WPC Secretariat Meeting held in Belgrade, Serbia

Wednesday, April 3, 2024

The expanded Secretariat Meeting of the World Peace Council was held in Belgrade, Serbia on the 21st of March, 2024. The event also marked the 25th anniversary of the bombing of Belgrade by NATO forces. Below you can find the communique of the meeting.

Communiqué of the Meeting of the Secretariat—Belgrade, Serbia, 21st March 2024

The Meeting of the WPC Secretariat (expanded) successfully took place in Belgrade on 21st March 2024. The meeting was hosted by the Member of the WPC, “Belgrade Forum for the World of Equals”. At the beginning of its meeting, the WPC Secretariat paid homage and respect to its late leaders Alfred Marder and Chris Matlhako, from the U.S. Peace Council and the South African Peace Initiative, respectively.

On the occasion of the 25th anniversary of NATO’s aggression against the peoples of Yugoslavia, the WPC Secretariat reiterated its indignation for the huge crime committed by imperialism’s biggest war machine in 1999. This crime served also as a precedent for later crimes and imperialist wars of the USA, NATO and the E.U. in other parts of the world. NATO was never a defensive structure, and the case of its aggression against Yugoslavia proved its brutal, inhuman, and reactionary character, manifested in its 75 years of interventions, wars, coups and aggressions, which it will celebrate this year. The WPC denounces the efforts to impose “legality” to the NATO protectorate of Kosovo, a result of the imperialist aggression and “harboring” of the biggest US military base, “Camp Bondsteel”, in violation of all provisions of International Law and UN resolutions.

The participants of the Meeting declared their full-hearted solidarity with the suffering people of Palestine, who are facing for more than 5 months the brutal attack of the Israeli occupation regime and its army, with almost 32.000 Palestinians killed, one third of them children of minor age. The ongoing cruel massacre of the Palestinian people, including the use of starvation as a weapon of war, is being accompanied by the cynical support of the US administration, the U.K., the European Union and many Arab regimes, who claim for Israel the right to “self-defense” while the right to self-determination and self-defence against the occupation are being denied to the Palestinian people. In this context, the WPC expressed its support to the initiative of the South African government to file a case against Israel at the International Court of Justice for the crime of genocide against the Palestinian people and the respective court measures. We acknowledge positively the positions taken at the summits of G77 and the Non-Aligned States regarding Palestine.

This unending slaughter in Palestine has to end immediately. The Palestinian Gaza strip has been converted from an “open air prison” into a graveyard for children. The WPC Secretariat demands the end of the occupation of Palestine and declares its support to the establishment of an independent and viable State of Palestine in the borders of pre-4th June 1967 and with East Jerusalem as its capital. We demand the release of all Palestinian prisoners from Israeli jails and support the right for return of the Palestinian refugees to their homes, as provided in the UN resolution 194. The WPC also demands the end of the occupation of all other Arab territories, in particular the Syrian Golan Heights and the Lebanese territories.

The Secretariat discussed the NATO-Russia war on the Ukrainian soil, which has been going on for more than two years, and expressed its deep concern about the bloodshed, casualties, and destruction on all sides, particularly about the dangers for a further escalation which could extend into a war of global dimensions, with the possible use of Nuclear Weapons, which would lead to the destruction of humanity. This war did not start two years ago; it started in 2014 with the US-NATO-EU-backed Coup in Kiev, the attacks of the Ukrainian regime on the population in the Donbass, and the massacre at the Trade Union building of Odessa in May 2014. But its roots go even further back to the dissolution of the USSR in 1991, which occurred despite the fact that overwhelming majority in the Soviet Union voted in favor of maintaining it through a respective referendum.

The WPC took a crystal-clear position in February 2022, which was reaffirmed in its last Assembly, that while we do not agree, as a matter of principle, with any unilateral change of international borders, we denounce NATO and the governments of its member states for expanding its range eastward and encircling the Russian Federation militarily. They have been fueling this war for two years with huge sums of money, military equipment, and political support to the regime of Kiev, which also has the support of neo-fascist and Nazi forces in the Ukraine. The WPC denounces the affiliation of Finland and Sweden into NATO and the plans to deploy 300.000 troops close to the borders of Russia and the witch hunting of peace-loving forces in these countries for struggling against NATO. The WPC calls for an end of all hostilities in this conflict, de-escalation of all military actions, and politically negotiated solution based on the International Law. We underline here that the actions and proposals of the French President to send ground troops of NATO and EU members into the war zone, and the creation of new US and NATO military bases in Europe, are causing the exact opposite result, and are actually revealing the real intentions behind them. The WPC supports the struggle of the peoples in the NATO states for disengagement from it and the dissolution of NATO at the global level.

The Secretariat expresses its unconditional support to the people of Cuba and its revolution and denounces the recent subversive actions of interference and manipulation by the US administration and its embassy in Havana, who are using the shortage of electricity and food in order to trigger social unrest in Santiago de Cuba. The WPC demands the lifting of the US blockade which is the main factor is affecting these shortages, and the removal of Cuba from the list of the States Sponsoring Terrorism, for which the WPC will take up a concrete initiative for an international campaign.

The WPC extends its solidarity to all the peoples struggling for their just causes, in particular with the peoples of Latin America — such as the peoples of Venezuela and Nicaragua — against the imperialist interference in their domestic affairs.

The Secretariat discussed the situation in Africa and expressed its deep concern about the deteriorating situation in Sudan, where in one year more than 18.000 people have lost their lives, more than 100.000 have been injured, and over 7 million people have been displaced due to the ongoing conflict. This severe humanitarian crisis affirms the Sudanese people's quest to halt the ongoing conflict and restore full civil democratic governance.

Likewise we salute the people of Western Sahara, as the last colony in Africa, in their desire and struggle for self-determination, and congratulate them for the 48th anniversary of the Arab Democratic Republic of Sahara.
The WPC Secretariat also expresses its concern about the developments in Asian continent marked by border conflicts and disputes as well as about the growing military build up in the region of the Indian Ocean.

The WPC Secretariat evaluated positively the multiple actions of the WPC members in all regions after the successful 22nd Assembly in Vietnam, with the holding of regional meetings and events in four (4) regions and the respective plans for the coming period, underlining the special importance of:

the 8th International Seminar for Peace and against the Foreign Military Bases, which will be held in May 2024 in the Cuban province of Guantanamo by the WPC and the ICAP
the Anti-NATO actions heading towards its summit in Washington D.C. in July 2024 under the WPC campaign “YES to Peace - NO to NATO”
an International Solidarity Mission to Palestine as soon as the conditions will allow, along with a special WPC poster for Palestine. The WPC shall explore the possibility for a Fundraising campaign for the Palestinian people.
an international event commemorating the 50 years of the Turkish invasion to Cyprus in combination with the holding of the meeting of the Executive Committee in September 2024

The WPC is approaching with pride its 75th anniversary this year. This historical international anti-imperialist Organization of the peace movements wrote glorious pages in the history of the peoples and their noble struggles for national liberation and social emancipation, and for freedom and human dignity. The WPC stood, and continues to stand, firm for 75 Years in the Struggle for a World of Peace and Social Justice, always on the side of the Poor and the Oppressed. We call upon all Members and Friends of the WPC to take up this anniversary and dedicate activities, to combine events on national and regional level, and to strengthen the ranks of the WPC in all continents. A respective WPC poster was released for this purpose.