The WPF Statement on Downing of Russian Military Plane by Turkey

November 25, 2015

The international community is called upon to responsible and careful action after the shooting down of a Russian military jet by Turkish air force. The tragic casualty must be investigated in an objective way. It has to be taken into account that Russian pilots were fighting against IS terrorism. The murder of one Russian pilot after his parachute jump by militia men is a clear crime against humanity. It cannot be tolerated and those responsible for that crime must be punished. This is also a task for the international community and must be fostered by everybody who is on the side of his own future.

It demonstrates once again how dangerous the ongoing civil war in Syria is for global peace and stability and how important are the efforts of the international community to find a peaceful and long-lasting solution as well as to intensify the public effort to prevent other clashes. This overreaction by one of the too many players in the Syrian crisis could easily lead to military escalation and confrontation which involves the danger of a World War III. So the incident underlines the urgent need of an immediate cease fire among the non-jihadist parties in the Syrian civil war followed by serious and unbiased attempts for a political solution. We also reiterate our previous demand that IS has to be cut off from its financial resources and to sanction all those who are involved in illegal trading of any kind with IS or supports it in any way.


Palestine, the Rule of Law and Global Power Politics

A Speech by Hans Köchler, President of the International Progress Organization, at the Special Meeting in observance of the International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People convened under the auspices of the United Nations General Assembly Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People, United Nations Office at Vienna, November 24, 2015

It is sad to state on this solemn occasion that, in the year when the United Nations Organization celebrates the 70th anniversary of its foundation, a just and comprehensive settlement of the Palestinian-Israeli conflict still appears to be elusive. The UN General Assembly’s recommendation of 1947 has yet to be implemented in full. The political and legal reality is exactly the opposite of what that resolution had envisaged, namely the creation of two sovereign states living peacefully side by side. In fact, talk of peace has become virtually meaningless in the face of continuing occupation of Palestinian and Arab land for almost half a century, and of an ever more determined strategy of the occupying power to expand control over and possession of territory acquired by force – in contravention of Article 2(4) of the UN Charter.

This policy has not been reversed, or even softened, in all the years since – in fact a quarter century after the end of the Cold War – a so-called “peace process” was initiated and the “Oslo agreement” was signed, which has never been acted upon in good faith anyway. Over decades, subsequent Israeli governments have followed a strategy, and worked out corresponding legislation, to create ever-new “facts on the ground.” The absence of a global balance of power – since the end of the Cold War – has made the Palestinian and Arab position even more precarious and has limited the space for independent diplomatic action by concerned regional states and their intergovernmental structures.

Read more

ISIS Thrives on the Disunity of Its Enemies

By Patrick Cockburn, CounterPunch, November 23, 2015

The aftermath of terrorist attacks such as the massacre in Paris are a bad time to produce new policies, but they provide ideal political conditions for a government to take radical, if ill-thought-out, initiatives. Leaders are carried away by a heady sense of empowerment as a worried or frightened public demands that something be done in response to calamity and to prevent it happening again. The moment of greatest risk is not when the bombs explode or the guns fire, but when governments react to these atrocities.

Terrorism is, in the first instance, aimed at showing defiance, exacting revenge and demonstrating strength. But, to be truly successful, it needs to provoke a poorly considered overreaction by those targeted. This has always been true. The greatest success of the 9/11 hijackers was not destroying the World Trade Center, but tempting the US government into launching wars in Afghanistan and Iraq in which it failed to achieve its ends and which are still going on.

The French Affliction

By Come Carpentier de Gourdon, Sunday Guardian Live, November 21, 2015

The man sitting in front of me on a Parisian café terrace stared sombrely at the busy street and waved his hand at the crowd.

“We are slowly drifting towards a chasm,” he said, shaking his head. “The country will fall into civil strife in a decade or two but the authorities refuse to look at the problem yet. Neither our army nor our law enforcement agencies will be able to control the chaos.”

The other person at our table, a high ranking retired police officer nodded silently. His friend, who had uttered the gloomy prediction, was a well known journalist from what is usually called the right wing of the political spectrum.

This was in the mid-1990s. That conversation has remained in my ears ever since but it rang much louder when I saw in horror, but not in disbelief, the scenes of carnage and panic in Paris on 13 November, hardly two hours after Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s speech at Wembley stadium and his urgent warning about the threat posed by terrorism. I was not surprised either when it appeared that Saint Denis, the millennial heart of the French Christian monarchy and the mausoleum of its kings, now mostly inhabited by non-European Muslim populations and long ruled by the communist party, was the hub of the terrorist plots.

BRICS Should Adopt New Growth Paradigm

November 21, 2015

In an interview to The Statesman the WPF’s Founding President Vladimir Yakunin reflects on education and youth employment in BRICS nations and on dialogue of civilizations.

“For us dialogue of civilizations is that every nation, big or small, should be able to protect their integrity, tradition and way of development of life.”

Contribution of World Religions to Peace

Questions and answers on refugee catastrophe

Diplomatic Academy of Vienna, Vienna, Austria, November 18, 2015

A panel discussion was organized by the Embassy of the Republic of Kazakhstan in Austria, the World Public Forum “Dialogue of Civilizations” and the Diplomatic Academy of Vienna.

The ongoing refugee catastrophe is also a challenge for the major religions and their representatives. The situation requires answers and measures.

At the panel discussion at the Diplomatic Academy of Vienna high-level representatives of the world religions and renowned experts discussed the issue and proposed solutions to the crisis.

Learn more

Five Banned Novels, in Moderate Malaysia

By Mohd Faizal Musa

I started writing at the age of 16 years old and got to publish my first novel at the age of 19. I won many prestigious literary awards in Malaysia. My pen name is Faisal Tehrani. However in 2010, everything flip over. From a poster boy of Malay literature, I become the most marginalized author. What really happened? Thinking I am a Shia adherent, the Shia community that is badly oppressed in my country asked me assistance. Since then I became an accidental human rights defender. I got my human rights training in Geneva, and Dublin. My views change dramatically from being a Cultural Relativist to a Universalist. I switched camp. In 2012, the current Prime Minister launched my novel, Perempuan Nan Bercinta (The Beloved Lady). In 2014, it was banned by Malaysia’s Home Ministry, citing reason “likely to be prejudicial to public order”. In 2015, four more books written by myself were banned. All together five. To illustrate how bad this is, four works by Nadine Gordimer, the recipient of the 1991 Nobel Prize in Literature were banned under apartheid.

Terrorism and the Politics of Hegemony

By Chandra Muzaffar, President of the International Movement for a Just World (JUST)

There has been a massive outpouring of sympathy for the victims of the dastardly, heinous massacre in Paris on 13 November 2015. Once again, with the help of the media, the whole of the human family has come together to grieve with the bereaved in France.

I only wish there was a fraction of that sympathy for the hundreds of thousands of victims of acts of terrorism right across West Asia and North Africa (WANA) in the last few decades. In many instances these innocent men, women and children were also the targets of the terrorist group, the Islamic State (IS), the alleged mastermind behind the Paris carnage, and other equally vicious perpetrators of violence. But IS terrorism in WANA is seldom analyzed to its roots in the mainstream global media because it would reveal the ugly truth about the hidden hands that manipulate so much of the murder and mayhem in that region.

The Paradox of Financialized Industrialization

A Speech by Michael Hudson made at the World Congress on Marxism 2015 at the School of Marxism, Peking University on October 10, 2015

The aim of finance is not merely to exploit labor, but to conquer and appropriate industry, real estate and government. The result is a financial oligarchy, neither industrial capitalism nor a tendency to evolve into socialism.