World Peace Council

WORLD PEACE COUNCIL (WPC)

“Peace is Everybody’s Business”--
 Frederic Joliot-Curie, Founder President, WPC

The World Peace Council (WPC) is an anti-imperialist, democratic, independent and non-aligned international movement of mass action. It is an integral part of the world peace movement and acts in cooperation with other international and national movements. The WPC is the largest peace organisation  based in more than 100 countries.

It is the only peace organisation struggling side by side with the peoples and their movements against imperialist wars, occupation, threats and foreign intervention, for the right of the peoples to determine their own future free from imperialist domination.

The foundation of the WPC is the concrete outcome of the wish and desire of the peoples after the Second World War to end war and fascism and thus it was created in 1949-1950 only few years after the Anti-fascist victory of the peoples and few months after the creation of the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (NATO).

The period before the official creation of the WPC an initiative was taken by Intellectuals from Poland and France, supported immediately by their colleagues in the Soviet Union and other countries to call for a World Congress of Intellectuals for Peace which took place successfully from 25 to 28 August 1948 at Wrocław University of Technology in Wroclaw (Poland) with the participation of more than 400 personalities from 46 countries. Amongst them were outstanding persons like Irene Joliot-Curie, Pablo Picasso, Ilya Ehrenburg, Martin Andersen Nexo, Sir John Boydd-Orr, Andrei Fadeev, Julien Benda and important women like Eugenie Cotton and Anna Seghers.
This Wroclaw Congress established a permanent organisation called the International Liaison Committee of Intellectuals for Peace.

In Wroclaw the idea was born to hold a World Peace Congress and very soon a preparatory meeting was held in February 1949 in Paris. In the course of preparations and consultations the international appeal was translated in many languages and the famous dove of Pablo Picasso was created, which decorates also today the emblem of the WPC.

More than 18 International Associations signed the Appeal; more than 1.000 National organisations of all nature endorsed it. Around three thousand famous world personalities supported the initiative. In total this was corresponding to 600 million women and men in the world.

The  Cultural and Scientific Conference for World Peace was held in New York City on 25-27 March 1949 at the Waldorf Astoria Hotel, under the auspices of the National Council of Arts, Sciences and Professions. The Conference was held under the chairmanship of Harlow Shapley, an American scientist.

On the 28 April 1949 the First World Congress of Partisans for Peace opened its doors in Paris, with more than 2.198 delegates from 72 countries. The same day 281 delegates gathered in the Prague session of the Congress, because they were denied entry to France. The slogan of the Congress was: “from now on Peace is a matter of the peoples”.

On 18 March 1950, the WPC launched its Stockholm Appeal at a meeting of the Permanent Committee of the World Peace Congress, calling for the absolute prohibition of nuclear weapons. The Appeal was signed by more than 450 million people, with the demand for the absolute ban of Nuclear Weapons.
It was the period when the big western forces were starting and increasing their nuclear arsenals, adding new and even bigger threats to peace and security in the world.

 

In November 1950, the World Congress of the Supporters of Peace adopted a permanent constitution for the World Peace Council. 

The World Peace Council stated clearly from its founding days for what Peace we stand for. Peace and social justice, peace and freedom, peace and sovereignty, peace and friendship go hand in hand and are linked with each other. Thus the WPC fought firmly for the decolonization and independence of the African, Asian and other nations, against the bloody colonial and imperialist occupation throughout our history.

 The WPC fought vigorously against all foreign military bases as an instrument of interference and war drive mechanism, we opposed and fought against the creation of NATO, which was from its beginning the imperialist military platform responsible for dozens of dictatorships and wars, which had always an offensive and reactionary character supporting oppressive and military regimes in the world.

 

Since its creation the WPC stood for peace, disarmament and global security; for national independence, economic and social justice and development, for protection of the environment, human rights and cultural heritage; solidarity with and support of those peoples and liberation movements fighting for the independence, sovereignty and integrity of their countries, and against imperialism.
The WPC has consistently adhered to the main principles and objectives laid down by its founders and is inspired by the UN charter, the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the principles of the Non Aligned Movement and the Final Act of the Helsinki Conference on Security and Cooperation in Europe.
As an NGO member of the United Nations, the WPC cooperates with UNESCO, UNCTAD, UNIDO,ILO and other UN specialized agencies, special committees and departments; with the Non-Aligned Movement, the African Union, the League of Arab States and other inter-governmental bodies.

The WPC initiates and cooperates in actions to eliminate nuclear, chemical and biological weapons, and to reduce conventional arms. It also acts in particular for the dissolution of military blocks and pacts; the dismantling of all military bases and the withdrawal of foreign troops; for social and economic development, the establishment of a new international economic order, a just solution of the problem of foreign debt; for the recognition of every nation’s freedom of choice; for the establishment of a new international information and communication order; in support of the liberation movements; for the settlement of regional conflicts on the basis of respect for the rights of the peoples to self-determination. In its activities and structures, the WPC pursues the goal of equal participation of men and women. The WPC believes that the solution of global security problems is possible by enlarging the popular movement and raising the level of public awareness.

 

OVERCOMING THE ODDS
The debacle of socialism in former Soviet Union and in East Europe and subsequent strengthening of imperialist hegemony made the situation difficult also for the peace movement around the globe.
The World Peace Council passed its temporary crisis.  However, after the initial set back, attempts were made by the mid-1990s to rejuvenate the council.

 

 

World Peace Assembly, Athens, Greece,1990

World Peace Assembly and Conference held  in Athens, Greece (6-11 February 1990) that  drew nearly 200 delegates from 47 countries. The event was hosted by the Greek Committee for International Détente and Peace (EEDYE).
At the Congress in Athens, Secretary-General Johannes Pakaslahti of Finland spoke for dissolution of the WPC.  But he failed to convince others. Pakaslahti had been was elected Secretary General of WPC in April 1986 at the  Plenary Session of the organization held  in Sofia, Bulgaria.

Evangelos Maheras (1918-2015), a Greek lawyer , former rector of the University of Athens got elected WPC’s President. Maheras was succeeded 1993 by Mrs.  Albertina Sisulu (1918-2011) of  South Africa . She remained in this post till 2002.

 

Mexico Conference 1994
In 1994, a conference took place in Mexico, which was a landmark event, really, because the forces regrouped again, and a secretariat – which had disappeared – was approved, made up of the national committees from Japan, France, Portugal, Palestine and Cuba. In 2000, the headquarters of the WPC was shifted to the Capital of Greece, Athens.

WPC Assembly, Athens, Greece 2000

The Assemblyof theWorld Peace Council was successfully held in Athens, Greece (10-15 May 2000) that drew nearly 200 delegates from 47 countries in Asia, Africa, Latin America, and Europe. The event was hosted by the Greek Committee for International Détente and Peace (EEDYE).
The Chinese People's Association for Peace and Disarmament was represented for the first time.

The conference also voted to move the WPC headquarters from to Athens, Greece.
Mrs. Albertina Sisulu(1918-2011) of South Africa got elected WPC President.
Mr. Athanasios Pafilis of Greece replaced Lysanne Elisander of the French Movement for Peace as WPC General Secretary.
Mr. Ramesh Chandra of India (died in July 2016) got elected President of Honor of the WPC.

WPC Assembly,Athens, Greece 2004
In 2004, a significant development was the Assembly of WPC held in Athens on 6-9 May. More than 200 peace delegates from 80 countries participated in it.
The Athens Assembly elected a new Secretariat of the WPC with Orlando Fundora Lopez of Cuban Movement for Peace and Sovereignty of the Peoples as President, Thanasis Pafilis, of Greek Committee for International Détente and Peace as General Secretary and with representatives from Japan, USA, Vietnam, Mexico, Portugal, France, Congo, Senegal, Egypt. AIPSO was elected Vice President of the WPC. It may be noted that between 1996 and 2004 no President was elected. Albertina Sisulu from South
Africa was WPC President from 1993 to 1996.

WPC Executive Committee Meeting / Vietnam, Hanoi, November 19-20, 2007
The World Peace Council (WPC) held successfully its Executive Committee meeting on November 19- 20, 2007 in the capital of Vietnam, Hanoi.
Major item of its agenda, amongst other topics, was the holding of the next Assembly of the WPC, as the highest decision making body of the Organisation.
The Executive Committee decided unanimously to accept the readiness of Committee for International Solidarity (COSI) from Venezuela to host the WPC Assembly and World Peace Conference to be held on 8-13 April, 2008, in Caracas, Venezuela.
Following organizations participated in the Executive Committee Meeting in Hanoi: Vietnam Peace Committee, Cuban Movement for Peace and the sovereignty of the Peoples, Greek Committee for International Détente and Peace, Committee for International Solidarity (Venezuela), Portuguese Council for Peace and Cooperation, Mexican movement for Peace and Development, Movement for Peace and Solidarity (Argentine), Japan Peace Committee, Bangladesh Peace Council, Brazilian Center for the struggle for Peace and Solidarity of the Peoples, US Peace Council, Congo Peace Committee, OSPAAAL
Spain, All India Peace and Solidarity Organisation, Syrian Peace Committee, Korean National Peace Committee, German Peace Council, Spanish Committee for the defense of Solidarity and Peace, Sri Lanka Peace Council, Lao Peace and Solidarity Committee, Mongolian Union for Friendship and Peace and AAPSO as guest.

Asia Pacific Regional Conference of the WPC /New Delhi, India, February15-16, 2008
The Asian Regional Consultative Meeting of the World Peace Council hosted by AIPSO was held in New
Delhi on 15-16 February 2008. Delegations from Bangladesh, DPR of Korea, Laos, Nepal, Sri Lanka, Vietnam and India. Thanassis Pafilis, General Secretary of WPC attended this meeting.

WPC Assembly in Caracas, Venezuela 2008
After Athens, the next WPC Assembly and World Peace Conference was held in Caracas, Venezuela (8-13 April 2008). The Venezuelan ‘Committee for International Solidarity’ (COSI) hosted the Assembly and Conference, where more than 280 peace delegates from 123 organizations from 83 countries participated in it. We organized attached to the Assembly a broad World Peace Conference, in which many hundreds of participants from Venezuela and the whole world participated. Dozens of personalities
and intellectuals, representatives from peace movements, youth and students’ organizations, trade unions, women organizations, etc. attended the World Peace Conference.
The Caracas Assembly elected Mrs. Socorro Gomes of Brazil (Brazilian Center for the Solidarity with the Peoples and the Struggle for Peace CEBRAPAZ) the new President of the WPC. Orlando Fundora Lopez was elected President of Honour.
Mr. Athanasios Pafilis of Greek Committee for International Détente and Peace EEDYE and Member of the Greek Parliament was elected General Secretary. Mr. Iraklis Tsavdaridis of Greek Committee for International Détente and Peace EEDYE was elected Executive Secretary.
Following organizations were elected to the WPC Executive Committee: MOVPAZ Cuba, CPPC Portugal, Peace Council Germany, Committee for Peace and Solidarity Palestine, AIPSO, National Peace
Council of Syria, Peace Council USA, Congo Peace Committee, South African Peace Initiative, Vietnam
Peace Committee and Japan Peace Committee.

WPC Assembly in Kathmandu, Nepal, 2012
The last WPC Assembly and World Peace Conference was held from 20 to 23 July 2012 at Kathmandu, Nepal with the theme “Let’s Strengthen Peoples’ Struggle for Peace against Imperialists’ War and Exploitation”. Hosted by the Nepal Peace & Solidarity Council (NPSC), the Assembly was attended by nearly 150 delegates from 52 countries. The Assembly was inaugurated by Mr. Madhab Nepal, former Prime Minister of Nepal.
The Assembly on 22 July re-elected Mrs. Socorro Gomes, Mr. Athanasios Pafilis and Mr. Iraklis Tsavdaridis respectively as President, General Secretary and Executive Secretary of the WPC.

PRESIDENTS OF THE WPC
Frédéric Joliot-Curie,France (1950–1958)
John Desmond Bernal, U.K. (1959–1965)
Isabelle Blume, Belgium (1965–1969)
Romesh Chandra, India (General Secretary in 1966-1977; President in 1977-1990)
Evangelos Maheras , Greece (1990–1993)
Albertina Sisulu, South Africa (1993–1996)
Orlando Fundora López, Cuba (2004–2008)
Socorro Gomes, Brazil (2008-2022)
Pallab Sengupta, India (2022--)

PUBLICATION
WPC publishes a quarterly journal, Peace Messenger.
Head Office:
World Peace Council
10 Othonos Street
10557 Athens/Greece
Website: http://www.wpc-in.org


WPC Rules and Regulations

(Amended and approved in the Assembly of WPC, Caracas 10th April, 2008)

PREAMBLE
1. Since its creation in 1949 – 50, the World Peace Council has grown and broadened into a worldwide mass movement. It stands for peace, disarmament and global security; for national independence, economic and social justice and development, for protection of the environment,human rights and cultural heritage; solidarity with and support of those peoples and liberation movements fighting for the independence, sovereignty and integrity of their countries, and against imperialism. National peace organizations and movements associated with the WPC, together with individual supporters of different political persuasions, can be found on all continents and in all regions of the world.
2. The WPC is guided by the words of its Founder President Frederic Joliot-Curie – “Peace is Everybody’s Business”.
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CHAPTER I, PRINCIPLES AND OBJECTIVES
3. The WPC is an open, democratic, independent, pluralist and non-aligned international movement of mass action. It is an integral part of the world peace movement and acts in cooperation with other international and national movements.
4. The WPC is a broad coalition of movements and organizations which, on the international level, choose to combine their diverse activities for the achievement of a common goal: the creation and strengthening of a secure and just peace for all the peoples of the world.
5. The WPC is an open and democratic forum for dialogue, cooperation, interaction and mutual assistance among sovereign and independent peace, disarmament, solidarity, humanitarian, ecological, scientific, cultural, religious, labour and other movements and organization, as well as individuals, without any discrimination on ideological, political or other grounds.
6. The WPC has consistently adhered to the main principles and objectives laid down by its founders and is inspired by the UN charter, the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the principles of the Non Aligned Movement and the Final Act of the Helsinki Conference on Security and Cooperation in Europe.
The principles are:
- Prohibition of all weapons of mass destruction and ending of the arms drive; abolition of foreign military bases; total and universal disarmament under effective international control
- Elimination of all forms of colonialism, neo-colonialism, racism, sexism and other forms of discrimination
- Respect for the right of the peoples to sovereignty and independence, essential for the establishment of peace
- Respect of the territorial integrity of states
- Non-interference in the internal affairs of nations
- Establishment of mutually beneficial trade and cultural relations based on friendship and mutual respect
- Peaceful co-existence between states with different political systems
- Negotiations instead of use of force in the settlement of differences between nations.
7. The WPC believes that the solution of global security problems is possible by enlarging the popular movement and raising the level of public awareness.
8. The WPC initiates and cooperates in actions to eliminate nuclear, chemical and biological weapons, and to reduce conventional arms. It launches new campaigns for the solution of global problems. It also acts in particular for the dissolution of military blocks and pacts; the dismantling of all military bases and the withdrawal of foreign troops; for social and economic development, the establishment of a new international economic order, a just solution of the problem of foreign dept; for the recognition of every nation’s freedom of choice; for the establishment of a new international information and communication order; in support of the liberation movements; for the settlement of regional conflicts on the basis of respect for the rights of the peoples to self determination.
9. The WPC cooperates with the United Nations, UNESCO, UNCTAD, UNIDO, ILO and other UN specialized agencies, special committees and departments; with the Non-Aligned Movement, the Organization of African Unity, the League of Arab States and other inter-governmental bodies.
10. Activities of the WPC are based upon the involvement and contribution of movements and organizations represented in it, which are autonomous and independent entities. The WPC is a genuine movement of international solidarity and mutual support. Public opinion is of key importance in WPC efforts for the achievements of all its principles and objectives.
11. In its activities and structures the WPC pursues the goal of equal participation of men and women.
12. The WPC has developed its own unique character over the years. Its structure conforms to the changing realities; it varies in accordance with different countries and regions.

CHAPTER II MEMBERSHIP
13. WPC members are national and international movements, organizations and groups, which agree with its main principles and any of its objectives, and pay regular membership fees.
14. Organizations other than those mentioned in Article 13 may become members of the WPC at the discretion of the Executive Committee in consultation with member organizations.
15. National and international organizations that wish to cooperate with the WPC on any of its objectives may become associate members.
16. Distinguished individuals may become honorary members at the discretion of the Executive Committee in consultation with member organizations.

17. The member organizations have the right to:
- Elect and be elected in accordance with the rules and regulations of the WPC for its bodies;
- Participate with full capacity in all procedures of the WPC;
- Make proposals and request clarification on all aspects of WPC activity and receive information in that regard;
- Request assistance for the implementation of any activity, campaign or specific project;
- Refer by all means and in public, to its status as WPC member;
18. The member organizations have the duties to:
- Comply with the rules and regulations of the WPC;
- Contribute to the accomplishment of the objectives of the WPC;
- Pay the obligatory annual membership fee;

CHAPTER III, WPC BODIES
19. The WPC shall have the following bodies: the Assembly, Regional Conferences, the Executive Committee and the Secretariat. All activities of the WPC bodies are of an open character.

CHAPTER IV, THE ASSEMBLY
20. The WPC Assembly is the highest body of the WPC. It shall meet regularly every three years.
21. The Assembly is composed of representatives of member organizations. At the Assembly each member organization has one vote.
22. Decisions at the Assembly shall be taken by a simple majority vote if consensus cannot be achieved.
23. The Assembly shall be convened by the Executive Committee. An extraordinary Assembly shall be convened by the Executive Committee or at the request of not less than one third of the total number of member organizations as well as one third of the countries represented in the WPC.
24. The tasks of the Assembly shall be:
- To determine the main guidelines for WPC activities and to approve the auditor’s report and the budget for a three-year term;
- To elect WPC member organizations to the Executive Committee in conformity with Article 29;
- To elect the WPC President of Honour from among persons who have made outstanding contributions to the development of the WPC and the peace movement as a whole and on the basis of recommendations form WPC member organizations;
- To examine the WPC Charter (Rules and Regulations) and make any necessary changes;
- To establish an Auditing or Monitoring Commission;

CHAPTER V, REGIONAL CONFERENCES (AFRICA; AMERICAS; ASIA AND PACIFIC; EUROPE AND MIDDLE EAST)

25. Taking into account specific conditions, Regional Conferences of the WPC are held once a year to review the situation and activities in the region and to work out a joint programme of actions and plans for fund-raising.
26. If consensus cannot be reached, the Regional conference shall take decisions by a simple majority vote.
27. The Regional Conference shall be convened by the Regional Coordinator.
28. The tasks for the Regional Conference shall be:
- To determine the main guidelines for regional activities, cooperation and assistance for the period of the year
- To approve the budget for such activities, and to set up the necessary subsidiary bodies and working groups for the implementation of those tasks
- To elect the Regional Coordinator

CHAPTER VI, EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE
29. The WPC Executive Committee, composed of representatives of up to 40 member organizations, shall be elected by the Assembly from among WPC member organizations on the basis of proposals made by Regional Conferences, taking due account of an adequate geopolitical representation. In exceptional cases the Executive Committee may co-opt up to 5 additional full members of the Executive Committee.
30. The Executive Committee shall meet according to necessity not less than once a year. Its meetings shall take place by rotation in different regions and is convened by the WPC President.
31. The tasks of the Executive Committee shall be:
- To coordinate and promote WPC activities and advance the work of member organizations;
- To coordinate international campaigns, projects and initiatives; and to work out organizational, informative and financial measures for their practical implementation;
- To develop cooperation with other peace movements and international and regional organizations;
- To convene the WPC Assembly and to prepare the agenda;
- To Elect the Secretariat, taking due account of an adequate geopolitical representation;
- To adopt the WPC annual budget and financial report and to take the necessary steps for fund-raising;
- To admit WPC members, associate members and honorary members;
- To elect the WPC President and General-Secretary, and to appoint the WPC Executive-Secretary;
- To elect the WPC Vice-presidents, up to 3 per region, upon recommendations of the Regional Conferences. The Vice-presidents take special tasks assigned by the Executive Committee, to attain the main objectives of WPC.

32. The Executive Committee shall elect a representative of one of its member organisations as President, for a period until the next regular Assembly. The President chairs the Executive Committee and together with the General-Secretary, ensures the coordination of all organizational work and political activities. The President represents the WPC in international institutions on the basis of the main guidelines determinated by the Assembly and the Executive Committee.
33. The General-Secretary is elected by the Executive Committee member organizations for a period until the next regular Assembly. The General-Secretary chairs the Secretariat, and ensures, in cooperation with the President, the coordination of all organizational work and political activities. The General-Secretary is directly responsible for the work and functioning of the Secretariat, internal organizational and financial matters. The General-Secretary represents the WPC in international institutions at different international, regional and national levels on the basis of the main guidelines determinated by the Assembly and the Executive Committee.
34. The WPC Executive-Secretary should derive from the Organisation of the host country and shall be ex officio a full member of the WPC Executive Committee and WPC Secretariat. The Executive-Secretary's tasks are the Coordination of the Secretariat tasks and operational handling of decisions of the Executive Committee and Secretariat, in closed cooperation with the General Secretary and President.

CHAPTER VII, THE SECRETARIAT
35. The WPC Secretariat shall function as the coordinating and communication body of the WPC between the regular meetings of the Executive Committee. The Secretariat fulfils the tasks entrusted to it by the Assembly and the Executive Committee and reports thereon to them. The Secretariat is convened by the WPC General-Secretary.
36. The Secretariat shall be elected from among the Executive Committee member organisations. Its composition should take into account an adequate geopolitical representation and must not exceed one third of the number of the elected Executive Committee, except when a particular interest is to be achieved.
37. The President, the General-Secretary, the Executive-Secretary and the Regional Coordinators are full members of the WPC Secretariat by definition of their special tasks and responsibilities.
38. Each organization shall have one vote. In the case of the presence of several members coming from the same organization, the organization, not the individuals, holds one vote.
39. The main tasks for the Secretariat shall be:
- To organize and coordinate the implementation of projects, campaigns, initiatives, etc., of a global character and to render necessary assistance in the implementation of regional, continental, group and national projects;
- To the organize the informational activities of the WPC and to fulfill the functions of the editorial board of WPC members and other national and international organizations;
- To facilitate the functioning of the WPC’s elected bodies;
- To be responsible for the day-to-day implementation of the WPC central budget;
- To collect information on the activities of member and other organizations and to make it available in the common interest of all, using networks specially set up for this purpose, such us an interactive website and the Peace Messenger as digital and/or paper publication;
- To inform public opinion about the goals and activities of the WPC and other peace movements;
- To collect results of peace-related research work as background material;
- To produce regular and occasional publications;
- To keep, maintain and preserve WPC assets and property.
40. In its work the Secretariat shall be assisted by professional and other support staff recruited both internationally and locally within the limits of the allocated budget.

CHAPTER VIII, FINANCES
41. The WPC budget shall be formed by:
- Obligatory annual membership fees, the amount of which shall be determined by the Executive Committee for each category of WPC members, in consultation with member organizations; these fees are subject to subsequent ratification and revision by the Assembly
- Voluntary donations in cash and in kind from organizations, funds and individuals
- Money collected through special fund-raising activities.
42. The WPC General-Secretary shall report to the WPC Executive Committee on the annual operating statement and balance sheet as compared to the year’s budget estimates, and submit an auditor’s report and budget for the next year. The Executive Committee shall report to the Assembly on the state of WPC finances. The annual operating statement, balance sheet and auditor’s report shall be made public annually.
Amended and approved in the Assembly of WPC, Caracas 10th April, 2008

 

All India Peace & Solidarity Organisation, West Bengal State Committee

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