Cairo declaration against war
benj at connexus.net.au
Fri Jan 10 04:56:33 MST 2003
Against U.S. Hegemony and War on Iraq and In Solidarity with Palestine
The international meeting organised by the Egyptian Popular Campaign to
Confront U.S Aggression was convened in Cairo on December 18 and 19 to launch
the International Campaign.
We, the participants reaffirm our resolve to stand in solidarity with the
people of Iraq and Palestine, recognising that war and aggression against them
is but part of a U.S. project of global domination and subjugation. Solidarity
with Iraq and Palestine is integral to the internationalist struggle against
neo-liberal globalisation. The Cairo meeting is not an isolated event, but an
extension of a protracted international struggle against imperialism, from
Seattle and Genoa to Lisbon and Florence, to Cordoba and Cairo.
The U.S. provides unlimited support, and even justification, to the Zionist
perpetrators of genocidal crimes against the Palestinian people. The suffering
of the Iraqi people under a regime of genocidal sanctions lasting over a
decade, and the aggressive militarism which they face today is but a logical
outcome of the structures of power asymmetry of the existing world order:
* The U.S. monopolises political, economic and military power within the
framework of capitalist globalisation, to the detriment of the lives of the
majority of the world's people
* The U.S. imposes control through naked aggression and militarised
globalisation in pursuit of its rulers' interests, all while reinstating the
characteristic direct occupation of classical colonialism
* The U.S. global strategy, which was formulated prior to September 11 2001,
aims to maintain the existing uni-polar world order, and to prevent the
emergence of forces that would shift the balance of power towards
multi-polarity. The U.S. administration has exploited the tragic events of
September 11, under the pretext of fighting terrorism, to implement the
Attention to this global context helps explain current world developments:
First: Capitalist Globalisation and U.S. Hegemony
* prioritise the interest of monopolistic capitalist circles above those of the
people, including Europeans and U.S. citizens.
* integrate the economies of different countries into a single global
capitalist economic system under conditions which undermine social development
and adversely affect the situation of women, child health, education, and
social services for the elderly. In addition, unemployment and poverty
* generalise the culture of consumerism and individualism, to the detriment of
a sense of collective responsibility, whether towards the thousands of infant
and child deaths in Iraq resulting from polluted water, malnutrition and
deficiencies in medical supplies, or towards the victims of AIDS, malnutrition
and famines around the world. Among millions of people standards of living have
deteriorated while unemployment and poverty have become widespread.
Globalisation has resulted in the marginalisation of entire peoples who could
no longer acquire the basic necessities to sustain life.
Second: In the absence of democracy, and with widespread corruption and
oppression constituting significant obstacles along the path of the Arab
peoples' movement towards economic, social, and intellectual progress, adverse
consequences are further aggravated within the framework of the existing world
order of neo-liberal globalisation.
* Admission to restrictions on democratic development in Iraq in no way
constitutes acceptance of U.S. justifications for continuation of sanctions,
and now preparations for war. Without disregarding long-standing restrictions
on democratic development in Iraqi society - as is the case in all Arab
societies - it is evident that the U.S.-imposed sanctions have had a
devastating effect on Iraq's development. Whereas Iraq had once enjoyed a
relatively positive profile according to certain human development indicators,
its people now suffer severely as a result of the sanctions regime. Iraq has
witnessed a significant rise in child mortality rates, the spread of several
diseases, reduction of opportunities in education, and a marked deterioration
of the standard of living. As human suffering increases it generates a sense of
* The Palestinian people are suffering as a result of the loss of their land
and continued Zionist aggression, which the U.S. supports militarily,
economically, and politically, making its administration a de facto accomplice
in the crimes committed against the Palestinian people. The U.S. protects
Israel from condemnation in international forums under the pretext of combating
terrorism, and it asserts additional false claims, such as when it equates the
legitimate struggle of the Palestinian people to resist occupation, liberate
their land, and return to their homes, on the one hand, with terrorism that we
all abhor, on the other.
* The policies of Structural Adjustment associated with neo-liberal
globalisation have precipitated global crises manifest in a widening wealth
gap, increase in poverty and unemployment, and general deterioration of
standards of living.
* U.S. military presence in the Arab region, and its dictates to governments of
sovereign nations of the region has compounded the suffering of the Arab
people. Interference in the internal affairs of these nations now extends to
demands of educational reform, and insistence on "democratisation". Ironically
this is occurring at a time when civil liberties in the U.S. are clearly under
siege, especially with regard to Arab and Muslim Americans, along with other
minorities. The U.S. administration also violates international law by its
inhumane treatment of the POWs in Guantanamo. Also evident is the wealth gap in
the U.S., which is the widest among the industrial nations of the world.
* Far from secretly, the US intends to partition Arab countries into smaller
entities on ethnic or religious basis. This would enable Israel to become the
dominant regional power within the framework of the Middle East Project, to the
peril of an Arab project of equitable development and regional unity.
The suffering of the Arab people and U.S. unwavering support of the system of
apartheid imposed on the Palestinian people, will undoubtedly fuel conflict and
lead to the escalation of violence in one of the most sensitive areas of the
world. Such danger can easily extend to neighbouring Europe, Asia and Africa.
Continued preparation for war on Iraq in spite of its acceptance of a UN
resolution of aggressive inspection of its armament, as well as civilian
industries, signals a predetermined intent to control the Arab region, its oil
and indeed the entire world supply of oil.
Third: For all these reasons we declare our total opposition to war on Iraq and
our resolve to continue the struggle against U.S. policies of global
domination. We strongly believe in the urgency of mobilising against these
policies. All democratic forces in the world that are for genuine Peace and
Justice must join together within the framework of an international campaign
against neo-liberal, US-centric globalisation and promote an alternate
globalise based on Equity and Justice. This would mean better utilisation of
the world's resources and protection of the environment. Together the people of
the world are quite able to combat aggression and all forms of injustice,
prejudice and racism, and make a better world possible.
The Cairo conference against war on Iraq and in solidarity with Palestine
represents the launching of an international popular movement that creates
effective mechanisms for confronting policies of aggression. The participation
of international activists who are prominent for their struggles for Human
Dignity, Rights and Justice, as well as intellectuals, authors, unionists,
human rights workers, journalists and artists- from Egypt and the rest of the
Arab World, Africa, Asia, Latin America, Europe, and the United States- will no
doubt accelerate this noble endeavour in spite of the numerous obstacles that
we have to confront.
Fourth: It is important that this international popular initiative of
solidarity with Iraq and Palestine proceed according to an Action Plan which
includes clearly defined priorities:
1. Condemnation of U.S. military presence on Arab land along with pressuring
the Arab governments that allow U.S military bases on their territory to close
them down, and not to provide air, naval, or land facilities
2. Develop co-operation among popular organisations of the South to reinforce
solidarity in confronting the policies and practices of neo-liberal
globalisation and U.S. hegemony
3. Work towards co-operation with the international anti-globalisation movement
of the North and South, and participation in activities and meetings organised
by this movement
4. Promote the unity of democratic forces and popular organisations in
different parts of the world, and form solidarity committees which oppose war
on Iraq, and the genocidal crimes faced by Palestinians, supporting their right
to resistance and struggle for liberation
5. Under the banner Together against globalisation and U.S Hegemony add Iraq
and Palestine to the agendas of international progressive meetings,
particularly the next Social Forum at Porto Allegre
6. Invite Arab and international human rights organisations to evaluate
humanitarian conditions in Iraq and disseminate their findings worldwide
7. Prepare to send human shields to Iraq
8. Introduce the boycott of U.S. and Israeli commodities in solidarity
campaigns in support of Iraq and Palestine, with emphasis on the right of
return for Palestinians
9. Elect a Steering Committee to follow up on the implementation of the Cairo
Declaration, and co-ordination among organisations which commit to its
principles, and enhance awareness through appropriate actions ranging from the
preparation of posters to organising marches and demonstrations in solidarity
with Iraq and Palestine
office at stopwar.org.uk www.stopwar.org.uk
07951 235 915 or 020 7053 2155/6 PO Box 3739, London E5 8EJ
Call for support for Cairo Declaration
By George Galloway MP and John Rees, vice-president, International Campaign
Against US Aggression on Iraq.
We are writing to ask for your support for an initiative launched from an
extremely important conference that took place in Cairo on 18th-19th
The conference launched the International Campaign Against US Aggression on
Iraq and was attended by over 400 delegates from the Arab world and the
international peace movement. Its proceedings were given extensive coverage by
the press and TV in the Middle East.
The conference issued the Cairo Declaration against globalisation and war (a
copy is included here). We would like you to add your name to this declaration.
A co-ordinating committee has been established headed by former President of
Algeria Ahmed Ben Bella and two vice presidents, John Rees of the Stop the War
Coalition in Britain and Elias Rashmawi from the US peace movement
The Egyptian government attempted to ban the conference but political
pressure forced it to allow the meeting to go ahead. This in itself is a
considerable political triumph since the conference did not have the support of
any government in the region. The conference was followed by a 1,000 strong
demonstration in central Cairo, again widely reported in the Arab press.
The International Campaign is now attempting to organise solidarity actions
with the anti-war demonstrations in the US on 18th January 2003. It is also
mobilising for solidarity actions with the European demonstrations planned for
15 February as agreed at the European Social Forum in Florence last November.
These now involve the peace movements of 11 European countries.
This is an important initiative, the first to link a representative voice from
the Arab world with the wider anti-war and anti-globalisation movement. Please
add your name to the Cairo Declaration by emailing us, with subject "support
Cairo declaration", giving your name, position and contact details. Please ask
friends and colleagues to add their names.
George Bush and Tony Blair are now moving swiftly towards a war on Iraq. We too
must move with all possible speed to create a global anti-war movement. Please
lend us your support.
George Galloway MP
John Rees, vice-president, International Campaign Against US Aggression on
UK Stop the War press release for Cairo conference
Egyptian government fails to stop anti-war conference
Stop the War Coalition sends delegates
A major anti-war conference will begin tomorrow in Cairo even though the
Egyptian government attempted to prevent it taking place.
The conference will be addressed by former UN official Denis Halliday,
former US attorney general Ramsey Clark, UK Labour MP George Galloway and Stop
the War Coalition steering committee member John Rees. The conference will now
take place as part of the growing world-wide protest against war in Iraq.
Eleven European countries, including Britain, Italy, France and Germany, will
be mounting anti-war protests on February 15, 2003.
This Cairo conference cancellation was surprising, particularly in view of
ample indications of a green light, and no objections from the authorities. On
that basis the organisers extended invitations to thirty international
intellectuals and activists, and forty-five from the Arab region, in addition
to well over four hundred Egyptian academics, artists, trade unionists,
writers, journalists, and activists of diverse political orientations.
Not surprisingly, there was a very positive response to the Egyptian
initiative. Internationally, the announcement of a conference in Cairo, in the
heart of the Arab World, was deemed "long overdue" at a time when
mobilisation against war and militarised globalisation is spreading across the
As declared in its initial announcement, the Campaign Against War in Iraq was
not meant to be only a conference focused on Arab regional issues, particularly
Iraq and Palestine, but a process of sustained collective international
resistance to U.S. militarism and dictates. Representing a clear stance against
U.S. hegemony, the announcement raised concerns about corporate-led
globalisation and derivative global apartheid.
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