European Network for Peace and Human Rights Launch Conference,
European Parliament, Brussels
31 January/1 February 2002


Final Communiqu©

We come from many different countries, municipalities and organisations. We
recognise that all of us live in a world of fear and insecurity. We hold in
common the belief that the first aim in all disputes should be to find
solutions which build and secure peace, guarantee human rights, and protect
the environment.

A better world is possible. We call for new concepts of security, nuclear
disarmament, welfare not warfare, education for peace, and peaceful means
of overcoming conflict through a reformed and strengthened United Nations.

But we face a turning point. We are in a situation where the greatest
military and economic power on earth has declared war on its enemies as it
perceives them. This it has done with the support of most European
Governments. We express our profound sympathy for all victims of terrorism,
including state terror. But war cannot be the way to defeat terror. The
United States has shown itself ready to unleash the most prodigious weapons
of destruction against human beings and their means of livelihood. It is
extending its power from land, sea and air into space and information to
achieve what its commanders call "full spectrum dominance", at the same
time that it pressures others to support its actions.

We refuse to do that, and call upon our fellow Europeans to join with us in
our refusal to become accomplices in such a development.

We have special responsibilities in Europe to work for peace, for the
dissolution of NATO rather than its expansion, and for peaceful development
instead of the militarisation of the European Union. This is not only
because of our relative wealth, but also because of our history of internal
warfare and external aggression.

We have now established a European Network for Peace and Human Rights, and
look forward to its extension. We recognise the growing movements of
protest throughout the world, many of them represented at our founding
convention - peace workers, anti-nuclear and anti-militarist activists,
environmental campaigners, religious groups, women's movements, labour
movements, relief agencies, fair traders, indigenous peoples'
organisations, human rights and other political organisations, including
all those who have joined in protest at the corporate globalisation of
trade, services, culture and the resurgent military-industrial complex.

We ask them to join together with others in resistance to military
solutions and in the search for peace and global justice. Peace, democracy,
and a safe environment are necessary for the world our children will
inherit: war is waste and waste is the greatest environmental crime;
democracy depends on free and unlimited discussion, and on the full
participation of women, men and youth; allocation of resources that gives
more to the military than to health and education prevents justice. It is
for these reasons and more that it is necessary to create a movement for
sustainable peace and justice.

As a matter of urgency, we strive to:

Open a dialogue with the many movements in the United States working for
peace and seek an exchange of delegations;

Create an active dialogue with peace and human rights movements in the new
war zones of the Middle East, opposing violence and injustice throughout
the region of West Asia and Northern Africa, including Israel's occupation
and settlements in the West Bank, Gaza Strip, East Jerusalem and other Arab
territories; and to support the immediate enforcement of the Fourth Geneva
Convention as an essential first step towards a just and lasting peace, as
well as the Palestinian people's inalienable right to self-determination
and independent statehood;

Give support to those movements campaigning for peace in South Asia;

Give support to prisoners of conscience; and to those campaigning for the
right to conscientious objection to military service and taxation;

Strengthen and reform the United Nations system, which could be the best
answer for Europe and a uniting factor in the struggle against United
States hegemony without being anti-American.

Strengthen our links with the World Social Movement, currently meeting in
Porto Alegre in Brazil, in its opposition to global militarism and support
for human rights, sustainable development and democracy.

To further these ends we are establishing a representative liaison
committee to draw up detailed plans, find the necessary resources, and
propose co-ordinated actions throughout Europe.

Brussels, 1 February 2002


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