The Belgrade appeal for peace

The following Appeal was adopted unanimously by the regular yearly Assembley of the Belgrade forum held April 22nd, 2023, attended by over 100 prominent intellectuals from Serbia, including the Autonomous Province of Kosovo and Metohija, Republic of Serbska, Montenegro and Serbian diaspora. There were present, among others, former Prime-minister of Serbia and the Vice Premier-minister of Federal Government of Yugoslavia, Nikola Sainovic, several former ministers of Serbian and Yugoslav governments from the time of the NATO aggression, writers, scientists, lawyers, domestic and foreign ambassadors and two archbishops of the Serbian Orthodox Church.

For Reason, Equality, and Development

The participants of the Annual Assembly of the Belgrade Forum for a World of Equals, held on April 22, 2023, in Belgrade, voiced their profound concern over the escalation of the conflict in Ukraine and an increased risk of its uncontrolled spreading, and made a public call for an immediate ceasefire and urgent peace negotiations. All unanimously acclaimed that dialogue and negotiations are the only path to end loss of human lives and destruction, and direct all resources toward stabilization, reconstruction, and development. To achieve this war propaganda, all sorts of provocations and oiling the fire must be stopped. Reason and courage is necessary to recognize and address the root causes of the conflict, without abusing it for expansion of geostrategic interests. Peace in Ukraine is a presumption for Europe and the world to normalize development, supply chains and cooperation, to commit themselves to building a new world order on the bases of sovereign equality of all peoples and countries, for peaceful coexistence and democratic governance of the world relations.

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The participants welcomed the Peace initiative of the President of the People’s Republic of China Xi Jinping and his continuous constructive efforts to initiate and facilitate the dialogue between the sides.

Neither Europe nor the rest of the world need any newly forged divisions, isolation, walls or blocks under any given pretext, but rather – resorting to reason, realism, and development in equality.

Peace is a prerequisite for the enormous funds, exceeding 2.2 trillion dollars spent on the arms race get redirected to development and creating better living conditions for all people, to nudge Europe and the world to turn instead to development and application of new technologies, to restoring the broken supply chains, and to begin to address the energy, food, migrant, and overall global economic and social crises.

The participants emphasized that peace and security are inseparable values to which are entitled all countries and peoples irrespective of their size, economic or military strength and that any reinforcing of security of certain countries at the expense of the security of other countries is unacceptable.

While underlining that the global relations are undergoing the most intense transformations since the end of WWII, the participants of the Assembly called upon all relevant stakeholders to accommodate to the realities of the multipolar world order, which inherently excludes hegemony, unilateralism, and privileges, and requires respect of sovereign equality, and the strengthening of multilateralism and the role of international law under the auspices of the United Nations.

They emphasized that, against the backdrop of new trends emerging in Europe and the world, we were witnessing an increasing importance of Serbia’s policy of military neutrality and her strategy of balanced relations with all countries that accept Serbia as an equal partner, and in particular with those which support her sovereignty and territorial integrity anticipating the solution of the status of the Province of Kosovo and Metohija as an autonomy within Serbia, in compliance with UN Security Council resolution 1244.

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Belgrade, April 24, 2023

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