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STATEMENT: One year in the war in Ukraine, the European commitment to common security must remain!

Date

24 Feb 2023

Sections

Global Europe

A year has passed since Russia invaded Ukraine in a large-scale war effort. A year of atrocities, millions forced to flee, tens of thousands of dead, raped and tortured, illegal annexations and perpetual war crimes. As things stand, there is no end in sight, but rather worrying and extremely dangerous signs of escalation.

We condemn Russia’s war of aggression against Ukraine and call for an immediate ceasefire and complete withdrawal of Russian troops, as a sign of their readiness to initiate meaningful peace talks. There can be no peace without justice and no meaningful peace talks without concrete steps taken. We further support all Russians that stands for peace, defy the call to arms, consciously object, and protest this unjust war.

Over the past year, SOLIDAR and our members have stood by people fleeing war, assisting with food, housing, and logistics. We have joined the solidarity call heard through Europe and we urge Europe to remain united and steadfast to this end, recognizing civil society as a crucial partner in this effort, as well as to be persistent and consistent in their support for a dignified welcome to all fleeing war. We express our continued solidarity with all Ukrainians, and all suffering from the war!  

We reiterate our demand for a new international security doctrine in line with the Common Security 2022 report. With the heightened risk of a nuclear war and the ongoing climate and environmental emergency, the Doomsday Clock, representing the closeness to human-made global catastrophe, now stands 90 seconds to midnights – the closest it has ever been. In this alarming situation, the words from the Palme Commission 40 years ago resonates clearly: “International security must rest on a commitment to joint survival rather than a threat of mutual destruction”.

We call on Europe to show the lead and demonstrate that common security can only be achieved through a revitalized commitment to prohibition of nuclear weapons, a process towards mutual arms control and disarmament, as well as increased and shared dedication to sustainability and social justice through a just transition. It will not be won through a new arms race or by further increased military spending dwarfing any current efforts at winning the future we need.

Common Security also requires action from civil society. We must act as a watchdog, a motivating force, and a counterweight to political posturing. Civil society must play an active role in advocacy work, raising awareness and decision making. Dialogue at diplomatic levels should also involve organized civil society, alongside and separate from government dialogue.

Together, we need to actively seek peace and use all our diplomatic efforts to break the logic of war that can only lead to continuous escalation. Russia's actions currently make hoping for a diplomatic solution impossible, but that should not keep European and world leaders from doing everything in their power to get there. We join UN Secretary General, António Guterres, in calling to keep all paths to dialogue open. Sustainable peace is never found at the battlefield, nor through the barrel of a gun, but seated at the negotiating table.

The global threat of war has increased, but political will, popular participation, and new collective attitudes and behaviors can lead to change and a new international culture of peace. There is still time to be innovative and ambitious in reframing our common security and reimagine our world.

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