Consciously making the decision not to be a coordinating organization or a super-organization, Veterans Global Peace Network (VGPN) is a Network which is comprised, in principle, of veterans and veterans organizations that commit to:
1. share information and experiences
2. help coordinate non-violent actions
3. respect the autonomy of each organization so that the Network is as inclusive as possible
4.have a basic agreement with the principles contained in our Statement of Purpose and in the Objectives that are indicated below
Eventually, we intend to extend this invitation for membership to individual veterans, and also to provide Associate Membership to non-veteran organizations and individuals working for peace.
Statement of Purpose:
The Veterans Global Peace Network (VGPN) is an alliance of veterans’ organizations and individuals representing former soldiers from many countries who wish to work together for the common purpose of promoting global peace.
Many veterans’ organizations are already doing very good work supporting veterans, and several are also actively involved in promoting peace. VGPN will focus primarily on promoting and working for global peace.
The Veterans Global Peace Network (VGPN) will work urgently and creatively with its members and affiliated veterans’ organizations to promote and achieve Global Peace.
VPGN will work actively where appropriate with national and international organizations, including other umbrella type organizations that are already working for peace, in the areas of conflict prevention and conflict resolution, and will be actively involved in peace education projects.
- To use our network of veterans to encourage solidarity between countries that are being unnecessarily divided or targeted as if we are mutual enemies rather than fellow members of a cooperative international community.
- To actively work to create peace. While the vast majority of humankind have a strong desire for peace, wars over scarce and valuable resources are now creating threats to humanity. It is no longer enough to desire peace, so VGPN and others must work for peace to preserve humanity.
- To work and advocate to ensure that the rule of law at international and global levels replaces the rule of force and the abuses of power. We will advocate for continuous improvements in international laws and also campaign for respect and compliance with existing international laws.
- To oppose all wars of aggression. While serving soldiers are constrained and sometimes prohibited from active involvement in political and peace matters, we as veterans have special credibility due to our experiences with war and preparation for war. We will use that credibility to highlight the totally destructive and unjustified nature of wars of aggression. In addition to the abusive, violent conflicts carried out by recognized national and/or international military forces, wars of aggression should also be understood as those fought by proxy armies, security contractors or mercenaries on behalf of an aggressive power.
- To advocate and campaign that the oaths for all armies should include the words “to obey all LAWFUL orders”. In most armies, soldiers are obliged to “obey all orders from their superiors”. This has often led to war crimes being committed. In just a few armies the oath taken is that soldiers are obliged “to obey all LAWFUL orders”. VGPN will advocate and campaign for this significant modification.
- To maintain focus on eliminating wars as a means toward Global Peace. There are multiple ways in which individual and group members of VGPN can promote peace within our own countries and internationally. Among others, issues such as human rights, freedom, democracy, and justice all are of vital importance. This variety of approaches and the organizations working on them are encouraged and supported by VGPN. However, to prevent dilution of our resources, the overall focus of VGPN will be efforts to end and prevent wars as our commitment to Global Peace.
- To promote public reflection on the legitimate/illegitimate use of force against peoples and nations that wish to exercise their right to govern their destinies for themselves
- To question national and international authorities, economic actors that condition government action, opinion makers and the media about their actions that favor the use of force to achieve their objectives, instead of using the path of dialogue, diplomacy and negotiations
- To denounce the outsourcing of war and the use of mercenaries and/or interposed armies as a means of carrying out aggression of any intensity since their use attempts to evade the democratic control of war or warlike behavior, and attempts to circumvent the laws of war to which regular armies are subjected
- To support, and at times offer, online educational courses about peace
- To partner to create and recognize International Cities of Peace in cooperation with local municipalities and urban management
- To organize and support international digital campaigns on peace
- To set up online forums for veterans to share their experiences of war and the preparation of wars
- To create Peace Channel programs on video on demand or Social Networks like YouTube, Instagram, Facebook, etc.
- To plan and organize Peace Tours for veterans, exchanging conversations and experiences with veterans from other countries
- To develop lobbying actions with authorities and institutions that have a role in aggression against peoples and nations, to convey our opposition to the use of force to resolve conflicts
- To make public statements through the media and social networks that denounce the propaganda of governments used to justify overt or covert aggression as defensive actions, and express our opposition to wars and other aggressive actions, overt or covert, that abuse or disregard international law To establish relationships with other peace defense organizations to develop joint activities, contributing to them the vision of military professionals
- To denounce the conditions that coerce the most disadvantaged people to enlist in the armies of the world, masking the criminal interests of the aggressor governments which make claims based on lofty ideals of peace, freedom and security, only to sacrifice many of it’s soldiers as cannon fodder or leave them to their fate as veterans when they are no longer useful.
Those organizations and individuals of the Veterans Global Peace Network (VGPN) will be considered members of VGPN if they explicitly state their desire to do so, share the political principles contained in the VGPN Founding Declaration and the Statutes, and undertake to respect its regulations.
Within the membership the following categories are established:
- Promoter members; individual Members of the Network in charge of developing proposals for rules and regulations of the Network
- Veterans organizations; organizational Members of the Network
- Veteran members; individual Members of the Network
- Associate Members of the Network; Peace defense organizations and non-veteran individuals; these members do not participate in decision making on the political orientation or activities of the Network, but share and support the Network in common areas of interest.
Code of conduct:
- Our outrage at injustices will act as a positive, non-violent force to achieve our goals.
- We will not attack, verbally or physically, in person or through the media, those who oppose or disagree with us.
- Our attitude, transmitted through our words, symbols and actions, will be of openness, friendship and respect towards all the people we meet.
- We will use majority decision making within our groups.
- Each of our colleagues can speak as a member of VGPN, but not on behalf of VGPN, unless appointed as spokesperson.
- We will not make any distinction between colleagues based on employment, seniority, service, unit, combat experience, age, gender, race, wealth, education, class, sexual orientation, religion or nationality.
- Sexist, racist, homophobic, and other discriminatory language and actions are not acceptable in VGPN.
- Our words and actions will maintain the political independence of VGPN.
Establishment and termination of the Network:
The Network will be declared formally established in the Founding Assembly, and immediately afterwards will be reported to the public.
If required, the termination of the Network will be decided in a Termination Assembly.