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Global Call to Action Against Poverty (GCAP) welcomes the celebration of the 2020 PyeongChang Peace Forum and is proud to attend the Forum with many other activists and peace makers from all over the world.

We thank our Korean friends for organizing and supporting this initiative, and it gives us the opportunity to express our concern for the threats to peace that are growing around the world.

The world is on fire. We exist in a world of profound inequality, climate emergency, a crisis of human rights and closing civic space and where violence is increasingly protracted and normalized.

Peace is threatened in too many local and regional conflicts.  Conflict is increasingly complex, taking many forms. There are declared and undeclared conflicts, which frequently target specific communities or people. And while we call for disarmament, the arms trade is increasing, driving the economics, technology, industry and culture of war.

Peace is not only endangered by arms: global issues and trends are weakening relations between and within communities. The unmanaged dynamics of climate change combined with demographic trends have led many regions to unsustainable crises. The scandalous increase of economic and social inequalities, within and among countries, is fuelling ever greater social discontent in places. The rise of nationalism and purposeful stoking of prejudices of different cultures and peoples as menaces, instead of celebrating the richness and opportunities of diversity.

As a global network of national coalitions and constituency groups from all over the world, we ask the United Nations to multiply its efforts for prevention and peacekeeping, with a vision that considers all aspects of political, social, economic, environmental dimensions affecting all humans and their communities globally. UN 75 and the international commitment on the Agenda 2030 must put peace as the first and comprehensive common goal – without it – very little else is possible.

In this commitment, governments must play their role in a fair, coherent and transparent way, ceasing actions such as authorizing anti-personnel landmines or protecting arms industries. Peace starts with people, which is why individuals and civil society is all its forms, are needed to create long-lasting peace.

We, as GCAP, comprising of civil society organisations, social movements, networks of grassroots peoples – from the socially excluded to indigenous, from youth to the elderly, are proud to share our effort for peace with millions of activists and peacekeepers all over the world. We shall continue to promote dialogue instead of conflict, political reforms to fight inequalities, climate justice to ensure peace for our children, and restorative justice to not interact as enemies, but as human beings we want to meet and walk with.