Peace and sustainable development are connected and interlinked. There isn’t any sustainability if there are inequality, injustice, oppression, exploitation, fossil energy consumption.
And there isn’t any peace without sustainability. Common security and sustainable development is the paradigm for getting peace and a shared future.
For this reason our role and our responsibility as trade unions, have to take in account this paradigm: peace is not an optional engagement if we want to fight for human and labour rights, as for the UN 2030 Agenda.
Now, we are living in a very complicate moment: the global system is producing crisis, inequalities as never have had in our history, the planet is suffering and close to collapse…. And the war with nuclear risk is already with us, in Europe. Every war is the failure of politics. It is states and international institutions inability to enforce legislation and international law. But we cannot be overwhelmed by these failures and go along with the logic of war, military escalation, increasing of military expenditures, cutting social ans sanitary budgets, etc. etc.. In every war the first victims are civilians, workers, women, elderly, loss of life that can never be recovered.
But it is even worse when you consider that in every war there are those who make business and increase their profits, a few who increase their wealth and many who increase their suffering, injustice and poverty.
We must stop this cynic game. This game is part of a wrong global model that is concentrating wealth in a few hands and disseminate exploitation and destruction among the majority of the world’s population. Yes, the war is an option, it’s a tool inside this frame.
This logic, which accepts war as a tool of politics to produce wealth and prosperity for the few, is one of the most terrible evils of humanity that we still have not managed to eradicate. Despite the tragedies of the two world wars of the 20th century and the use of the atomic bomb in Nagasaki and Hiroshima. Despite the constitution of the United Nations, wanted precisely to eliminate the risk of new armed conflicts in the presence of weapons of mass destruction that could put an end to the human experience on earth.
Today we are once again involved in a war in Europe and with the risk of an accident or the outbreak of a nuclear war. It is politics that has failed. People do not want wars and they do not want to starve their neighbours.
Let us be clear that it is Russia that has violated international law and the UN charter by invading a sovereign state. And Russia will have to answer for the 9 months of war, to date, and the Ukrainian people have the right to defend themselves. But the solution cannot be weapons, war in response to war. War is not the solution. War is the problem.
We must commit ourselves and demand of governments, national parliaments, regional institutions and the United Nations that a cease-fire be imposed on the parties in order to immediately implement the diplomatic and political route, and negotiation between the parties. We must have the courage to get out of the logic of war that has been imposed on us by a cultural, social and economical model based on the domination of one side over another in the name of its own supremacy and security.Only if we address the current situation with the force of reason and the tools of diplomacy and non-violence will we be able to build a system of common security, cooperation and pacification.
If we are able to talk to the oppressed Russian population by sending signals of cooperation, assistance and solidarity against the oppressor regime, we will build the basis for co-existence between peoples in Europe and beyond.
The problem is not only with Ukraine, but with the entire region and the countries that border the Russian Federation.
We have a duty, if we want to build peace and coexistence among the peoples of Europe and the planet, to build relations and solidarity among peoples based on what unites us; mutual respect, access for all to human rights, sharing the planet.
The CSOs, Trade Unions that have universal human rights and labour rights at heart must be actorsof peace, and when a war or a violation of human rights looms, it must be able to respond by putting the protection of people’s lives and rights first, and bring the conflict back into the fold of the instruments of international institutions and norms. Mobilizing, promoting alliances, weaving relationships, building dialogue, rebuilding trust and solidarity.
In Italy we are working hard sending humanitarian aids to our partners in Ukraine but in the same time we are working with a huge alliance of civil society promoting mobilization for stopping the war and for a Europe of peace.
We are calling for a European campaign, all together, trade unions, NGOs, local authorities, churches, students with the aim to be able to organize a European Peace Conference, asking for an immediate ceasefire and the negotiations among the parties leader by UN.
The first European action will be “Christmas Time for Peace” calling a mobilization in the European cities from the 24th of December to the 7th of January, among the catholic and protestant and the orthodox Christmas.