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In these hours of anguish and concern, we make our own Pope Francis' appeal to all, believers and non-believers alike, to participate in the Day of Fasting for Peace on 2 March. For believers, it will be "an intense day of prayer and fasting". For all, let it be a day of intense reflection and commitment to peace.
Negotiate, negotiate, negotiate. On everything. Even in the most difficult conditions and on the most intractable issues posed by Russia. The alternative is a catastrophic global war that will devastate Europe and have no winners. We are pleading to Italy, the European Union, the UN and all those responsible for international politics.
Be realists! In times like these we must break the laws of war and the logic of confrontation. We cannot wait for the Russian government to make the first move.
Negotiation does not mean giving in to war and the law of force, but stopping its dangerous military escalation.
We must move away from the policy of sanctions, from the logic of blow by blow, to rebuild space for dialogue and political negotiation with Russia. This happened during the Cold War in the Helsinki Conference and Accords and it must happen again now that we risk a large-scale catastrophe.
Negotiation means being willing to change one's own positions to build a common one. Taking a step backwards to take a step forwards on the road to peace. We repeat: with war everything is lost. With peace everything is possible!
"It is necessary to ensure the undisputed dominance of law and the indefatigable recourse to negotiation, third party mediation and arbitration, as set forth by the United Nations Charter, the true fundamental legal norm" (Pope Francis, Fratelli Tutti). The Law that was born out of the knowledge gained over the years and the colossal damage of the Second World War, prohibits the threat and use of force to resolve international disputes and places human dignity as the foundation of freedom, justice and peace in the world. It is precisely in these moments of high tension that the Law must be applied with wisdom, intelligence and foresight. We will all be judged by the results of our actions.
Beware! It’s everyone’s responsibility! If we really want peace, let’s stop all wars and start taking care of every human being and the nature that nourishes and embraces us.
Tavola della pace
Human Rights Centre “Antonio Papisca” - University of Padua
24 February 2022