan with the recent high-level visit of the members of the US Congress and efforts to provoke a situation of conflict with the PR China. We reaffirm our principled position of adherence to the “One China Policy” and against foreign interference in the domestic affairs of China. Likewise, we denounce the provocations of imperialists regarding alleged religious or minority issues, which are being used for the purpose of destabilizing the country economically and politically.
US imperialism has always considered Latin America and the Caribbean as its “backyard” and has been acting accordingly by trying to impose or influence political developments in the area in favor of the interests of its multinationals, based on its “Monroe Doctrine.” The 4th US fleet and the US military bases in the region are serving this purpose and are used to control markets and plunder the region’s raw materials. The construction of a Southern Command military installation in Neuquén (province of Argentina) implies an alarming risk to the peace of the continent. The WPC denounces the US usage of the “war on drugs” pretext to interfere in the internal affairs of the region.
The WPC follows with interest the struggles of the peoples of Latin America and the Caribbean and supports any progress by popular forces that deepen the social and economic achievements based on solidarity and national sovereignty. This process has provided an effective arena for contributing to peace. We underline the importance of the Proclamation of Latin America and the Caribbean as a ‘Zone of Peace’ adopted at its CELAC Summit in 2014, in Havana. The World Peace Council expresses its solidarity with the Latin-American and Caribbean peoples in their struggle for a society with social justice and freedom. It is a struggle in which the peoples and their political and social organizations, and the governments that defend the peoples’ interests, face the most powerful forces in the world.
We underline the Cuban Revolution’s heroic victory in its battle of more than sixty years’ duration facing US imperialism’s aggressive and criminal blockade. The WPC supports the Cuban people’s struggle for an end to the criminal economic, financial, and commercial blockade and demands that Cuba be removed from the list of countries that sponsor terrorism, as well as the return of the territory illegally occupied by the US naval base in Guantanamo. The people of Cuba and its government have proved in recent years once more the ability and determination as well as moral superiority by their extraordinary achievement in combating the COVID-19 pandemic through the development of several of their own efficient vaccines and the internationalist service and help to dozens of peoples across the world.
The WPC extends its full solidarity to the people of Puerto Rico in their struggle for independence from the US and for self-determination. Likewise, the WPC expresses its solidarity with the people of Argentina in their legitimate right to sovereignty over the Malvinas, Georgia, and South Sandwich Islands, which are under British control. It is necessary to warn that these islands, like other territories, are frequently turned into US-NATO military bases.
In Latin-America, the struggle in defense of Venezuela’s Bolivarian process is ever more relevant, in the face of the constant threats of destabilization, sanctions and interferences of local oligarchies in collusion with the US and EU imperialism. We express our solidarity with the Venezuelan anti-imperialist forces and with the Committee of International Solidarity and Struggle for Peace (COSI) and demand the release of all political prisoners of imperialism.
The WPC congratulates the Brazilian people for the victory achieved in October, thanks to the firm and brave mobilization of progressive and democratic forces in Brazil. In this context, the rise of fascism is a reality in many regions of the world and the victory of the Brazilian people gives new impetus to the anti-imperialist struggle in Latin America and other continents.
The WPC supports an end to all forms of foreign military presence through MINUSTAH in Haiti and its replacement by civil, humanitarian support. The Haitian people have been determined in their struggle to overcome the repeated natural and human-made disasters of colonialism that have resulted in the destruction of Haiti’s physical and political infrastructure. The WPC restates its support for the struggle of the Haitian people for genuine self-determination and rejects all calls for intervention by force in Haiti which are being championed by the US and its imperialist allies. We also continue our support for the Haitian people’s claims for reparation for the damages of colonialism and slavery at current value.
In the Arctic, the circumpolar countries — including the US, Canada, Russia, Sweden, Norway, Finland, and Denmark — are involved in an escalating military build-up, which is contributing to the ratcheting up of global tensions. These developments also threaten the fragile and delicate natural environment of the Arctic, as well as the indigenous communities there. As a result of the melting of the polar ice cap, the scramble to extract resources from the ocean floor and to dominate and control newly accessible shipping routes in pursuit of profit is set to escalate. This will in turn intensify rivalries and the militarization of the Arctic, with devastating consequences for peace and the protection of the global environment. The WPC condemns this drive to exploit and militarize the region and supports the call for a new international treaty on the Arctic, to include strong measures to prevent the wanton exploitation of resources in this sensitive region and to declare the Arctic as a zone of peace.
Throughout the world, colonialist and genocidal practices against indigenous peoples continue. This is deeply bound up with the drive for greater corporate profit, particularly by the resource extraction industries, and the imperialist drive to control ever greater territory. At the same time, an increasing number of struggles around the world for peace, human rights and environmental justice are being initiated and led by indigenous peoples. Inspired by our longstanding commitment to anti-colonial struggle, the World Peace Council expresses its deep solidarity with the struggles of indigenous peoples around the world, for their cultural, national, territorial, political, and economic rights.
Seeking to secure its dominance over the world, the US maintains over 800 military bases and thousands of military sites in more than 100 countries, where it stations 350,000 soldiers equipped with the most sophisticated weaponry, war planes, missiles, and warships. This represents 90% of all foreign military bases in the world and includes US bases throughout every continent and region; the remainder of foreign military bases belong to other powers. The WPC demands the closure of all foreign military bases in the world as a matter of principle.
In addition to maintaining military bases across the world, the US seeks to dominate seas and oceans by deploying its seven powerful naval fleets and controlling outer and cyberspace through innumerable satellites, spy crafts, radar and surveillance stations and communications networks. The WPC demands an end to such actions and calls for the total demilitarization of space. The renewal and the expansion of the Mutual Defense Cooperation Agreement between the US and Greece, which turns not only Greece but also the Eastern Mediterranean into a war zone, puts the people in grave danger. We call for the intensification of the peoples’ struggle for disengagement from and dissolution of NATO; for the closure of all the military bases of the US-UK-EU-NATO and we say no to imperialist military missions abroad targeting other people.
NATO’s expansion is one of the most pressing issues on our agenda. This powerful military organization constitutes the armed wing of imperialism and includes 30 member states in North America and Europe and maintains diverse partnerships with dozens of countries in all continents. Since 1991, NATO has expanded its numbers and has broadened its framework and area of operations to encompass the world, including the Asia-Pacific region, revealing its fundamental role as imperialism’s primary tool for world domination. NATO is the great enemy of peace and of the peoples of the world. From the time of its foundation in 1949 as an offensive military alliance, it has always prepared to intervene. NATO’s expansion and provocations are directly responsible for destabilization, tension, violence, and war. The recent affiliation of Finland and Sweden is adding fuel to an already explosive situation.
At its Summit in Madrid in June 2022, NATO officially and publicly declared, with the unanimous agreement of its member states, that it maintains the right to make a nuclear first strike and is ready to do so, announcing that NATO is at war with Russia. We condemn the colonial control maintained of the Malvinas, Georgias, and the South Sandwich Islands, where NATO has military bases.
The struggle against NATO is part of the platform upon which the peoples and social and political organizations that advocate for peace, social justice and progress, mobilizing for the disengagement of NATO states from this imperialist war machine and calling for its dissolution worldwide. Achieving this goal is one of the World Peace Council’s main priorities.
The World Peace Council concludes its 22nd Assembly in Ha Noi confident in its growing strength as an anti-imperialist organization that is capable of uniting broad forces in the struggle for peace and in solidarity with the peoples. This conviction is based on the rich record of activities that the WPC has undertaken and achieved. Since the 2016 Assembly in Brazil, the WPC has promoted and developed campaigns and global actions in all regions of the world. It has mobilized social forces and movements against military interventions in sovereign countries, Coups d’ État, conventional and non-conventional wars, militarism, and nuclear weapons. Building on these activities constitutes the basis for further strengthening the WPC.
Today, given existing weaponry, a new war of unprecedented proportions, more destructive than the two world wars of the 20th century, can only have one outcome - the destruction of humanity as we know it. It is therefore more urgent than ever before to defend such principles as the peoples’ right to self-determination, national sovereignty, and independence; non-interference in the domestic affairs of states; peaceful resolution of international conflicts; an end to all forms of national oppression; disarmament; the dissolution of political-military blocs, and cooperation among the peoples and countries for a world of peace and emancipation and for humanity’s progress.
Global capitalism’s relentless drive for profit results in devastation of the natural environment through depletion of resources, pollution of the land and water, and global climate change. This indiscriminate destruction ruins the lives of billions of people, displaces millions around the world, and threatens the survival of the entire human race. The bulk of the environmental crisis has been caused by the economic activities of the richest countries, which refuse to bear their full share of responsibility.
The WPC, in accordance with its character, does not support wars for forced redistribution of natural resources, markets and spheres of influence amongst big capitalist powers for their geopolitical interests, attempting to change borders and impose their rule over the peoples, including by means of violent regime change, through controlling the corporate media and manipulation of peoples’ ability to access information and analysis. We denounce the foreign debt and the conditions that are imposed on the people as a great obstacle to peace and to facing up to climate change, as well as preventing the exercise of sovereign policies for the well-being of the people.
The peoples of the world have mobilized in defense of their rights and sovereignty. The WPC condemns institutional violence and criminalization against those who exercise their right to protect their rights. We also demand the freedom of all political prisoners. We will not be bound by the imposition of any imperialist agenda of national oppression or exploitation and will continue to resist and reject its instruments of war and domination, such as NATO, nuclear weapons and military bases, fleets and exercises the world over.
Strengthening the WPC is a key to the strengthening of solidarity between the peoples. The alliance between our members and our coming together with movements and friendly organizations are essential for promoting our united struggle for peace, justice, popular and national sovereignty, common progress, and a world free of occupation, oppression, colonialism, exploitation, imperialism, and war. This is what we stand for and will continue to work for.
The spirit of our era is the affirmation of the peoples’ will to take their destinies into their own hands. Developing the struggle for peace, democracy and justice is an inevitable tendency. Anything that contradicts this tendency is the manifestation of intolerance and oppression, the imposition of force against rights by the imperialist and military powers, and interventionism and war over the peoples’ sovereign will, all of which deserves condemnation by all who stand for peace.
The World Peace Council is called upon to play an important role in this struggle and in strengthening this drive for progress. Since the time of its foundation, the WPC has been an international organization that embraces the broad convergence of all movements that are struggling against war, nuclear weapons, militarism, and imperialism in general, and violation of the rights of peoples and nations. We are happy to announce that the deliberations and decisions of the 22nd Assembly in Ha Noi, Viet Nam, have provided us with more determination and impetus in our efforts towards further strengthening the WPC and the entire peace movement.
The World Peace Council expresses its deep gratitude to the Party, the Government and People of Viet Nam, particularly to the Viet Nam Peace Committee and the Viet Nam Union of Friendship Organizations for their generous support and hospitality in hosting the XXII WPC Assembly. We congratulate the Vietnamese people for their great successes in building socialism in their country. The WPC reiterates its unwavering solidarity with and firm support for the course of national independence and socialism of the Vietnamese people.
- It is with these convictions that the delegates to the XXII WPC Assembly in Ha Noi, national member organizations of the WPC and our friends, have adopted resolutions and motions that push forward broad unity of action for peace, democracy, social justice, and anti-imperialist solidarity among the peoples, for a world of Peace and Social Justice!wpc-in.org