World Social Forum comes closer to heaven

(Thanks a lot Tord for this article. Do please change one more sentence: “a working group has been set up to start a permanent assembly calling itself World Assembly of Struggles and Resistance of the WSF” should be: A permanent assembly has been set up, calling itself.. etc)

Two significant renewals of the World Social Forum process is now taking place. In February 2022 Asia Pacific Forum took place primarily on the net with a base in Bangkok. This was a meeting in its own right but also an attempt to build strength towards organizing a WSF in the Asian region. In September 2022 a seminar took place in Tunis on how to make the WSF process more effective for movements to converge and make decisions while maintaining the open space character of the WSF as a whole. This by creating a permament assembly of movements thus making it better prepared and able to follow up on desicions made. The two initiatives are now building a momentum together to revitalize the World Social Forum process.

One result is that the next World Social Forum (WSF) 2024 is planned to take place close to the top of the world in Nepal. Supported by movements all over Asia Nepalese organizations have presented a well a politically and practically plan for the International Council of WSF. It was supported by all present at the International Council of WSF meeting 16th of February.

The speakers were presented by Meena Menon from India who stated that the proposal was supported of the people who are in the Asia Pacific Social Forum process from Philippines, Malaysia, Korea, South Asia. The political motivation was presented by Anselmo Lee from South Korea. He started by stressing the present multidimensional crisis facing movements. The Ukrainian war and military tensions in East Asia, the ecological crisis with flooding and other emergencies, national conflicts as in Myanmar, energy and food crisis and shrinking civic space. He continued by stating that all Asian issues are global while also remembering the good results that came out of the Asia Social Forum in Hyderabad 2003 and WSF in Mumbai 2004. He also pointed at the way the Asian movements use other global processes taking place in Asia to promote WSF as G20 in India, Climate COP 28 in Dubai and UN 5th LDC (Least developed countries) conference in Doha. A convergence of movements are needed and Asian movements feel confident in that they have something to contribute to global solidarity.

This was followed by three speakers from Nepal, Udhab Pyakurel, Arjan K. Karki and Netra Prasad Timsina. They presented both political and practical reasons for having the WSF in Nepal. Venues and lodging capacity as well as how civil society in Nepal and neighbouring countries support the initiative were addressed. Social forum came late to Nepal, the first national social forum was held in 2018. Together with the ASF and WSF in 2003 and 2004 held in good memory and recent Asia Pacific Social Forum there is a growing interest in the world social forum process. One argument for Nepal is that the country is one of the few in Asia open for such an event. Finance is not yet secured but contacts have been made and with the IC decision to support the plans for a WSF in Nepal funders can be approached. There will of course still be many problems to solve. How can gender balance be achieved, how can the relations with the government develop well, and how can participation be fruitful for all regions in the world.

But one aspect is already clear. Probably better than anytime before have the visa problem been so easy to solve, one of the greatest obstacles to hold meeting in many parts of the world, especially the EU and North America. The country at the foothills of the highest mountains in the world have one of the most generous visa procedures in any country. You can get visa upon arrival accept for the following countries were you have to apply in advance: Nigeria, Ghana, Zimbabwe, Swaziland

Cameroon, Somalia, Liberia, Ethiopia, Iraq, Palestine, Afghanistan Syria according to the immigration authorities:

So in many ways WSF is on its way to heaven opening its doors to more countries than ever, being politically well motivated by movements from a whole continent and the Himalayas with the Newar, Pahāṛī, Tamang, Sherpa, Magar, and other peoples used to live close to the sky.

Meanwhile a working group has been set up to start a permanent assembly calling itself World Assembly of Struggles and Resistance of the WSF. A set of principles have been formulated in this self organized building on the decision made in the WSF International Council in early December 2022:

“The IC recognizes the initiative of a World Social Assembly (name to be confirmed). It recognizes that this is an autonomous process and that it can count on the support of those who make it up. A committee will be created to define its rules and to invite other movements that are not part of the IC to be part of its committee and of the assembly itself.”


“The IC affirms a consensus on the general process of the WSF which includes 1) The process of the WSF centralized events, the autonomous process of the World Social Assembly (name to be confirmed), the thematic forums, the continental and local forums”.

The assembly initiative is inspired by the WSF Charter of Principles adopted in Porto Alegre in 2001. It respects the principles and values mentioned in the WSF Charter of Principles, especially the values of its democracy, its transparency, its pluralism, its diversity, its equality and its solidarity. It wants to contribute positively to the global struggle against a political, economic and social system based on capitalism and neo-liberalism, inequality, gender, racial and religious discrimination and wealth accumulation, environmental destruction, militarism and patriarchy. It promotes peace and justice, human rights, and respect for nature and all forms of life.

The assembly can organize events, in total independence from the IC, and without limiting itself to the WSF agenda, which is the prerogative of the IC, to promote its principles and values and to articulate the actions of organizations that share them. It is composed of members who declare themselves in conformity with this charter of principles and values and with the missions mentioned in point . It speaks on its own behalf, not on behalf of the IC or the WSF, on key political, economic and social issues. It will do so in a democratic and transparent manner, preferably with the consensus of all its members, if not with a qualified majority. It may support regional, national or thematic events that are consistent with this Charter. The assembly shall adopt a communication policy to ensure the widest possible dissemination of its actions and have a secretariat for its daily work. The assembly meets regularly, including in case of emergency to take exceptional decisions and maintains regular and cooperative contact with the WSF International Council.

The assembly working group have started two initiatives. One is supporting the International Summit for Peace in Ukraine Vienna/Austria, June 10th/11th 2023. Under the slogan Peace by peaceful means is the goal to publishan Urgent Global Appeal, called the Vienna Declaration for Peace, calling on political leaders to act in support of a ceasefire and negotiations in Ukraine.Inviting Organizations are International Peace Bureau, CODEPINK, World Assembly of Struggles and Resistance of the WSF, Transform Europe, Europe4Peace, and International Fellowship of Reconciliation. Among local organizers are AbFaNG (Action Alliance for Peace, active Neutrality and Non-violence), ÖGB – Österreichischer Gewerkschaftsbund, and Internationaler Versöhnungsbund – österreichischer Zweig-,

The other initiative is to promote discussions on movement strategies on the global situation. These can be regular bringing movements together at national, regional or global level. They can also start by asking global movements what we can learn from them and what the assembly can offer to them. A third possibility is to ask a small number of intellectuals, one from each continent, to update our common understanding of the state of the world in which movements can act. Especially important are movements connecting the local to the global both ways.

So while WSF is on its way to get close to the highest mountain on Earth and an assembly is challenging global movements to take part in a permanent process there is also the will to bring back the hindsights to the local level and daily life again. A hope for breathing together in an open space while also gather strength by converging our forces in the work here and now for another world.

Tord Björk

Member of the International Council of WSF for Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam


Community Regeneration for Alternatives in Sweden

– a view from historic and synchronic perspectives

By Tord Björk

Thorsten Laxvik, Small peasant and chairman of local slaughter house cooperative, Edsele in the Ångermanland province. Text: We have to recreate an agriculture where famer and cow live in symbiosis and where the need for input is minimal.

Is it possible to look at the issue of regenerating alternatives from both a historic and synchronic perspective? The following is an attempt of doing this in a way that is maybe not so common, placing the present interest in Sweden in a longer more than 200 years perspective while at the same time attempting at situating what is going on in a global present context.

This is written several weeks after the presentation was made on July 16 at the ”Climate Change, Global Crises, and Community Regeneration, 8–17 July 2020” session of the Seventh South-South Forum on Sustainability SSFS7. Thus it may differ from the contribution made then, the main content is hopefully the same.

Continue reading

News from Ukraine on Facebook

Peace for Ukraine is a reasonably impartial news agency for the Finnish Peace Committee (in English, and on Facebook). As far as we know, there are few who are so well-informed on the spot and down to the smallest detail. See

Examples of news so far in April:

4.4. News of a child killed in Aleksandrovskaya is probably not reliable since the photo was taken in 2016.

4.4. The news of the killed child has been sent to the OSCE for investigation.

3.4. A man has been arrested in Barnaul, Russia, on charges of planning to blow up a mosque on behalf of a nationalist organization with Ukrainian roots.

3.4. The article by Anatol Lieven, see yesterday’s post on Activists for Peace

3.4. Villages near Gorlovka are said to be under fire, two houses hit.

2.4. The United Nations Human Rights Office calls on Ukraine to invest in better protection of healthcare workers.

1.4. A house in Aleksandrovka belonging to a family helping the Peace Committee has been shelled.

1.4. Detailed article on 160 US military personnel in Ukraine taken from

1.4. Aleksandrovka shelled again. The news passed on to the UN human rights organization.

Anatol Lieven: Again, Washington jumps to conclusions over Ukraine-Russia skirmish

Anatol Lieven writes on “a very dangerous pattern in U.S. and Western behaviour: to believe whatever “our” side in a given crisis tells us, automatically, and without checking facts”:

To repeat the vital point that I made in an article for Responsible Statecraft last month, if Ukraine goes to war with Russia, Ukraine will lose, and the United States and NATO will not fight to save her. The consequences for Washington will be deep humiliation, and Russia will be driven into the arms of China. So the duty of the Biden administration, the CIA, the State Department and the media is clear: find out what is really happening in the Donbas and then use that knowledge to help craft a strategy for preventing a new conflict, not inflaming one.

See further

Anatol Lieven is a British author, Orwell Prize-winning journalist, and policy analyst, currently serving as a professor at Georgetown University, visiting professor at King’s College London, and fellow at the New America Foundation.

Credit to the Finnish facebook group Peace for Ukraine,, for finding the article.

Some more exploded claims of Russian disinformation

Matt Taibbi, American journalist associated with Rolling Stone among others, has made a list of 25 accusations for “Russian interference” or “Russian disinformation” which, on closer inspection, turn out to be false. See

Among them are stories of close contacts between Trump and Russian agents, Hilary Clinton’s allegations of Russian cyberattacks, FBI allegations of other cyberattacks, etc etc, which have been widely reported in the media.

It is certainly possible, even probable, that Russia engages in such things, as all other states do. Says Taibbi. But surely it is telling that the false accusations are so abundant? If there were plenty of genuine ones, it would not be needed.

Who watches the disinformation-watchers?

Asks Canadian professor of Russian history, Paul Robinson. This because of the sometimes quite hysteric campaigns against ”disinformation”, which are not always scrupulous about the disinformation they spread.

Particularly when the ”disinformation” is told to come from Russia; then it for some reason tends to be even more hysterical.

Prof. Robinson concludes, concerning a rather affected article in the Canadian daily The Globe and Mail:

Continue reading

No to racism, anti-Semitism, the production of enemy images and the distortion of history!

By Federal Working Group on Europe – Attac Germany, and
Federal Working Group on Globalisation & War – Attac Germany.
Not yet on their website.

Declaration on the anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz

On 27 January 1945, Auschwitz was liberated by the Red Army. The camp was part of the murder system of German fascism and since then has been a symbol of the Holocausts singular crime against humanity towards Jews. Auschwitz also stands for all the other human beings “whom National Socialism systematically murdered or had intended to exterminate,” as is stated in the Remembrance Day Act of 1996, Sinti, Roma, disabled people, Soviet prisoners of war, countless civilians from Eastern Europe, who in the extermination camps were degraded to “subhumans”, enslaved and murdered. This must never be forgotten and must be a reminder to today’s generations for vigilance against all tendencies that led to Auschwitz, which is particularly important at the moment in view of the appalling extent of inhuman ideologies and rightwing terrorism. For these reasons we are actively engaged in the fight against racism, anti-Semitism, Islamophobia, right-wing extremism neo-fascism and social inequality.

Never again fascism, never again war!

We are concerned that the lessons of the past are increasingly fading or are even being instrumentalised for other purposes. Already the ruthless misuse of Auschwitz to justify the international war against Yugoslavia in 1999 by the then Foreign Minister Joschka Fischer was a shocking relativisation of the Holocaust. This led with the secession of Kosovo to the first border change by military force in Europe since 1945. Simultaneously, NATO’s eastward expansion destroyed the opportunities for a zone of security and cooperation from Lisbon to Vladivostok. Long before the Ukraine crisis, Russia had already been stigmatised once again as an enemy. Currently, we are witnessing a similar stigmatisation of China, and at breathtaking speed the stage is being set for a Cold War 2.0. At the same time, the enemy image of Islam – an extremely useful enemy image for the wars in the Middle East and North Africa is being constructed.
Weapons, arms production and armies are necessary prerequisites for war. A major driving force of violence under capitalist conditions is the worldwide hunt for raw materials and ever new sources of profit. War is then the continuation of profit maximalisation by military means. However, the willingness of a population to engage in confrontation and war also depends on the corresponding enemy images.

Enemy images – ideological basis for confrontation and readiness for aggression

Enemy images are characterised by a simple, binary world view. The enemy is portrayed as completely evil while “we” are the good guys. At present, media reporting on Russia and, more recently, China are basically following the same pattern. The nuances between absolute evil and good are faded out. Over time, the images of the enemy become entrenched.

A typical outcome of this, in connection with the Russian Corona vaccine, is expressed by the daily DIE WELT “Even if a Russian product can hold its own in international competition, the stamp of being Russian is and will remain a stigma.” (4.11.2020; S. 10). The implications of such a statement becomes fully apparent when one imagines that instead of Russian, American or even Israeli were used instead.

Most major media are part of this dynamic. Whenever it is about “external enemies”, they often engage in state supporting coverage and seldom, if at all, ask critical questions. Unverifiable statements by secret services suddenly become sources of unquestioned truth. The most recent examples are the grotesque orchestrations of the Skripal and Navalny cases.

No image of the enemy without an idealised self-image

The image of the enemy is always accompanied by an idealised self-image. We are the good guys, the bad guys are the others. The formula is then often emotionally underpinned by patriotism. But since patriotism is quite rightly discredited in this country, there are more and more attempts to package the matter as European patriotism.

Those who prefer not to talk about patriotism speak rather of “European” values. But this too amounts to Eurocentric superiority thinking. Of course, values like democracy and human rights – including those of second generation human right such as economic, social and cultural rights – have universal validity as normative guiding principles. But it is precisely this universal validity that is undermined when it is applied
selectively in international relations and exploited for geopolitical interests.

Compared to Saudi Arabia, Russia is in a very different position when it comes to democracy and human rights. Nevertheless, close economic, political and military relations are maintained with Riyadh while Cold War is waged against Moscow.

Falsification of history

Part of the enemy and self-image fabrications has always been an aspect of the politics of history, i.e. the manipulation of historical truth. We are shocked to see that the EU also falsifies the history of the Second World War with its more than 70 million dead, 27 million of them Soviet citizens. For example, in the declaration “The importance of remembering the European past for the future of Europe” by the European Parliament of 19.09.2019, in which the Second World War became a joint undertaking of both Hitler and Stalin. This is a scandalous relativisation of the German responsibility for the war. Similar falsifications can
also be found in Commission and Council documents.

The history of the Second World War has been thoroughly researched and documented. The evidence that Hitler was aiming for war from the outset in order to reverse the results of the First World War and subject Eastern Europe for “the master race” and “the people without space” is overwhelming. The chain of evidence stretches, among other things, from his book “Mein Kampf” and the delusion of the Jewish-Bolshevik world conspiracy, to the massive rearmament after 1933, the intervention of the “Condor Legion” on the side of the troops of the fascist General Franco against the elected government in Spain 1936-1939, the annexation of Austria in March 1938, the occupation of the Sudetenland in October 1938, which France and England had agreed to in the Munich Agreement, he destruction of Czechoslovakia up to the decision to invade Poland in May 1939. Germany’s sole guilt was also clearly proven at the Nuremberg Trials.

One does not have to be a historian to realise that the claim in the EU Parliament’s resolution that Hitler and Stalin had set the course for the Second World War absurdly distorts the prehistory of the war.

Peace policy instead of Cold War

Against the backdrop of the dramatic upheavals in the international system, the renewed increase of nuclear war due to the termination of arms control agreements and new technologies – key words: digitalisation, hypersonic weapons, drones – as well as the global challenges posed by pandemics, increasing poverty and also increasing wealth, climate crisis and the loss of biodiversity, a new Cold War is sheer madness. Peaceful coexistence, confidence-building measures, international law and human rights, international cooperation and disarmament measures are prerequisites for mastering global problems.

Required is broad solidarity-based, anti-racist and anti-fascist alliances in the struggle against inequality, privatisation, militarisation and surveillance, as well as for a strengthening of fundamental rights and resolute environmental and climate justice.

27 January 2021

Declaration from the Assembly of Social, Peace and Environmental Movements of the WSF 2021

As we start a new decade, the global Covid-19 pandemic continues to claim lives, and devastate economies globally. The impacts of the virus and the worsening climate emergency are increasing social inequalities everywhere. Fighting both crises is the fight for survival of humankind, our lives and our livelihood, for decency and humanity. This year is crucial to address both crises.

In the past popular movements have put forward the need for a system change; they have improved the lives of millions, especially of the marginalized majorities. For example, the labor, women’s, social justice, anti-slavery and anti-racism, liberation, peace, youth, environmental, ecological, peasant and indigenous movements have many times achieved with their struggles historical changes.

Today we need to join our forces to forge an even stronger movement because on top of the old problems caused by harmful relations between humans and nature, capitalism, patriarchy, racism and colonialism we are faced with even greater challenges. The deep and multi-faceted crises of today are characterized by extreme concentration of wealth and power, precariousness of work and livelihoods, failures of the public health system, authoritarian and many times militaristic response to the Covid pandemic and manipulation by the old and new information technologies.

Solutions can only be found and implemented by articulating the different regional and territorial levels of action: from the grassroots to the global. Changes should come from below, supported by people and their organizations. In this context we have to realize that all our different thematic areas of specialization are inter-connected: peace cannot be achieved without the protection of the environment and economic relations cannot be restored without social justice; the environment cannot be preserved without a radical change in the social imaginary and peace cannot be achieved without social justice and the transformation of our monetary system. Otherwise the one-sided power and profit motive would harm the interests of all.

That’s why we are committed to building a broad-based movement for social, ecological, economic, and political transition with intersectional equality, recognizing the rights of the Earth, nature and community participation democracy as core values. By binding the different initiatives together we want to address the concerns of common people and everyday life in order to prevent humankind from experiencing devastation by wars, hunger and ecological catastrophes.

Local initiatives in both rural and urban communities that enable local populations to take control of land, housing and other resources are important. This gives access to making a living enabling a buen vivir, a good life. Such initiatives are food sovereignty and agroecology, mutual aid to help each other in both times of crisis and in a better future both in the countryside and the towns and to build democratic economic forms of cooperation to strengthen local economies.

In order to achieve this, the movements participating in the World Social Forum 2021 have decided to establish, for the coming future, a GLOBAL AGENDA OF COMMON ACTIONS, starting with mobilizations at the end of April and in the first weeks of May demanding Universal Disarmament for Social Justice and an Ecological Transition, highlighting the following demands:

1. A universal cease fire in all military conflicts, a radical reduction of all military spending, a general nuclear disarmament and a radical reduction on big per capita energy consumption.

2. Protection of life everywhere through free access to Covid-19 vaccines and medicines as well as equal, quality health services for all. Fight against corporate patent rights that leads to a sort of health apartheid. Promotion of community-based solutions to the pandemic. Protection of wildlife to prevent new virus and future pandemics to emerge.

3. End austerity, especially shrinking public services, social security and welfare, and abolish the illegitimate debts, private and public, in the global South as well as in the global North!

4. Stop the commodification of commons, water, animals, plants,food, water tables, woods, rivers, lakes, beaches, minerals, but also of working conditions, education, health, culture and nature!

5. Economy must respond to the legitimate needs of individuals and not profit. Therefore: no to unjust free trade agreements. Promote transformative economy, fair trade and mutually beneficial international agreements instead of so-called “free trade” sell-outs and investment regimes that benefit investors and rich countries. 

6. No to inciting nationalist identity fears and to proliferation of racist or religious hate-speeches and xenophobia, and against scapegoating enemy images which have led to a new Cold War scenario! No to sanctions as an economic tool for military actions. 

7. Stop repression by states and private militias of social movements and defenders of territory, nature and human rights, respecting the democratic right to dissent peacefully. Condemn and demand justice for the murders of environmental and rights activists.

8. Promote ecological democracy and participation in the community and the right to self-determination for all peoples, including comprehensive empowerment, e.g. by developing food based on sovereignty and agroecology, especially of indigenous communities, women, and all oppressed peoples!

9. Give particular attention and support to the migrants by creating sanctuary cities all over the world and special commissions on a regional level to protect their right to mobility.

10. Democratize spaces for science and technological research, cultural cultural expression in arts, sciences, and traditional healthcare, including abolition of intellectual property and patent regimes.

11. Create a social and ecological transition by dignifying the life of small farmers, craftsmen and industrial workers, establishing a mutually beneficial relationship between rural and urban economies. Develop and harness sustainable renewable energy technologies under democratic governance.

12. We advocate for the right of all peoples to sovereignty and self-determination, particularly of the Saharawi people and the people of Palestine.

13. We urgently need an international supply chain law that obligates multinational corporations to enforce labor law, social and ecological standards.

14. Full solidarity with activists facing repression everywhere, in the West     and the East, the North and the South! 

In particular we want to suggest to all movements participating in the World Social Forum 2021 and all others around the world to form an action period for peace, social and ecological justice and transition, from 17 April to 1 May.

17 April – International Peasant Struggle Day,

22 April – International Mother Earth Day,

26 April – International Chernobyl Day

30 April – Global Days of Action on Military Spending (GDAMS) including International Anti-Military Base protests,

1 May – International Workers’ Day: For socially just and dignified work

In the tradition to oppose the Davos forum, we call for 15 May a day of action for universal mobilization for the right to health and social protection to counteract the neo-liberal agenda of the World Economic Forum convening 25-28 May in Singapore.

We suggest also that we continue to combine efforts further on such occasions as:

8 March International Day for the Rights of Women

7 April – World Health day

5 June – World Environment Day,

6 August – Hiroshima Day,

28 September – International Safe Abortion Day,

2 October – International Day of Non-Violence, Gandhi’s birthday,

7 October – World Day of decent work,

16 October – UN food day

20 November – National Day of Black Awareness in Brazil

29 November – International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People.

Besides the action days and weeks, we commit ourselves to build together organizations and networks that pursue the common causes expressed in this declaration. We especially welcome continued coordination of popular educational cooperation to support the Global Agenda for Common Action. We also welcome old and new initiatives to converge on all levels from local neighborhoods to global networks. We are ready to unite in diversity and play the historical role our times demand.

Adopted by the undersigned organisations and participants of the Assembly for Social, Peace and Environmental Movements at World Social Forum 2021.

30 January 2021

Signed by 


06600 Plataforma Vecinal y Observatorio de la Colonia Juárez, Mexico
Activists for Peace, Sweden
AFAPREDESA – Association of the Families of Sahrawi Prisoners and Disappeared, West-Sahara
AlfaQuebec Projetos Sociais – Grupo Sistemas Complexos e Inteligência Coletiva, Quebec, Canada
Alliance of Labour and Solidarity (former Czech Social Forum), Czech Repubilc
Association des Familles des Prisonniers et Disparus Sahraouis-AFAPREDESA, Sahara Occidental/Western Sahara
ATTAC Hungary Association, Hungary
Central and Eastern European Alliance for the Solidarity with the Saharawi People, Budapest, Moscow, Ljubljana
Coletivo resistência e Luta no Judiciário, Brazil
Culture of Peace, Germany
Confederación Intersindical, Spain
Confederación Nacional de Cooperativas para la Emancipación, Mexico
Centro de Estudios Estratégicos Nacionales, Mexico
Defraudados en Santander México, Mexico
Dynamique Sociale Sahraouie – Sahara Occidental/Western Sahara
ECOMUNIDADES, Red Ecologista Autónoma de la Cuenca de Mexico
Fundación Latinoamericana de Apoyo al Saber y a la Economía Popular, Mexico
Frente Amplio Sindical Unitario FASU, Mexico
Grupo de los Cien, Mexico
HunabKu, Mexico
Instituto Cidades Sustentáveis, Brazil
Instituto Mexicano de Gobernanza Medioambiental AC, Mexico
Intersindical Valenciana, Spain
Organization of non violence in western Sahara, Western Sahara
Prague Spring 2 – network against right-wing extremism and populism, Europe
Red Universidad y Compromiso Social de Sevilla, Spain
SEFRAS – Serviço Franciscano de Solidariedade, Brazil
Sindicato de Telefonistas de la República Mexicana, Mexico
The Jus Semper Global Alliance, United States
UJSARIO – Saharawi Youth Union, West Sahara        
UNEGRO – Black Union for Equality of Brazil, Brazil
Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam Network – Comprehensive Democracy Forum, Finland-India-Nepal-Sweden
Women’s Collective, India

Individuals (organisation for identification purposes only)

Alexandre Braga, Brazil – Unegro Brasil
Ajay K Jha, India
Azril Bacal Roij, Sweden – Amigos de la Tierra-Uppsala, IPB, IRIPAZ
Deo Kumari Gurung, Nepal – South Asian Dialogues on Ecological Democracy (SADED-Nepal)
Bachir Moutic, Sahara Occidentalm – AFAPREDESA 
Cândido Grzybowski, Brazil – IBASE – Instituto Brasileiro de Análises Sociais e Econômicas
Cecilia Casin – Red humanista por la renta básica universal
Carlos Tiburcio, Brazil – IPS Inter Press Service / CI-FSM
Deo Kumari Gurung, Nepal – South Asian Dialogues on Ecological Democracy (SADED-Nepal)
Dorothy Guerrero, UK – Global Justice Now
Eduardo Missoni, Italy –
Fabiana Sanches-Urbal, Brasil, SEFRAS – Servicio Franciscano de Solidariedad
Francine Mestrum, Belgium
Giselle el Raheb, France – Mouvement de la Paix
German Niño – Corporacion Ciase – Latindadd – Fospa
Henning Zierock, Germany/Int’l – Culture of Peace
Hugo Moyano – Red Humanista por la Renta Basica Universal
Jan Kavan, Czeck Republic – Association of Labour and Solidarity (SPaS)
Jennifer Lingerfelt de Araujo Carneiro, Brazil – Ação popular socialista
José Enrique González Ruiz, Mexico – Profesor de la UNAM
Juliana Rosa, Brazil – Fórum Popular da Natureza – Núcleo Bahia
Katie Conlon, USA – Portland State University 
Laura Beatriz Teresa Collin Harguindeguy, Mexico – COLTLAX
Leo Leguizamón, Argentina – RHRBU – Red humanista por la renta básica universal
Marko Ulvila, Finland – Finnish Social Forum
Marta Benavides, El Salvador – SIGLO XXIII 
Matyas Benyik, Hungary – member of the Organizers for the Left (SZAB)
Miguel Valencia, Mexico – ECOMUNIDADES, Red Ecologista Autónoma de la Cuenca de México
Miguel Alvarez, México – SERAPAZ 
Mira Shiva, India – Initiative for Health & Equity in Society
Mirek Prokeš, Czech Republic – UNITED for Intercultural Action
Miroslav Prokeš, Czech Republic – Defence for Children International (DCI) – Czech section
Monica Romero, Colombia – Red  transfronteriza de arte, educación y autogestión
Patricia Gutiérrez Otero López, Mexico – Descrecimiento México
Péter Farkas, Hungary- Karl Marx Society
Ritu Priya, India – Health Swaraj
Rahma Hassan. USA – Never Again
René Coulomb, Mexico – Taller de Urbanismo Ciudadano
Soledad Rojas Ruiz, Chile – CEAAL Chile, GAFA, ONG Caleta Sur
Tord Björk, Sweden – Aktivister för fred
Uma Shankari Naren, India – Swadeshi Trust
Uddhab Pyakurel, Nepal -Nepal Social Forum
Vera Zalka, Hungary – ATTAC Hungary 
Vijay Pratap, India – Samaajwaadi Samaagam
Ville-Veikko Hirvelä, Finland – New Wind Association
Vivek Babu Girija, India- M S Swaminathan Research Foundation & Promote Linguistic Equality Platform
Yogendra Vijay Dahal, Nepal – Environmental Coalition
Zeno Bernhard, France – Attac

Documents used in the process of making the declaration 

Remarks: the above text is translated into French, Spanish and Portugese and available here:

Other translations of the declaration will follow soon.

The Declaration is open for co-signing at this form

The call from Sälen

Peace on Earth – Peace with the Earth

The Covid-19 pandemic has given us a hint of what happens to society when a global crisis strikes the world. An economic crisis is developing; In the United States, unemployment has reached higher numbers than in the 1930s. IN Sweden’s GDP fell by 8 percent during the second quarter of 2020, and is expected to shrink by 2.8 – 4.0 percent for the full year.

But Sweden is facing threats that are much more serious. The military rearmament of the Arctic which is driven, among other things, by the search for oil and minerals, places Sweden at the center of tensions in the world. Sweden’s security is threatened by expanded military cooperation with NATO, such as using Swedish territory for large-scale military exercises and the building of capacity for space wars using satellites (and military equipment) in orbit around the earth.

Extensive activities are underway to break Sweden’s traditional peace policy, which is characterized of freedom from alliances during peace and neutrality during a war – a policy that saved the Swedish people all those horrors which the First and Second World Wars entailed.

War against nature

The whole earth is in a kind of war against nature that no living creature can escape. Nuclear arms are present in such quantity that they can obliterate all higher lives. Nuclear armaments have gained new momentum and current agreements on armaments restrictions have been terminated – first unilaterally by the United States and then also by Russia. Sadly, Sweden’s deeply popular line of peace is under attack. The Swedish government has allowed itself to be influenced by one of the nuclear powers – the United States – not to sign UN Convention on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons. This despite the fact that Sweden was a driving force for this Convention, and voted for it at the UN in 2017.

Sweden contributes to the negative development through extensive exports of munitions to warring countries in violation of applicable laws. The war in Yemen that is carries off unimaginable quantities of human lives is a clear example of this. The military activity contributes greatly to the destruction of environment and climate. Only US military operations have a major negative environmental and climate impact than about fifty countries, and the total military impact in the world is of course significantly larger.

Incredible strain

In addition to the risk of nuclear war, climate change is the most widespread threat and is completely intertwined with the other threats to the future existence of humanity and nature. The almost total destruction of our forests, where the basis for life in the form of biodiversity lies, the impoverishment and poisoning of our agricultural lands and not least the internal colonization with increasing inequality between city and countryside has taken us beyond the limits of what the ecosystem can withstand. This development also increases the risk of pandemics, such as the Covid-19 pandemic. No one doubts anymore that this will bring tremendous strain on our societies in the future.

Central to all crises in recent centuries has been the pursuit of cheap energy and minerals, mainly in form of oil. It is the oil that enables the extreme overconsumption we live with in the rich part of the world, comprising about 12 – 15 percent of humanity. It is mainly the consumption of oil and coal that cotribute to greenhouse gas emissions. It is also oil that makes wars possible – which is the world’s largest military authority, the Pentagon, confirmed in a report.

Sweden an environmental culprit

The free play of forces that lead us in the direction of these threats is due to a great deficit of glbal democracy Sweden is a country that has previously distinguished itself as equal, democratic and peace-loving. We have also lived in the view that we are good at protecting the environment and welfare. The fact is that class differences are now increasing fastest here. Even though income inequality in Sweden still is relatively low, Sweden is now in global 3rd place in the Gini index of the most unequal countries in the world regarding the distribution of society’s riches. All this as a result of the neoliberal politics. Sweden is one of the worst environmental criminals if you take into account the environmental impact our consumption creates in Asia, where the goods are often manufactured.

Military rearmament is gradually increasing. Sweden is heading in the wrong direction and international policies appears to be both unenterprising and paralyzed. The Paris Agreement, which was concluded to stop the negative climate change, is not implemented by some countries and in others it goes too slowly. The same applies to other agreements, such as the previously concluded Kyoto Protocol.

Care for the earth tenderly

The thin membrane around the earth called the biosphere must be cared for with tenderness. Today it is consumed and destroyed at a rapid pace despite the fact that man himself is a part of it. The topsoil is being abused with large emissions of greenhouse gases as a result. Agriculture must be made fossil-free quickly and food must be produced in systems that contribute to increasing biodiversity and to increased carbon storage – that is, that carbon dioxide is returned to the plants.

We want to see a program for a fair transition to a resource-conserving society. A change from a society that steals future living space and destroys finite resources to a society that reuses resources over and over again and supports the life-giving ecosystems. One adjustment that counteracts the growing contradiction between center and periphery both within the country as a whole and within metropolitan areas, as well as the growing contradiction between those who have and those who have not. Such a change must also mean that Sweden also works for peace through relaxation and disarmament, and that trade and financial systems enable all countries to supply their own people with food and develop their own industry.

The new million program

We support a new million program (refers to a Swedish building program 1965-75) where a new village system is built on sustainable principles, where folk high schools are given funds to train new farmers and breeders. We hope people who want to contribute to this development are also moving to the countryside. To stimulate activities in accordance with these sustainable principles, an annual basic deduction of SEK 100,000 must be granted. Such peace-work with the top-soil creates sustainable local communities that can flourish in peacetime and stand strong in bad times. Concrete peace-work according to these principles is already underway. A diversity of local food producers are the future, not industrially produced food. The question is not whether we should carry out a restructuring of our production of necessities of life, but when it will happen.

City and countryside – hand in hand

The transformation of the countryside must be met by a corresponding change of the city. A new urban life must be built on sustainable principles in balance with the surrounding countryside and nature. Such a balance between city and country that focuses on a fair social construction creates more robust communities that cope better with crises. Peace is also about strengthening local communities in cities and sparsely populated areas with a functioning infrastructure in the form of services, schools, roads, hospitals and knowledge production at all levels.

Widespread self-education can play a central role in the transformation of Swedish society in the one described the direction. We need to strengthen civil preparedness rather than military. That means a strongly increased degree of self-sufficiency concernig our food supply, but also medical preparedness and readiness to deal with climate change. The countryside plays a key role in this.

Create hope

We welcome the call from the International Peace Bureau, which is the world’s oldest international peace organization, that broad cooperation should take place with joint actions in April 2021 for universal disarmament for peace, environment and welfare.

Fundamental societal changes must be implemented. We must assemble as people and start the processes as citizens. Now some initial political steps must be taken that can create hope and commitment. Examples of such are:

Sweden must:

  • tear up the host country agreement with NATO.
  • sign and ratify the UN Convention against Nuclear Weapons.
  • stop the military’s environmental crimes and turn the commenced military rearmament into disarmament.
  • lead to a sharp reduction in Swedish arms exports in accordance with current regulatory systems, without derogations being able to nullify existing restrictions. In the long run, all arms exports will prohibited,
  • tax large companies for fair conversion.
  • reduce the use of fossil energy faster than according to the Paris Agreement.
  • use solar power more, save energy and ensure equal access for all this.
  • give nature legally binding rights.

Peace on Earth – Peace with the Earth!

The call from Sälen was adopted during the conference Folk och Fred (People and Peace) in Sälen on 11 January 2021.