A just and lasting peace for Ukraine: an appeal from French labour unions and intellectuals

“All wars end one day, and negotiations to end them are welcome. But a just and lasting peace will not be established without conditions; it can only be envisaged on the basis of respect for certain elementary principles. Numerous French political figures, associations and trade unions, intellectuals, artists and representatives of the Ukrainian diaspora called for a demonstration for “a just and lasting peace” on Saturday 10 December at the Trocadero square in Paris.

We have translated and we republish their manifesto.

An unprecedented humanitarian crisis is threatening the population of Ukraine this winter. The conflict situation that has prevailed in eastern Ukraine since 2014 has become an all-out, “high-intensity” war since Putin’s troops invaded Ukrainian territory on 24 February 2022.

The explicit aim of this ‘special operation’ was to overthrow the Ukrainian government and destroy the Republic of Ukraine as an independent entity. The failure of this first objective led the government of the Russian Federation to modify its objectives and to prolong a brutal war of conquest with the proclamation of the annexation of a large part of Ukrainian territory.

The victims are counted in tens of thousands, the displaced in millions, the damage in tens of billions of euros. The invading forces are committing war crimes, and systematically committing crimes against humanity – such as the destruction of vital infrastructure, forced displacement and deportation of people – including children. Not to mention the mass rapes.

In Russia, people are willingly or forcibly conscripted to fight a war, which hundreds of thousands of people in various ways rightly want to avoid or courageously oppose head-on.

Every war ends one day, and any negotiation that brings it to an end is welcome. But a just and lasting peace will not be established without conditions.

It can only be envisaged on the basis of respect for certain elementary principles:

  • Withdrawal of all invading troops from all the territory of Ukraine within its internationally recognised borders;
  • Return of all refugees and displaced persons in conditions of guaranteed safety;
  • Respect for international law, both in terms of the laws of war (release of prisoners of war) and humanitarian law and the principles of the UN Charter and other international documents (including the European Convention on Human Rights and the founding principles of the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe).
  • Other issues, such as reparations for war damage, possible criminal prosecutions before competent national and international courts, and guarantees of safety, freedom of expression of the population and the exercise of their individual and collective rights, can be clarified once the above principles have been affirmed and put into practice as soon as possible.

Support for these objectives from opinions around the world will be an essential element for a just and lasting peace for the peoples of Ukraine and Russia.

This open letter was signed by representatives of France’s labour unions, politicians, artists, intellectuals:

Simon DUTEIL, spokesman of Union syndicale Solidaires
Murielle GUILBERT, co-spokesperson of Union syndicale Solidaires
Philippe MARTINEZ, secretary general of CGT
Benoît TESTE, secretary general of FSU 

François ALFONSI, MEP Greens/EFA
 Rodrigo ARENAS, LFI MEP for Paris      
Clémentine AUTAIN, LFI Member of Parliament for Seine-Saint-Denis
 Esther BENBASSA, Ecologist Senator from Paris
Laurence BOFFET, vice-president of Ensemble Lyon Métropole
Paul-André COLOMBANI, LIOT MP for Haute-Corse
Hendrik DAVI, LFI MP for Bouches-du-Rhône
Alma DUFOUR, LFI Member of Parliament for Seine-Maritime  
Benjamin JOYEUX, regional councillor EELV Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes
Andy KERBRAT, LFI MP for Loire-Atlantique
Marianne MAXIMI, LFI MP for Puy-de-Dôme
Paul MOLAC, LIOT MP for Morbihan
Sandrine ROUSSEAU, EELV MP for Paris
Michel SALA, LFI deputy from Gard

Branislava KATIC, Secretary General of the Union of Ukrainian Artists
Jean-Pierre PASTERNAK, Union of Ukrainians in France

Olivier BESANCENOT, former presidential candidate
Eva JOLY, former presidential candidate
Noël MAMÈRE, former presidential candidate
Philippe POUTOU, former presidential candidate

Vincent DREZET, spokesperson of Attac France
Merlin GAUTHIER, co-host of PEPS
Myriam MARTIN, spokesperson for the Ecosocialist Left
Margot MEDKOUR, spokesperson for Nantes en Commun
Jean-François PELLISSIER, spokesperson for Ensemble!
Christine POUPIN, spokesperson for the NPA

Étienne BALIBAR, philosopher
Sergio CORONADO, former EELV deputy
Gilles LEMAIRE, former EELV secretary
Twefik ALLAL, Algerian community activist
Albert HERSZKOWICZ, doctor, Memorial 98
Jacques SIMON, founder of Kinoglaz (Soviet and Russian cinema)
Philippe CORCUFF, political scientist
Philippe MARLIÈRE, political scientist
Catherine SAMARY, economist

Fred ALFI, musician
Daman, musician
Dubamix, musician
Footprint System, musicians
Jacques KIRSNER, scriptwriter, producer
Dominique LABOURIER, actress

 Jean MALIFAUD, mathematician
Marnix DRESSEN-VAGNE, sociologist
Alexis CUKIER, philosopher
Didier EPSZTAJN, author
Pierre COURS-SALIES, sociologist
Pierre KHALFA, economist
François GÈZE, publisher
Pierre SALAMA, economist
Ben CRAMER, editor
Francis SITEL, editor
Jean-Paul BRUCKERT, historian
Gustave MASSIAH, economist
Jean DHOMBRES, historian of science
Stefan BEKIER, conference interpreter
Bernard DREANO, international solidarity activist
Bernard RANDE, mathematician
Gilles GODEFROY, emeritus research director
Violaine AUBERT, CPGE lycée Henri-IV
Nara CLADERA, school teacher, SUD Education
Fabienne MESSICA, sociologist
Georges MENAHEM, sociologist, economist
Gilles MANCERON, historian
Vincent PRESUMEY, teacher
Claire BORNAIS, teacher trade unionist, FSU
Idriss MAZARI, mathematician
Anne MARCHAND, sociologist
Benjamin SCHRAEN, mathematician
Michelle GUERCI, journalist, feminist anti-racist activist
Patrick SILBERSTEIN, doctor, publisher
Bruno SLAMA, company director
Julien TROCCAZ, SUD-Rail
Christian GOURDET, retired book worker
Christian MAHIEUX, retired railway worker, publisher
Pierre ROUSSET, Europe solidaire sans frontières
Monique DENTAL, feminist network Ruptures
Abraham BEHAR, President of the Association of French doctors for the prevention of nuclear war
Daniel GUERRIER, publisher
Jan MALEWSKI, publisher
Bernard PINAUD, former CCFD-Terre solidaire delegate
Patrick FARBIAZ, environmental activist
 Pierre BERNARD, mathematician
 Huayra LLANQUE, ATTAC activist
 Patrick LE TREHONDAT, author, publisher
 Mariana SANCHEZ, journalist, editor
Robi MORDER, lawyer, research associate
Antoine RABADAN, anti-capitalist and internationalist activist
Christian VARIN, anti-capitalist and internationalist activist
Henri MERME, self-management and internationalist activist
Roland MÉRIEUX, self-management and internationalist activist
Jean-François FONTANA, retired teacher, trade unionist
Michel LANSON, internationalist activist
Olivier AUBERT, consultant in prospective,
Béatrice WHITAKER, internationalist activist
Jean-Paul ALLOUCHE, emeritus research director
Michel BROUE, mathematician
Faouzia CHARFI, physicist, former Secretary of State (Tunisia, 2011)
Kevin VACHER , Nos Vies Nos Voies , Citizen’s movement in Marseille

It is still possible to sign : ukrainesolidaritefrance@solidaires.org

The manifesto was first published in French on Mediapart site.

Cover photo: a flyer calling to protest on 10 December under Russian embassy in Paris, against Russian war crimes in Ukraine and for a just peace.

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