On the initiative of several research centres, associations and socio-political movements, The Beirut International Forum was held on 16, 17 and 18 January 2009, attended by Arab and international delegations and authorities from five continents (66 countries).
This Forum, in which South America, Asia and Near East were massively represented, embodied the spirit of the Tricontinental centre.
Two major topics characterised the Forum. On one hand, the heroic resistance by the Palestinian people of Gaza and their ability to confront an intense violence and unprecedented barbarity. On the other, capitalism’s global crisis, which is not only financial but also on economic, social, cultural and moral fronts, thus posing a threat to the survival of humanity itself.
Principles and rights
The Forum declares that:
- All Peoples have the right to resist. This right must be inalienable, supported by the entire international community and recognised as such within international law;
- The resistance’s fight against colonialism can’t be detached from the struggle carried out by world revolutionaries and free individuals when facing global capitalism, imperialism, militarisation and destruction of social achievements. These have been the product of the working classes’ tenacious struggles for two hundred years;
- Peoples have the right to sovereignty over their own natural resources. Rights to nourishment, health and education prevail over all commercial stakes;
- Every culture has to be able to help build humanity’s common good with respect for nature, the supremacy of human needs and a democratic management of societies;
- The right to democratic participation must be exerted not only on a political level but also on an economic one and it applies to men and women alike;
- The right to cultural differentiation and freedom of worship without any cultural or racial stigmatisation.
Campaigns and resolutions
The Forum’s attendees declare their support of the Palestinian people’s resistance of Gaza. They condemn the terrorism, crimes, violations of the rule of law and disregard for human value, which Israel has inflicted on these populations.
Moreover, they call for:
1- Applying severe sanctions against Israel, such as: calling off relations and covenants and forbidding any sale of weapons to this country;
2- Legal proceedings against states and companies selling weapons to Israel;
3- Urging the EU to put an end to all economic, political and cultural relations with Israel and to cancel all the covenants and agreements linking it with this country;
4- Holding an international conference in order to judge war crimes and crimes against humanity inflicted upon Gaza’ s population, as well as economic and environmental crimes, and to bring to court the persons accountable for these actions, as well as for those committed in Lebanon in 2006;
5- Restoring UN Resolution 3379 which classifies Zionism as racism, and ousting Israel from the UN;
6- Launching an international campaign for rebuilding Gaza, lifting the blockade and having political prisoners released
Concerning the anti-imperialistic and anti-colonialist struggle
1- The Forum participants expressed their support for both the Palestinian and Lebanese resistances against Israeli occupation, as well as to the Iraqis’ fight against American occupation. In addition, they back the Iraqi people’s endeavours to preserve their territorial unity.
2- The participants declare their support for self-determination for the Afghan people and to their struggle against the American and Atlantic occupation.
3- The participants salute Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez and Bolivian President Evo Morales for their support to the peoples’ resistance. They express total endorsement of their fight against US’s interference in South America.
4- They call for lifting the embargo on Cuba and the release of Cuban prisoners detained in US’ prisons.
5- They demand the establishment of an international league of Parliamentary members in order to uphold the peoples’ right to resistance and self-determination, in order to restore accords relevant to the defence of civilian populations.
6- They urge the creation of an international media network that may expose the mendacious propaganda concerning Israel’s character and crimes.
7- Carrying on the moral imperative to judge war crimes, namely bringing to court the people responsible for the war crimes committed in Lebanon in 2006.
8- Launching a campaign to enforce the consultative advice by the International Court of Justice concerning the wall’s ethnic segregation in Palestine.
9- Setting up an international network with the aim of coordination between local delegations during crises and wars.
10- Refusing threats and provocations by the US against Iran with regard to its right to develop its nuclear program for civil purposes within the context of international laws. Refusing, likewise, the threats of war by the US towards Syria and Sudan.
11- Opposing American attempts to make international and humanitarian laws ineffective under the pretext of the war on terror.
The participants suggest the following as alternatives to the market’s blackmail:
1- Excluding agriculture and feeding-related sectors from the international negotiations contemplating the privitisation of markets (GATT, OMC…)
2- Turning down accords and international policies that allow corporations to control living organisms thus jeopardizing biodiversity.
3- Setting up a Mediterranean Common Market based on fair trade between customers and producers, from the north and the south of the basin as well as within each country. All this is to be performed within a process for building an area linking Mediterranean basin with Mesopotamia (leaving out Israel until the colonial question in Palestine is settled), in opposition to Sarkozy’s neo-liberal project.
4- Fighting the excessive exploitation carried out by industrial fishing in favour of artisan fishery.
5- Preserving the common asset of humanity and the fundamental resources for living. Developing organic agriculture and using renewable energy sources.
The Center for Studies and Documentation in Beirut, International Campaign against American and Zionist Occupation (the Cairo Conference), the National Gathering to Support the Choice of Resistance (Lebanon), The International Anti-Imperialist and Peoples’ Solidarity Forum (the Calcutta- India Conference), Stop The War Campaign (London), L’union de la jeunesse démocratique (Liban), Réseau des organisations de la jeunesse Palestinienne, The Party of Dignity (Egypt), The Popular Campaign to Break the Siege on Gaza, KIFAYA (le mouvement egyptien pour le changement), Union of Democratic Youth (Lebanon), Egyptian Women Issues Association, Palestinian Youth Organizations Network (Palestine), Fédération des Syndicats marocains, AMCI (The Mediterranean Agency for International Cooperation (Morocco), Arab Youth Council- and the wWalk to the aArab pParliament (Morocco), Data and Strategic Studies Center (Syria), El Badil Regroupement Anti Globalisation (Syria), Campaign Genoa 2001 Greece, l’altra Lambardia-Sulatesta, Anti- Imperialist Camp (Grèce), Socialist Thinking Forum (Jordan), Organisation des socialistes révolutionnaires (Egypt), To be continued…
TRANSLATED BY DIEGO TRAVERSA AND REVISED BY SAJA RAOOF, MEMBERS OF TLAXCALA. www.tlaxcala.es