Fernando Lugo Méndez, President of the Republic of Paraguay, on 15th September declared his adhesion to the main goals of the World March for Peace and Nonviolence which puts forward the urgency of disarmament, both nuclear and conventional, considering them both dangers to humanity. The Head of State’s official document was addressed to Rafael de la Rubia, spokesperson for the planetary initiative organised by the Humanist Movement through its organisation World Without Wars WWW).
Framing the World March in the Latin American political context, Lugo recalled what was established in the Special Meeting of the Council of Leaders of the Union of South American Nations (UNASUR) on 28th August where South America was considered a “region of peace”. On that occasion the leaders committed to not allowing unilateral military actions to disrupt the region. The summit was held to deal with the attempts at installing American military bases on Colombian territory. However, countries such as Venezuela and Brazil later got into an arms race, where they considered heavy investment in their military forces.
In this context, Fernando Lugo’s remarks; that the initiative contributes to the consolidation of South America as a region of peace, are of great significance, according to the driving forces behind the World March for Peace and Nonviolence.
Michelle Bachellet was the first president to support the global initiative. She was later followed by Rafael Correa (Ecuador), Cristina Fernández (Argentina), Evo Morales (Bolivia) and Tabaré Vazquez (Uruguay) – a sign of the growing influence that the World March was having in the region.
The main route of the World March for Peace and Nonviolence, lead by a “base team” of approximately 30 volunteers, will start this year 2nd October in New Zealand. It will cover more than 90 countries and it should reach South American territory by the second fortnight of December. The final event for the World March is planned for 2nd January 2010 in an Andean location known as Punta de Vacas, near the border between Argentina and Chile. The organizers are aiming to raise awareness concerning the problem of violence, understanding the build-up of arms and also wars as its ultimate expression, for which they ask the Presidents of the world to consider their immediate reversal.
*(Translated by Rupert James Spedding)*