I was in Moscow last week with delegations from VANA and the USA organization, Veterans for Peace,Inc. We met with the Soviet War Veterans’ Committee and a number of other bodies, including the Department of Disarmament and Armaments Affairs in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Nobody can convince me now that the USSR is aggressive and expansionist or any threat to anyone. During our final session, we signed a statement asking the veterans of every nation to unite in one final campaign in support of the abolition of war and the elimination of violence as an instrument of policy.
Combined Statement Of Veterans:
We veterans of the defence of our separate nations have met in the shadow of nuclear winter to help defend and preserve our common species. We agree that a significant change in the mind-set of humanity is an essential first step towards the adoption of measures to preclude our early extinction. The human mind cannot comprehend the awesome power of modern weapons nor envision the horrors ahead if present policies continue. Differences in ideology are trivial matters while the continuity of life is threatened.The “image of the enemy“must be banished.
Warriors can no longer protect their homelands from total destruction. The security of our planet now depends on mutual respect and confidence, on faithful adherence to existing agreements, and the fashioning of further covenants that will achieve the aspirations of all rational peoples to build a world without war. Therefore:
- We veterans urge the abolition of war and violence between nations by the year 2000.
- The abolition of war and violence poses a difficult task for leaders. We ask the veterans of every nation to unite in one final campaign in support of the abolition of war and the elimination of violence as an instrument of policy.
Done at Moscow on January 21, 1988 in three copies, each in the English language.
- Gerald Genesio, Veterans for Peace, Inc., USA
- Nikolai Volkov, Soviet War Veterans Committee, USSR
- Leonard Johnson, Veterans Against Nuclear Arms, Canada.