The Asia Pacific Regional Meeting of World Peace Council has been successfully accomplished in Kathmandu Nepal during 1-2 March 2014. Participated by 45 delegates from seven countries (India, China, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Vietnam, Greece and Nepal), the meeting concluded endorsing annual plan of action for 2014 with a number of solidarity events, campaign against neo liberalism and imperialists’ aggression, for sustainable development and democracy and to fight religious fundamentalism and terrorism in the region.
In the thematic discussion on the topic “Transforming Asia-Pacific a continent of Peace & Development- Challenge before the Peace movement” all participating country presented their position and delegates made interventions. The thematic discussion concluded that the situation in the area has remained complex and tense. This region also in area second only to Europe in terms of nuclear weapons deployed, new installations created for the stationing of the equipment for the star wars adventurism; it is also a region with an unprecedented imperialist military build-up as is witnessed by the further promotion of the plan to create an Asia’s NATO like alliance and the increasing stationing of US army, the stationing of nuclear weapons in South Korea, the build-up of these forces in South East Asia, the South Pacific, the Indian Ocean, the Golf and the Middle East. As a result of this, a number of regional conflicts are persistently exacerbating the situation in the region as in the cases of the Korean peninsula, Afghanistan, Iran, the Indian Sub-continent, the Gulf and the Middle East. Side by side geometrical increase in religious fundamentalism, extremism and all kinds of terrorism is taking place in this region. Though the economic developments are taking place in significant level there exist also immense poverty, illiteracy, deceases, malnutrition and underdevelopment resulting in sharpening of social and economic contradictions in this most populated area of the world.
The discussions also highlighted the emergence of international finance capital which is facilitating undeterred financial flows across the globe to seek short term speculative super profits led to pulling down internal, as well as, national barriers of sovereign laws and regulations. The drive for unhindered access to markets particularly financial markets had been the principal feature of this paradigm which has come to be globally recognized as globalization.
It further stated that the imperialist globalization and its all pervasive sway need refashioning of national policies which would ensure compliance with the requirements of international finance. This had further led to the evolution of neo-liberal policies which in reality meant the redefinition of the role of Nation States. The State, in this new global dispensation, is forced to withdraw from its traditional function of providing welfare and facilitate social development in areas like education and health care. And, concentrate on promoting the unhindered interests of the market. In economy, this led to adoption of a low tax regime with commensurate reduction in subsidies for social services for the people. This has also led to large-scale privatization and handing over of the ownership and control of natural resources to private corporates.
The meeting emphasised that these developments make it incumbent on WPC members organisations to realize the multi dimensional and comprehensive and interconnected nature of these challenges which threatens not only world peace but the very survival of the planet. The peace movements in our region cannot proceed in any meaningful way without assimilating the seriousness of these challenges and without evolving appropriate responses to them.
After detail discussions the meeting identified four areas where Peace movements in this region have to strengthen their activities.
1. Major activities of WPC member organizations should highlight the question of Peace and Stability. The important component of our activities should cover the issues of total nuclear disarmament, demanding closing of all US bases, stopping all foreign military exercises, supporting just peace proposals of different countries of this region, and mobilizing the people of this region in favour of such activities.
2. The negative effects of Neo-Liberal economic policies once again bring the issue of New Economic International Order in the forefront with new perspective. So the issue of alternative economic policies and sustainable development should also be the major activities of the WPC member organizations.
3. The threats of terrorism and religious extremism are one of the growing phenomenons in this region. This dangerous development is influenced by sectarian and fundamentalist ideologies which weakening and undermining the unity of the people thereby derailing the resolve and the united struggles of the people against imperialism.
The WPC member’s organizations have to organize suitable activities so that the people of this region can effectively fight back these forces.
4. The questions of Solidarity with the people of all continents are the central activities of WPC member’s organizations. The Asia-Pacific region was always in the forefront of Solidarity activities. The WPC member’s organizations from this region have redoubled their solidarity with the people of Palestine, Korea, Cuba, Venezuela, Vietnam and other countries of the world.
Future activities for the year 2014
The Asia-Pacific Regional Meeting of the WPC members and friendly organizations decided to organize following activities;
- To celebrate in a suitable way the 65th anniversary of the foundation of World Peace Council in every countries in this region.
- Bangladesh Peace council (BPC) will try to organize a regional seminar on the issue of growing threats of religious fundamentalism and terrorism in South Asia with the broad participation of member and friendly organizations along with important personalities from the region in the month of June 2014.
- All India Peace & Solidarity Organisation (AIPSO) will organize a gathering of important peace activists from different countries to honour Com. Romesh Chandra on the occasion of the 65th anniversary of World Peace Council at Mumbai, India in the month of July 2014.
- To observe 6th and 9th August as Hiroshima and Nagasaki day and to popularize the demands for total nuclear disarmament and Asia free of all foreign military bases
- The regional level celebration of 65th anniversary of WPC will be held at Sri Lanka. All affiliated member organizations along with some friendly organization will attend this event. Sri Lanka Peace Council will host this meeting in the month of August 2014.
- All India Peace & Solidarity Organisation (AIPSO) will organize India-Latin American Peoples Forum in Kolkata in the month of September 2014.
- Vietnam Peace Council is also planning an event in the month of September 2014.
- The international celebration of 65th anniversary of WPC will be held in Cuba within the framework of “3rd World Meeting of Solidarity with Cuba” to be held in Havana City from October 27th to 31st 2014. WPC member organizations from region have to attend this meeting and to start preparation from now as every organization has to mobilize enough funds.
- All India Peace & Solidarity Organisation (AIPSO) in cooperation with other solidarity organizations from India and international organizations like WPC, WFDY, WFTU, WIDF and IADL will organize an international conference in Solidarity with Palestine. Proposed dates for this conference in 27, 28 & 29th November 2014
- The meeting also decided that all member organizations of WPC has to clear their due membership fees before June 30, 2014.
The meeting also expressed its concern on the development in Ukraine and condemned the US and EU’s interference in toppling of the democratically elected government with the help of fascist groups and particularly expressed their solidarity with the people of Ukraine who are fighting for just solution of the problem with Russia without external interference.
The meeting also strongly condemned the ongoing violent movement led by the disgruntled opposition against government of Venezuela who are trying to create a situation for counter-revolution and outside interferences’ mainly from the US imperialism and its allies.
While expressing its total solidarity with the people of Venezuela, the meeting expressed its confidence that the legacy of Hugo Chavez Frias will be upheld by the people of Venezuela by defeating all kinds of diabolical attempts of local reactionaries and US imperialism.
The meeting extended sincere thanks to the people of Nepal, Nepal Peace and Solidarity Council and its members for hosting the meeting and providing a warm hospitality.
We hope all our member organizations will take appropriate steps to realize the above activities adopted at the regional consultative meeting.