Armistice Day, 11 November 1918, marked the end of World War I with an armistice / truce that ended the largest scale bloodshed and destruction that the world had known till that time. More than a hundred years later, having gone through another, even more destructive world war and with many smaller wars in-between, we take this opportunity to call for an end to all ongoing wars, the Russia-Ukraine war included. Read through and, if you agree, do sign the petition. For more background on the Call see here.
On this commemoration of Armistice Day, 11 November 1918,
Marking the silencing of weapons at the end of World War I,
We, the undersigned concerned citizens of the world,
Call for a ceasefire in all conflicts currently raging on our planet, between and within countries, on all continents. How many more millions of dead human beings, destroyed infrastructure and contaminated natural habitats do we want to see before we learn? Centuries of pain and misery, hatred and mutual destruction should have taught us better, if only we wanted to learn.
On this solemn occasion, reflecting on the carnage that World War I brought to the people of Europe in particular, and the mistakes made already in its origins, conduct and conclusion, which led to the even more destructive World War II, we call on leaders of all sides directly or indirectly involved in the ongoing war in Ukraine to realize their responsibilities and End the Hostilities Now, allowing for an internationally supervised process that will bring about a just and lasting peace.
In the letter and the spirit of the UN Charter, we stress that:
· There is no justification for attempting to change internationally recognized borders by force and no such attempt can lead to an acceptable change of existing borders;
· There is no justification for committing war crimes and crimes against humanity, and each and all relevant allegations should be investigated and duly prosecuted before the competent courts;
· Grievances and disputes have to be resolved “by negotiation, enquiry, mediation, conciliation, arbitration, judicial settlement, resort to regional agencies or arrangements, or other peaceful means” (quoting from Article 33 of the UN Charter);
· Peace, reconciliation and mutually beneficial co-existence should be the ultimate goals of any peace process, with full respect for the individual and collective rights of all people involved;
· The transition from a general ceasefire to a final peace settlement between Russia and Ukraine will have to be supervised by international institutions, notably the United Nations, under conditions of demilitarization of any and all occupied areas and a larger demilitarized zone of disengagement between the armed forces of the belligerents.
We call on the parties directly involved, those supporting them, the leaders of the G20 nations that will soon meet in Bali, Indonesia, and the world at large to unite around an agenda as described above and proceed to its implementation immediately, to avoid further victims in view also of the incoming winter in Europe. All immediate efforts should be focused on repairing civilian infrastructure, including in the areas to be placed under temporary international administration, and on securing the adequate supply of food, water, healthcare and energy for their inhabitants.
Let us start the process of healing and make this the last major confrontation in our world. Let’s listen to the collective voice of humanity that demands that we join forces to fight against common enemies that are closing in upon us, namely climate change, disease, food and water insecurity, deepening inequalities and systemic malfunctions.
On this Armistice Day, 11 November 2022