A Brief Background
The Canadian Peace Congress is an organization of the Canadian people that advocates and works for world peace and disarmament. We maintain that peace not militarism and war is the guarantor of democracy, human rights, social and economic justice. We contend that peace, international friendship and cooperation among people’s and nations are possible and necessary to improve living standards, eradicate unemployment and poverty, illiteracy and disease and to restore the health of the planet.
The Canadian Peace Congress shares the view, and seeks to give voice, to the deeply held beliefs of Canadians in our country’s reputation as a non-belligerent state. We oppose all attempts from any quarter, to make Canada a “military super power”. Canada has no need for an imperialist posture in international affairs. We have everything we need to develop our country in the best interests of its people.
The Canadian Peace Congress seeks to convince all Canadians that in the 21st Century when human progress has created all of the prerequisites for a peaceful world, that war and the militarization of the economy, membership in aggressive military blocs such as NATO, NORAD, and NORTHCOM, a renewed nuclear arms race and its extension to space, participation in wars of intervention, occupation and regime change only serve the interests of powerful financial and military elites and not the people.
The Canadian Peace Congress maintains that the better world that all reasonable people of good will want cannot be achieved through competition among imperialist states to seize resources and markets, and appropriate the wealth of other people. The Canadian Peace Congress defends the sovereignty of nations and the right of all people to use their own resources, and to decide for themselves without foreign interference the type of economic and political system that serves their needs. We support the right of people’s to resist foreign invasion and occupation. We deplore and reject the characterization of nations as “rogue states”, a derogatory term used to justify military interference, illegal blockades and the mobilization of economic sanctions that harms the people and intensifies international tension.
We call for the reduction of world tensions through détente and negotiated reductions of conventional and nuclear arms. We call for adherence to all nuclear disarmament and non-proliferation treaties. We call for the closing of all foreign military bases.
The Canadian Peace Congress opposes unilateralism in world affairs. From this standpoint the Canadian Peace Congress supports the founding principles of the United Nations and deplores all attempts to undermine their historical relevance. We support the Millennium Goals of the UN and work for a reduction in arms spending and the reallocation of resources squandered on arms production to overcoming global poverty.
The Canadian Peace Congress opposes terrorism in all of its forms, including state terrorism. The Canadian Peace Congress deplores extremism and opposes doctrines of hate and revenge and retribution. We denounce the threat and use of overwhelming military power against defenseless civilian populations and the terrible cost in human lives, the destruction of the social and economic infrastructure and the cultural wealth created by the people. We agree with all those who assert that the fundamental answer to terrorism is to eliminate poverty, ignorance and oppression in all of its forms.
The Canadian Peace Congress is opposed to Canada’s participation in Ballistic Missile Defense (BMD). BMD technology supports the strategy of the first strike delivery of Weapons of Mass Destruction, (WMD’s) and the ability of the aggressor state to survive a “counterstrike”. The development and deployment of BMD technology has sparked a new arms nuclear arms race. We join with all those who assert that it is impossible to eliminate the threat of WMD’s, by embarking on BMD programs and strategies that require their production, deployment and use. We argue and campaign for non-participation in BMD and the elimination of all WMD’s, and any and all BMD technology and platforms on land sea or in space and all theories and strategies that support “first strike” use of WMD’s.
The Canadian Peace Congress believes that peace is possible if the people unite and demand it. We work for the broadest unity in action of all those who desire peace. We are a member organization of the Canadian Peace Alliance and support its work. Peace sentiment in Canada takes many forms and all are valid and all contribute to the prevention of war and the militarization of the economy and political life of the country.
The World Peace Council
The first World Congress of Intellectuals for Peace convened in Wroclaw, Poland on 6 August 1948 and made an appeal for the struggle for peace the world over to be organized. On 20 April 1949 the first World Congress of Peace Forces, convened simultaneously in Paris and Prague.
A decision was taken during this Congress to found the World Peace Council, and a year later this decision was implemented in Warsaw, with the French academician and Nobelist Frederic Joliot Curie its first president.
The first campaign organized by the WPC was to collect signatures worldwide on a petition demanding the abolition of atomic weapons.
The WPC then continued its struggle against the arms race and for a nuclear test ban. It played a leading part in stopping the aggressive war waged by the US against Vietnam. In the seventies the WPC organized a global campaign against the production of the neutron bomb, announced by US president Carter.
The WPC made a decisive contribution to world detente and peace by signing the Final Act of Helsinki. It took initiatives both in Europe and worldwide against NATO’s deployment of Pershing and Cruise missiles in Europe.
It has also promoted the concept of nuclear – free zones being established in Europe and elsewhere. Initiatives were likewise taken by the WPC to denounce the US decision on Star Wars.
Since 1991 the WPC has been waging a struggle against the New World Order. In 1996, during its Congress in Mexico, the WPC was restructured.