Final declaration of the Beirut International Forum
To Support the Peoples’ Anti-Imperialist Resistance and the Construction of Alternatives to Globalization
At the initiative and with the support of many research centers, associations and political or social movements, the work of the Beirut International Forum was accomplished January 16-18, 2009, with the participation of 450 Arab and international representatives and individuals from five continents (66 countries).
Contact (only) : [email protected]
This Forum, where Latin America, Asia and the Near East were strongly represented, embodied the spirit of the Tricontinental. Two great current events marked the Forum: on the one hand, the heroic resistance of the Palestinian people of Gaza who were facing an intensity of violence and a cruelty without precedent; on the other, the total crisis of world capitalism, which is not only financial but also economic, social, cultural and moral, endangering the survival of humanity.
Principles & Rights
The Forum affirms that:
• Peoples possess the right to resistance and this right must be inalienable, supported by the whole of the international community and recognized as such in international law;
• The combat of the resistance confronting colonialism cannot be divided from the combat by revolutionaries and free men and women confronting globalized capitalism, imperialism, militarization and the elimination of the social benefits that were established by more than two hundred years of determined working-class struggles.
• The people have a sovereign right to their natural resources. The right to food, health and education must take priority over any commercial consideration;
• Each culture and all knowledge should contribute to increasing the common wealth of humanity on the basis of respecting Nature, giving priority to human needs and the democratic management of society;
• The right to democratic governance must be carried out not only at the political level but also at the economic level and is the concern of both men and women;
• The right to cultural differences and freedom of worship while rejecting any cultural and racial bias must be guaranteed.
Campaigns & Resolutions:
The Forum’s participants affirm their support for the resistance of the Palestinian people of Gaza. They condemn the terrorism and crimes carried out against this population by Israel in violation of all human standards and human values.
They also call for:
1. The application of strict sanctions with regard to Israel, such as: breaking diplomatic relations and agreements and the prohibition of any sale of weapons to this country.
2. Legal charges against the States and the firms that sell weapons to Israel.
3. The European Union’s ceasing any political, cultural and economic collaboration with Israel and cancelling all conventions and agreements which tie the EU to this country.
4. Holding an International Conference to evaluate the war crimes, and the crimes against humanity carried out against the population of Gaza, as well as all economic and ecological crimes, and bring judicial charges against those people responsible for these crimes and those committed in Lebanon in 2006.
5. Reestablishing UN Resolution #3379 equating Zionism and racism, and expelling Israel from the United Nations.
6. Launching an international campaign for the rebuilding of Gaza, the lifting of the blockade and the release of the political prisoners.
Concerning the anti-imperialist and anti-colonial struggle, the participants
1. Express their support for both the Palestinian and Lebanese resistance in their struggle against Israeli occupation, as well as for the Iraqi resistance that combats the U.S. occupation. Moreover, the participants support the efforts of the Iraqi people to preserve their territorial unity.
2. Announce their support for the self-determination of the Afghan people and their fight against the U.S. and NATO occupation.
3. Salute Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez as well as Bolivian President Evo Morales for their support for the peoples’ resistance. The participants also express total support with the struggle of these two leaders against any intervention of the United States in Latin America.
4. Call for the lifting of the blockade on Cuba and the release of the Cuban prisoners held in U.S. prisons.
5. Condemn the alliance between the USA and the neofascist government of Colombia that for four decades has terrorized its own people and worked to destabilize the progressive governments of Latin America. They also bring their support to the revolutionary movements in struggle against this regime.
6. Call for the formation of an international league of members of Parliament to defend the rights of peoples to resistance and self-determination, and to reactivate the agreements on the protection of the civilian population.
7. Call for the creation of an international media network to uncover propaganda lies concerning the nature of and the crimes perpetrated by Israel.
8. Call for continuing the work of the court of conscience to judge war crimes, in particular to bring to justice those persons responsible for the war crimes carried out in Lebanon in 2006.
9. Call for launching a campaign for the application of the Advisory Council of the International Court of Justice concerning the racist partition wall in Palestine;
10. Call for founding a global network to coordinate among local representatives at times of crises and wars;
11. Call for rejecting U.S. threats and provocations with regard to Iran’s right to develop a civilian nuclear program within the framework of international standards. Also rejecting the U.S.’s bellicose threats regarding Syria and Sudan;
12. Call for thwarting the U.S. attempts to strip international and humane legislation of all its contents under pretext of waging the so-called war against terror;
The participants propose as alternatives to rule by the market:
1. To remove agriculture and the sectors related to food from international negotiations to remove government controls (GATT, OMC…)
2. To challenge the agreements and the international policies that put biodiversity in danger by allowing large corporations to get ownership rights to living entities.
3. To establish a Mediterranean Common Market, based on the principle of equitable trade between consumers and producers, on the north and the south of the sea basin as well as inside each country. This is to be done during the process of establishing a regional cooperation in the Mediterranean (excluding Israel while awaiting a solution of the colonial problem in Palestine), in opposition to Sarkozy’s neoliberal program.
4. To fight against overexploitation by industrial fishing and to support small-scale fishing by guaranteeing a social subsidy.
5. To preserve the common inheritance of humanity and the resources fundamental to life by developing organic agriculture and by using renewable energy sources.
Center for Studies and Documentation in Beirut, International Campaign against American and Zionist Occupation (the Cairo Conference), National Gathering to Support the Choice of Resistance (Lebanon), Anti-Imperialist and Peoples’ Solidarity Forum (the Calcutta-India Conference), Stop War Campaign (London), Union of Democratic Youth (Lebanon), Network of the Organizations of Palestinian Youth, Party of Dignity (Egypt), Popular Campaign to Break the Siege of Gaza, KIFAYA (the Egyptian movement for change), Union of Democratic youth (Lebanon), Egyptian Women’s Issues Association, Palestinian Youth Organizations Network (Palestine), Federation of Moroccan Trade Unions, Mediterranean Agency for International Co-operation (AMCI–Morocco), Arab Youth Council, Walk to the Arab Parliament (Morocco), Dated and Strategic Studies Center (Syria), El Badil Regroupment Against Globalization (Syria), Campaign Genoa 2001 Greece, L’Altra Lambardia-Sulatesta, Anti-Imperialist Camp (Greece), Socialist Thinking Forum (Jordan), Organization of the Revolutionary Socialists (Egypt). (To be continued.)
[translated from the French version by John Catalinotto, Jan. 24, 2009]