American Friends Service Committee
Pat Farren, Founding Editor
2161 Massachusetts Ave.
Peacework has been published monthly since 1972, intended to serve as a source of dependable information to those who strive for peace and justice and are committed to furthering the nonviolent social change necessary to achieve them. Rooted in Quaker values and informed by AFSC experience and initiatives, Peacework offers a forum for organizers, fostering coalition-building and teaching the methods and strategies that work in the global and local community. Peacework seeks to serve as an incubator for social transformation, introducing a younger generation to a deeper analysis of problems and issues, reminding and re-inspiring long-term activists, encouraging the generations to listen to each other, and creating space for the voices of the disenfranchised.
Views expressed are those of the authors, not necessarily of the AFSC.
Statement from Nobel Peace Laureates
Participants in the November 2004 Summit in Rome included: Mikhail Gorbachev, Kim Dae-Jung, Lech Walesa, Joseph Rotblat, Jose Ramos-Horta, Betty Williams, Mairead Corrigan Maguire, Carlos Filipe Ximenes Belo, Adolfo Perez Esquivel, Rigoberta Menchù Tum, and representatives from the UN Children's Fund, Pugwash Conferences, International Physicians for the Prevention of Nuclear War, International Peace Bureau, Institut de Droit International, American Friends Service Committee, Medicins sans Frontieres, Amnesty International, UN High Commissioner for Refugees, International Labour Organization, and International Campaign to Ban Land Mines.
We are gravely concerned with the resurgent nuclear and conventional arms race, disrespect for international law, and the failure of the world's governments to address adequately the challenges of poverty and environmental degradation. A cult of violence is spreading globally; the opportunity to build a culture of peace, advocated by the United Nations, Pope John Paul II, the Dalai Lama, and other spiritual leaders, is receding.
Only by reaffirming our shared ethical values -- respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms -- and by observing democratic principles, within and amongst countries, can terrorism be defeated. We must address the root causes of terrorism -- poverty, ignorance, and injustice -- rather than responding to violence with violence.
Unacceptable violence is occurring daily against women and children. Children remain our most important neglected treasure. Their protection, security, and health should be the highest priority. Children everywhere deserve to be educated in and for peace. There is no excuse for neglecting their safety and welfare.
The war in Iraq has created a hotbed of dangerous instability and a breeding ground for terrorism. Credible reports of the disappearance of nuclear materials cannot be ignored. While we mourn the deaths of tens of thousands of people, none of the goals proclaimed by the Coalition have been achieved.
The challenges of security, poverty, and environmental crisis can only be met successfully through multilateral efforts based on the rule of law. All nations must strictly fulfill their treaty obligations and reaffirm the indispensable role of the United Nations and the primary responsibility of the UN Security Council for maintaining peace.
We call for the reduction of military expenditures and for conclusion of a treaty that would control the arms trade and prohibit sales of arms where they could be used to violate international human rights standards and humanitarian law.
As Nobel Laureates, we believe that the world community needs urgently to address the challenges of poverty and sustainable development. Responding to these challenges requires political will that has been sadly lacking.
The "undertakings" pledge by states at the UN Millennium Summit, the promises of increased development assistance, fair trade, market access, and debt relief for developing countries, have not been implemented. Poverty continues to be the world's most widespread and dangerous scourge. Millions of people become victims of hunger and disease, and entire nations suffer from feelings of frustration and despair. This creates fertile ground for extremism and terrorism. The stability and future of the entire human community are thus jeopardized.
Scientists are warning us that failure to solve the problems of water, energy, and climate change will lead to a breakdown of order, more military conflicts, and ultimately the destruction of the living systems upon which civilization depends. Therefore, we reaffirm our support for the Kyoto Protocol and the Earth Charter. We endorse the rights-based approach to water, as reflected in the initiative of Green Cross International, which calls upon governments to negotiate a framework treaty on water.
As Nobel Peace Prize Laureates, we believe that to benefit from humankind's new, unprecedented opportunities and to counter the dangers confronting us there is a need for better global governance. Therefore, we support strengthening and reforming the United Nations and its institutions.
As immediate specific tasks, we commit to work for:
Genuine efforts to resolve the Middle East crisis. This is both a key to the problem of terrorism and a chance to avoid a dangerous clash of civilizations. A solution is possible if the right of all nations in the region to secure, viable statehood is respected and if the Middle East is integrated in all global processes while respecting the unique cultures of the peoples of that region.
Preserving and strengthening the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty. We reject double standards and emphasize the legal responsibility of nuclear weapons states to work to eliminate nuclear weapons. We call for the continuation of the moratorium on nuclear testing pending entry into force of the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty, and for accelerating the process of verifiable and irreversible nuclear arms reduction. We are gravely alarmed by the creation of new, "usable" nuclear weapons and call for the rejection of doctrines that view nuclear weapons as legitimate means of war-fighting and threat preemption.
Effectively realizing the initiative of
the UN Secretary General to implement the Millennium Development
Goals. We pledge to work to create
an atmosphere of public accountability to help accomplish these
vitally important tasks.
We believe that to solve the problems that challenge the world today, politicians need to interact with an empowered civil society and strong mass movements. This is the way toward a globalization with a human face and a new international order that rejects brute force, respects ethnic, cultural, and political diversity, and affirms justice, compassion, and human solidarity.
We pledge to work for the realization of these
goals and are calling on governments and people everywhere to