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Assembly > Medias > December 2001, 02

The World Assembly Calls for a New World Order, Based on Peace

On the stage, the African-sounding drums were not the instruments of war, they were beating for the solidarity that all true citizens are calling for.
One word was enough to sum up the first day of the World Assembly: "Peace." It was easy to translate, and none of the four hundred citizens who were asked to the Palais des Congrès in Lille on Sunday failed to understand it.

And yet there is war. We would be tempted to say it has almost been unavoidable after September 11, which practically demolished the reconciliation efforts of countless peace activists. "Making war is always easier than making peace," stated Michel Rocard, former Prime Minister of France. Withdrawing into isolation is always the easiest solution.
But society has been globalized. "Global organization is our only choice," said Dr. Kimon Valaskakis, founder of the Club of Athens for a New Global Governance, underscoring that globalization has only been economic so far: "The world without borders has become a world without rules." "A world without justice, without sharing of wealth," added Brigalia Bam, Chair of the South African Independent Electoral Commission, while Ramu and Calita Randas stated jointly: "As long as there is injustice, the world is condemned to not being safe."
All the "Grand Witnesses" who came to add their voice to the Assembly pleaded for global organization. The French philosopher Edgar Morin spoke of "the World Homeland" and Simon Valaskakis of "an ethical and democratic Athens." Georges Berthoin, former personal adviser of Jean Monnet , stated that "we have to make a new world organization emerge from this chaos of confrontation, just as we made Europe emerge from several centuries of war." The diplomat Stéphane Hessel urged world organizations to set up a new order and make states admit "that they must meet the aspirations of their peoples, which, after all, is in their own interest."
To achieve this, we have to accept others: "Today, to respect and move beyond differences is a task for all of humankind," said the jurist Zang Yang Ling. For Brigalia Bam the ideal of peace is necessarily linked to the ideal of justice. "The authorities must respect the qualities of individuals," he said.

No Other Choice but Peace

The words of these powerful actors rang with full meaning. How could we not hear, in the present context, the message of the survivors of Hiroshima as reported by Hiroaki Kurokawa, Chairman of the Hiroshima Peace Culture Foundation: "The survivors of Hiroshima have refused to seek vengeance and have united to convey the wish of all citizens to live henceforth in a world without nuclear weapons"? Reprisals lead to war, not to peace. Valentina Menilkova, head of the Committee of Soldiers' Mothers in Russia, stated just as strongly. "Mothers simply do not want war for their children any more. They alone, in Russia torn apart, were able to impose the women's determination to respect people's rights." We must also hear, however, the message of Francisco de Roux, of the Development and Peace Project in Colombia. in his fight for the peace and dignity of the farmers exploited by traffickers, he has witnessed the assassination of his closest friends and colleagues. "We have chosen to make peace because we have no other choice," he said. Making peace, as many activists had claimed at the risk of their lives, has been like "making love to fear". But this has been the only way of giving men back the dignity that they have in their inner selves. "We have come to Lille because we need to know that we are not alone and that there are thousands of us who want this human dignity."

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