United Nations should promote an unconditional table of negotiation with representatives of Ukraine and Russia only to end the war
Vladimir Putin, President of the Russian Federation
Volodymyr Zelenskyy, President of Ukraine
Joe Biden, President of the United States
All Presidents and Prime Ministers of the European Union
Jeans Stoltenberg, Secretary General of NATO
Government representatives in NATO
Charles Michel, President of the European Council
Ursula von der Leyen, President of the European Commission
Josep Borrell, High Commissioner of the European Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policies
Roberta Metsola, President of the European Parliament
Government leaders of countries that send arms to Ukraine and Russia
Aleksandr Lukashenko, President of Belarus
António Guterres, Secretary General of the United Nations
The government leaders of China, India, Pakistan, Japan, Taiwan, Iran, North Korea, South Korea, and Israel
1. Humanity and the biosphere face eight threats of unprecedented magnitude.
The first danger is the existence of government leaders with excessive concentrated power. Whatever the source of this concentrated power -different models of democracy, absolutist kingdoms and dictatorships- the absence of effective social controls, and agile mechanisms for popular consultation in the face of extreme crises, makes it easier for these government leaders to decide territorial invasions, to launch wars, and to impose all kinds of neocolonial practices in vulnerable countries.
The second danger is the existence of countries (governments and eventually populations) with an excess of concentrated military power that consider themselves as possessors of absolute cultural truths. They usually believe that their lifestyles, economic patterns, governance method, and eventually religions, must be adopted by other countries being vulnerable (or not) to their military power.
The third danger is the existence of irregular organizations whose leaders have growing power, and do not seek the human well-being, but rather the imposition of their illegal interests. It includes terrorist groups; drug cartels; illegal organizations dedicated to the trafficking of people, human organs, wildlife, timber and diamonds; and multipurpose organized crime, at both national and international level.
The fourth danger is ethnic supremacism, in which one, or more associated ethnicities, consider themselves superior to others. This supremacism translates into urban and rural violence (when they coexist in the same place), in territorial expulsions (when the conflicting ethnic groups occupy different parts of a territory), in organized mass killings, and genocides. Supremacism can also adopt all kinds of cultural motivations that distinguish one group from another, and that can lead to violent confrontations (for example, speaking different languages, practicing different religions, having different behaviors, or their mix). Many indigenous groups around the world suffer the self declared supremacism of other ethnic groups, combined or not with the complicity of corporations, governments and mafias.
The fifth danger is the lifestyles of societies based on consumerism; waste of raw materials, goods and energy; environmental destruction; inequality; and industrial production at any social and ecological cost.
The sixth danger is the reduction of biodiversity to current alarming levels; excessive global warming; general pollution of the air, soil, water and foods; and the general inability of governments and societies to coexist with natural ecosystems of high biodiversity.
The seventh danger are new pandemics with variants of already known viruses, and pandemics involving new viruses for the human species, eventually more lethal than previous viruses.
The eighth danger is nuclear war.
2. The war between Ukraine, the invaded, and Russia, the invader, has become a World War III of weapons, but deployed in a single country, where the main victims are Ukrainian civilians, and the Ukrainian territory.
3. Some countries that support the continuation of the Russia-Ukraine war must honestly recognize that they have no moral authority to hold themselves up as an example of respect for the sovereignty, human rights and governments of other countries. Europe must reflect on its two atrocious wars, the First and the Second World War, and on the Ukraine-Russia war, also a European war. During centuries the governments of countries such as Spain, the United Kingdom, Italy, the Netherlands, France, Belgium, Germany and Portugal fiercely occupied indigenous territories around the world. Even today some of its colonies remain subjugated. The United States government must reflect on its own invasions and on the coups d’état it encouraged in countries not aligned with its policies. The Russian government must reflect on the methods it uses to silence internal voices of dissent, and on its warlike expansion to partially recover what was the Soviet Union. The United States, the countries of the European community, Russia and China are not models to follow. After all, they are only countries and groups of countries with their particular styles of life and government, with their mistakes and successes. They must respect the sovereignty of other countries because they are not, and will not be, self appointed international guardians, nor the owners of the world.
4. Military invasions of countries, and military and civilian invasion of indigenous territories is unacceptable, and must be internationally condemned. The invasion of countries violates Article 2(4) of the United Nations Charter, and the principles of self-determination of peoples. The invasion of indigenous territories violates their rights to live where their previous generations lived.
5. Unacceptably, corruption continues to be part of national governments and international organizations, inside and outside Europe. Numerous cases of corruption at the level of key ministers were recently detected in Ukraine (January 2023). Russia is another country with resounding cases of corruption. Both in Russia and Ukraine corruption had been a constant before the war. There have also been serious cases of corruption in the European Parliament, involving -among others- the former vice president of the parliament Eva Kaili. In addition, many of the current European leaders, or their political parties, where involved in serious acts of corruption.
6. Since the start of the war, it is clear that insecurity in Europe and the world has increased. Russia will deploy nuclear weapons on borders where there were none. The United States will replace its tactical nuclear weapons in Europe. The conventional weapons already used in the war are being replaced. Weapons manufacturers are in their best time, and Ukraine is used by foreign governments and private corporations to test weapons that were stored in national arsenals. New weapons and new war strategies are also tested. At the international level, a new, unprecedented arms race has begun. Since the beginning of the war between Russia and Ukraine, the world has definitely become more volatile and insecure.
7. We have seen with concern how non-governmental organizations that acted as watchdogs to denounce abuses of state power in Russia, were silenced by the government. We also watch, with equal concern in Europe and abroad, that military budgets are increased, and new construction of nuclear power reactors are decided, without public consultation.
8. The complex global reality of interconnected countries means that the European conflict affects European citizens, as well as citizens of non-European countries. The collateral effects of the war and the cross-sanctions between the NATO countries, the European Union, and Russia, are also experienced dramatically in other regions, far from Europe.
9. It is irresponsible and insane to believe that the greater use of weapons on both sides of the war is the solution. Neither party in conflict can win the war definitively. It is also immoral and inhuman that the inhabitants of Ukraine are used to resolve ideological positions and international conflicts of power.
10. A tragic truth must be assumed. Every weapon shipped from a NATO or non-NATO country to Ukraine, and every weapon eventually shipped from Iran, North Korea, or another country to Russia, will result in more Ukrainian deaths.
11. The United States, the European Community and NATO must assume that before the current war, even before 2014-2015 Minsk failed treaties, NATO sought to increase its military influence towards Eastern Europe. The Russian Confederation, for its part, must assume that before the current war, and even before 2014-2015, it sought to resume its influence in Eastern and Western Europe after the soviet collapse. Decades of war warnings were ignored within and outside Europe, particularly in the last 10 years. Independently of the illegal and unacceptable invasion of Ukraine by Russia, the governments that support both countries with weapons are also responsible and part of that war.
12. In an act of maximum Russian irresponsibility, for the first time in human history an invaded country, Ukraine, is at war having 15 nuclear power reactors, and numerous highly radioactive spent nuclear fuel deposits. Conventional warfare can break the protective barriers of the nuclear reactors in operation, and destroy the containments of exhausted nuclear fuel deposits. This could generate unprecedented radioactive, health and environmental catastrophes. If one or several reactors suffer the worst nuclear event, Level 7 in the INES-IAEA scale, a large part of Europe and other regions could receive lethal radioactive clouds. The impact radius of the worst nuclear event could exceed 500 to 700 kilometers, and at greater distances there would be exposure to low doses of radioactive materials and radioactivity. According BEIR VII Phase 2, any level of ionizing radiation involves sanitary risks. If this were to happen, the country that would suffer the most would be Ukraine, since its health system is severely affected by the war. Ukraine hospitals and health personnel were not prepared to treat victims of radiation before the war, much less now in the middle of the war.
13. The stable iodine tablets sent by some European countries, and distributed by the Ukrainian government among their citizens, reduce the buildup of Iodine-131. This is merely one of many radioactive materials released in the worst nuclear event or accident. Those stable iodine tablets do not protect people from the many other radioactive materials that are released in nuclear catastrophes (Cesium-137, Strontium-90, Plutonium-239, and many others). In Ukraine and abroad it is immoral for incomplete messages to make people believe that one pill can protect them from all radioisotopes and ionizing radiation.
14. It must be assumed that the war between Russia and Ukraine increases the possibility that, at some critical moment, tactical, and eventually strategic nuclear weapons, or both, will be used.
15. Before the war, and now in the middle of the war, the possibility of miscalculations; technological and computer failures; cyberterrorism; existence of mentally ill decision-makers; and factors that have not even been sufficiently evaluated, can also cause a nuclear war to start without return.
16. It must also be assumed that if a nuclear war and the detonation of atomic bombs occurs in a country with operating nuclear reactors, depleted nuclear fuel repositories, and eventually, the presence of nuclear weapons, the catastrophe could reach cataclysmic levels. Radioactive materials and radioactivity released by atomic bomb explosions would add up to the massive radioactive discharges from reactors and spent nuclear fuel repositories hit by the explosions, and from destroyed nuclear weapons contained in their silos. Europe is one of the regions of the world most exposed to this terrifying possibility.
17. No country on the earth’s surface can escape the direct and indirect, immediate and delayed effects, of a nuclear war.
18. A ceasefire would be welcome and necessary in Ukraine. But everything indicates that the parties in conflict would not accept it, nor would they respect it.
19. It is time for all recipients of this petition to act responsibly as peacemakers, and stop acting like fierce warriors.
20. It is urgent that the two parties in conflict participate in an unconditional negotiating table, where Ukraine abandons its position of not ceding territory, and Russia abandons its position of incorporating more territory. There are no definitive or unchangeable maps, and the leaders of Russia and Ukraine must respect the voices of the involved peoples that live in territories now under war. So far the leaders, the weapons and the hatred have spoken. It is time for the affected peoples, and the possibility of peace, to speak.
21. The Secretary General of the United Nations, António Guterres, should encourage and help organize an unconditional table of negotiation with representatives of Ukraine and Russia only. In this process it is essential that countries not aligned with the factions in conflict help the Secretary General of the United Nations in this institutional mission.
For signing this petition as “institution” or “person” please send the following information to:
Signature as “Institution”:
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Signature as “person”
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Prof. Dr. Raúl Montenegro, Biologist
Director, Campus Cordoba of the Right Livelihood College (RLC)
Full Professor of Human Evolutionary Biology, Chair “A”
(Faculty of Psychology, National University of Cordoba, Argentina)
President of FUNAM (Fundacion para la defensa del ambiente), Argentina
Alternative Nobel Prize 2004 (Right Livelihood Award, Stockholm, Sweden)
Nuclear Free-Future Award (Salzburg, Austria)
UNEP Global 500 Award (Brussels, Belgium)
For more information:
Petition originated by:
- Cordoba Campus of the Right Livelihood College (RLC), Argentina.
- Valdivia Campus of the Right Livelihood College (RLC), Chile.
- Funam (Environment Defense Foundation), Cordoba, Argentina.
- Chair “A” of Human Evolutionary Biology, Faculty of Psychology, National University of Cordoba, Argentina.