Peace by Peaceful Means


René Wadlow – TRANSCEND Media Service

15 Jun 2023 – The 11 Jun 2023 Vienna Declaration for Peace has taken a TRANSCEND Media focus as its title is “Peace by Peaceful Means: Ceasefire and Negotiations”. (1)  Some 300 persons from 38 countries drawn largely from peace organizations and peace research institutes met in Vienna on 10-11 June to discuss the armed conflict in Ukraine and the possibilities of negotiations in good faith to end it.

The Declaration states:

“We the organizers of the International Summit for Peace in Ukraine call on the leaders of all countries to act in support of an immediate ceasefire and negotiations to end the war in Ukraine…We are deeply alarmed and saddened by the war.  Hundreds of thousands of people have been killed and injured and millions are displaced and traumatized. Towns and villages throughout Ukraine as well as the natural environment, have been destroyed …

“We condemn Russia’s illegal invasion of Ukraine.  The institutions created to ensure Peace and Security in Europe have failed, and the failure of diplomacy has led to war.  Now, diplomacy is urgently needed to end the war before it destroys Ukraine and endangers humanity…

“The path to Peace must be based on the principles of common security, international respect for human rights and self-determination of all countries.”

There is always a frustration that efforts to reduce tensions and proposals for the resolution of conflicts were not acted upon earlier.  The Association of World Citizens has been calling for such measures since the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) began to monitor the ceasefire in Donbass from the signing of the Minsk Two Agreement in 2015 until the Russian invasion of 2022.  In fact, the OSCE observers were monitoring not a ceasefire but ceasefire violations, numerous and deadly.

The Minsk Two agreement, later known as the Normandy Format, calling for modifications of the Ukraine constitution was never acted upon.  The Normandy Format probably holds the crucial elements for the future but is not often mentioned these days.

Unfortunately, a ceasefire seems unlikely these days as there is a renewal of fighting.  However, we need to try to keep lines of communication open to political leaders and to encourage non-governmental circles working for peace.


(1) See:

– John Galtung, Transcend and Transform: An Introduction to Conflict Work. (London: Pluto Press, 2004)

– Johan Galtung and Carl G. Jacobsen, Searching for Peace (London: Pluto Press, 2000)


René Wadlow is a member of the TRANSCEND Network for Peace Development Environment. He is President of the Association of World Citizens, an international peace organization with consultative status with ECOSOC, the United Nations organ facilitating international cooperation and problem-solving in economic and social issues, and editor of Transnational Perspectives.

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This article originally appeared on Transcend Media Service (TMS) on 19 Jun 2023.

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