Communiqué of the Secretariat Meeting of WPC, 31st May-1st June 2013 Lisbon

Activities - Press Releases

The Secretariat of the World Peace Council was held successfully and was hosted by the Portuguese Council for Peace and Cooperation (CPPC) in Lisbon on May31st and June 1st 2013.
After a very rich and fruitful discussion it released the following communiqué:

The members of the Secretariat appreciated the contribution and efforts of the CPPC to host the meeting and salute the Portuguese people who resist the anti-people, anti-labour policies of the Portuguese government along with the European Union, the European Central Bank and the IMF, who use the economic capitalist crisis in order to foster the profits of the capital and shift the burden of the crisis to the working people, the youth and the pensioners. The Secretariat likewise salutes the other peoples of Europe, who are to one or other extend facing similar attacks on their rights and their lives, namely in Spain, Greece, Cyprus, Italy, Ireland and call upon them to rally around the class trade unions and popular organizations to coordinate amongst them, to reject and fight back these generalized attacks on labour power, social rights and democratic liberties.

The WPC underlines the character of the crisis as one of the capitalist system that creates the crisis and calls upon all peoples and their peace loving forces in the world to be vigilant since the aggressiveness of imperialism and the reactionary forces during the economic crisis is growing and becoming more lethal and destructive.

The Secretariat meeting took place almost one year after the successful holding of the WPC Assembly and World Peace Conference last July in Kathmandu/Nepal. Since then the WPC observed and dealt with many fronts of struggle and in particular for the raise of awareness on the causes which generate the imperialist wars, against the policies of the monopolies, the big business groups who are behind the imperialist interventions, threats and provocations, in the Middle East, in Europe, Africa, Asia and Latin America. These economic interests are being expressed at political-state level and constitute the basis of the war and imperialist violence.

The WPC has increased its activities and strengthened its prestige and recognition amongst the Global Peace Movement. It participated for the first time as official observer in the 2012 Non Aligned Movement Summit in Tehran and attended or co-organized several international and regional activities the last period (see attached appendix)

The Secretariat of the WPC expresses its serious concerns about the escalation of the situation in the broader Middle East, where on the one hand imperialist forces (USA, EU, NATO) continue with the occupation of Afghanistan and Iraq, along with the ongoing occupation of the Palestinian people by Israel and on the other hand the same forces in close cooperation with their regional allies (Turkey, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Israel, etc) are intervening militarily in Syria with the support of armed mercenary groups. Their aim is the violent regime change, as they have done before in Libya, Iraq, Afghanistan and Yugoslavia, for the sake of the control of energy resources and with the hypocritical pretext of violation human rights and the alleged use of Weapons of Mass Destruction. The WPC condemns the “Great Middle East” plan of USA and NATO. The recent decision of the Foreign Ministers of the EU to lift the embargo of arms sales to Syria is aiming at the armament of the mercenary opposition groups and at the escalation of the conflict.

The WPC reaffirms its principle positions against any type of foreign interference in Syria and that the Syrian people are the sole responsible and entitled to deal with its future. It declares its solidarity with the people of Syria as it is has been done actively in the international events organized in Turkey (“Peoples want Peace”) in November 2012 and last April. The WPC Secretariat reaffirms its position against the sanctions imposed by EU and US against Iran, which is affecting its people and against any interference in the domestic affairs of Iran under any pretext. We declare our solidarity with the people of Iran, for their struggle for democracy, social and popular rights and demands and for their right to determine alone their fortunes and path of development.

The WPC underlines its solidarity with the people of Cyprus, for the end of the Turkish occupation and reunification of the island on the basis of a bi-zonal, bi-communal Federation, with one international entity and one citizenship. In this context we denounce the plans of the government of Cyprus to apply for membership at NATO’s “Partnership for Peace”.
The WPC states that one of the reasons that led the masses in Turkey to uprise against the government is their reaction to the war policy carried out since two years against Syria. The Turkish government has played a leading role in provocations towards Syria and this line has been rejected by the great majority of the population, as were observed by all the delegates of the WPC who attended the peace conferences in Turkey on November 2012 and April 2013. The WPC, is proud of being a part of the peace struggles in Turkey that pawed the way for the recent uprising, salutes the resistance of the masses in Turkey in defense of peace and their social and economic rights.
The WPC Secretariat expresses its solidarity with the Palestinian people to end the Israeli occupation and to establish their independent State, within the borders of 1967, with East Jerusalem as its capital. The maneuvers of the Israeli regime who are continuing the settlement policy while talking about a “peace process” have the full support of the USA and EU who are acting as accomplices in the occupation of Palestine. The WPC reiterates its position in favor of a Middle East free of Nuclear Weapons.

The WPC denounces the doctrine of NATO and the “responsibility to protect” elaborated and adopted in its Lisbon (2010) and Chicago (2012) summits, whereas NATO is acting worldwide with and without UN mandate as “World Gendarme” serving the interests of the powerful multinational corporations and monopolies. NATO is spending today more than 70% of the world’s total military spending and is responsible for millions of dead. It is developing the “Missile Defense Shield” in order to enable it to threaten nations and peoples. The WPC demands the dissolution of the armed wing of imperialism and supports the right of every people to struggle for the disengagement from it.

The WPC expresses its solidarity with the peoples of Latin America & Caribbean, for their right to determine with sovereignty their path of development, against political, economical and military interference by USA and EU. We salute the peoples of the region who have opened new paths for gaining important social, economic and political achievements which improved the living conditions of the workers and the people, significantly cutting down poverty, having achieved social development and social progress.

We salute the people of Venezuela who defend their achievements from the attacks of the local oligarchy and continue their struggle by deepening the Bolivarian process so that the people will become the masters of the wealth it is producing.

The WPC denounces the re-deployment of the Fourth US Fleet in the region, the coups in Honduras and Paraguay, the British occupation of the Malvinas islands and the efforts to destabilize the popular regimes in Bolivia, Ecuador by the USA and EU.
We salute the ongoing peace negotiations about Colombia carried out in Cuba but we denounce the attitude of the Colombian government which refuses to declare ceasefire during the talks.

We express our full-hearted support to the Cuban people and its revolution and condemn the criminal US blockade along with the reactionary “Common Position of the EU” against Socialist Cuba. We demand the release of the remaining four political prisoners from US jails and the closure and removal of the Guantanamo US base which serves as modern concentration camp on Cuban soil.

The WPC Secretariat denounces the plans of the USA to shift 60% of their military forces (Air Force, Navy and Troops) towards Asia&Pacific, according to the US Pentagon paper entitled “Sustaining Global leadership: Priorities for the Twenty First Century” of January 2012. This “pivot to Asia” has multiple goals. To secure the strategic interests of the USA in economic and political field, to put a halt in China’s growing and emerging appearance in the region. At the same time to contain the military presence of Russia in the Pacific Ocean and intervene in the disputes in the East China ad South China Sea. The USA has signed bilateral and multilateral agreements with majority of South East Asian countries and has started deploying 5.000 Marines in Australia.
With the hundreds of thousands US service personnel, hundreds of war ships, six air craft carriers, several nuclear submarines and hundreds of permanent military Bases, the USA, along with the troops it is withdrawing steadily from Afghanistan and Iraq, will possess a huge war machinery ready to act and intervene where their imperialists’ interests at stake.
The WPC salutes the growing peace activities of our movements in the Philippines, Japan, South Korea and Bangladesh along with India and Australia under the slogan: “US Imperialism-Hands off Asia!”

The WPC reaffirms its solidarity with the Korean people against the imperialist threats and interference on the Korean peninsula and for the peaceful reunification of Korea. The recent joint military exercises of USA, Japan and South Korea along with the 28.000 US troops in South Korea, the 7th US Fleet and the more than 110 US military Bases in Japan constitute the real threat to peace in the region and the end of US presence in the area is the precondition for the de-nuclearization of the peninsula.
The WPC reaffirms its support to the demand for abolition of all nuclear weapons, starting from the ones who possess hundreds and thousands nuclear heads and who don’t refrain from the “first strike theory”. At the same time we denounce the militarization of space and the imperialist rivalry over the Arctic Zone.

The Secretariat of WPC estimates the situation in Africa being of extreme alert. After the murderous bombing and destruction of Libya in order to control the flow of oil, gas and the area, the imperialists are carrying out military operations in Mali, Somalia, while the US is planning to deploy its African Command on African soil.
The interests of USA, the EU and NATO in Africa are related to the plunder of the rich natural resources and to the exploitation future markets, the extreme poverty and death of masses by diseases and hunger every day on the continent is just the price its peoples are paying to the greed of foreign monopolies along with the corrupt governments who in majority of the cases cooperate willingly with the imperialists.
The WPC condemns the ongoing occupation of Western Sahara by Morocco and expresses solidarity to the Saharawi people for their right to determine freely their future.

The WPC reaffirms its support to the struggles of the peoples for their sovereignty and the non-interference, against imperialist domination and threats as well as the defense of the principles of the UN Charter which is being abused and instrumentalized by imperialism.

The WPC Secretariat underlines that despite the negative correlation of forces in favor of the war drive policies of imperialism, humanity is not condemned to sit and watch new imperialist wars to come. The peoples and their organized mass organizations (Peace Movements, Trade Unions, Youth and Women organizations) have the potential and the capacity to uncover the real plans and goals of imperialism that generates wars, misery and exploitation. The united and coordinated efforts, in each country, regionally and internationally of the above forces, can create the counter weight, can mobilize and rally the masses for the interests and rights of the vast majority of the peoples on earth. The WPC will dedicate all its forces and strength to this task.

Plan of actions and campaigns:

The WPC will celebrate next year 65 years from its foundation in 1949.The Secretariat shall elaborate a concrete plan of events for this important anniversary.

• To observe a “week of action” in solidarity with the people of Syria and against the imperialist sanctions and plans to attack Syria and Iran for the first week of August 2013
• Fourth Trilateral Meeting of Peace Movements from Greece, Turkey and Cyprus to be held in Crete/Greece in October 2013
• First Trilateral Peace Marches of the Peace Movements from India, Pakistan and Bangladesh (From Lahore to Delhi and Dhaka to Delhi)with culmination rally in New Delhi in October 2013
• Third International Seminar for the abolition of Military Bases to be held in the Cuban province of Guantanamo November 18-20,2013
• Within the broader struggle against militarism and imperialist wars and International Campaign for the dissolution of NATO to be culminated on 4th April 2014(65th anniversary of NATO)
• International Judicial War Crime Initiative, for the crimes against the people of Syria, to be carried out in Turkey
• Fourth Trilateral meeting of Peace Movements from Mexico, Canada and USA, with Cuba as invited guest, to be held in Mexico City within the first trimester 2014
• To organize events marking the 100 years from the beginning of WW I

List of the international activities organized and/or attended out from the Assembly WPC (July 2012) till the Secretariat Meeting in Lisbon (May 2013)

• The World Conference against A&H Bombs in Hiroshima &Nagasaki (August 2012)
• XVI Summit of the Non-Aligned Movement in Tehran (August 2012)
• 3rd Trilateral Meeting of the Peace Movements of Cyprus, Turkey and Greece in Nicosia (September 2012)
• National Conference of AIPSO in Pondicherry (October 2012)
• Regional Solidarity Conference with Cuba in Asia & Pacific held in Colombo/Sri Lanka (October 2012)
• European Regional Meeting WPC in Brussels (November 2012)
• International conference and concert in solidarity with the people of Syria held in Antioch/Antakya (November 2012)
• World Social Forum on Palestine held in Porto Alegre/Brazil(November 2012)
• 75th anniversary of the massacre of Nanjing by Japan and bilateral visit to Beijing (December 2012)
• International NGO conference of UΝΕSCΟ held in Paris (December 2012)
• Solidarity visit and conference with the people of Western Sahara held in Algiers (December 2012)
• III. International Conference for the Balance of the World, held in Havana/Cuba (January 2013)
• International event on the 40th anniversary of signing of the Paris accords held in Hanoi and Ηο Chi Minh City (January 2013)
• International Meeting of parties and movements on the situation in the Middle East organized by ΤΚΡ in Istanbul ( February 2013)
• Meeting with the ex-Prime Minister of Nepal M.K.Nepal in Athens (February 2013)
• Congress of the KΠΡΦ and International Seminar in Moscow (February 2013)
• Continental conference and Regional Meeting WPC of the Americas held in Mocca/Dominican Republic (April 2013)
• International Conference “Peoples want Peace” in solidarity with the people of Syria held in Istanbul and Antakya/Turkey (April 2013)
• 40th Anniversary of the “Julio Curie” Award to Sheikh Mujibur Rahman and international Meeting on imperialist plans in Asia/Pacific held in Dhaka/Bangladesh (May 2013)
• International conference on the New Economic Order organized by IADL in Paris (May 2013)
• International Forum organized by the CPPC and the Association of Municipalities of the region of Setúbal/Portugal: “For Development, Solidarity and Peace” (June 1st,2013)
• European Regional Meeting hosted by CPPC (June 2nd , 2013) (following the WPC Secretariat)