The Vancouver Declaration: Appeal for Peace 2006
We will build a just peace based on social justice, human and democratic rights, and economic equality.The first World Peace Forum assembled in Vancouver from June 23 to 28, 2006 to discuss “Cities and Communities: Working together to end war and build a peaceful, just and sustainable world.” In 2006 the world confronts the illegal war and occupation in Iraq, racism and the erosion of civil liberties, renewed nuclear threats, and global warming. The “war on terror” has undermined human rights and the role of the United Nations. The world faces massive poverty, homelessness, rising rates of disease and increasing economic inequality coupled with unprecedented military spending. At this critical juncture in history, the Vancouver World Peace Forum concluded that a world without war is achievable. To that end we will heed the voice of civil society, and:
- We will educate our children and youth to cultivate a culture of peace.
- We will recognize the needs and aspirations of all indigenous peoples.
- We will respect the dignity of difference.
- We will ensure the leading role of women and youth as peacemakers.
- We will declare war as a crime against humanity and demand an end to war.
- We will insist on the protection of the environment.
- We will work to eliminate nuclear and other weapons of mass destruction and terror.
Specifically, to achieve this, we call for:
- The withdrawal of foreign troops from Iraq and Afghanistan;
- a negotiated settlement in Israel/Palestine within the framework of International law and U.N. resolutions;
- a commitment to address global warming and sustainable energy policies;
- implementation of U.N. Resolution 1325 to ensure the full and equal participation of women;
- the end to torture and the closure of Guantanamo prison;
- governments to reduce military spending and invest in human needs;
- governments to constitutionally renounce war (e.g. Japan’s Article 9);
- a stronger role for the UN General Assembly;
- the U.N. to declare a special session and decade for disarmament;
- all states to negotiate a verifiable and irreversible nuclear disarmament treaty.
WE COMMIT OURSELVES TO:
- Mobilize cities, communities and citizens for peace (C4P);
- promote a culture of peace, and strengthen the human spirit through peace education, the arts, and the media;
- build more effective networks and increase global capacities across divides, building co-operation and finding common ground, relying on the strength of our diversity;
- ensure collaboration across generations;
- support those who work on other social and sustainability issues that are ultimately related to a just peace;
- learn from the past and insist on redress and reconciliation for past injustices;
- realize the capacity of civil society to make and build peace.
To succeed we will empower people, synergize struggles and nourish hope to attain a peaceful, just and sustainable world. We want a world without war – the world our children deserve.
Vancouver, June 28, 2006
Gathered in Vancouver, a city of peace with a tradition of citizen’s peace actions, 5000 people came together from all over Canada, North, South and Latin America, Asia and the Pacific, Africa, Eurasia, the Middle East and Europe.
Participants included youth, women, elected leaders (mayors, councilors and parliamentarians), environmentalists, people of different faiths, teachers, academics and peace educators, trade unionists, health professionals, First Nations/indigenous peoples, elders, war veterans/war resisters, refugees and internally-displaced peoples, co-operatives and ethical business leaders, peace advocates and NGO activists, discussing peace-related themes