“Overcoming indifference”: Over 100,000 demonstrate for world peace and against violence at peace march in Italy

Secretariat, 14. October 2016

Protest against indifference and war / Platform includes call for a UN Parliamentary Assembly

Over 100,000 people participated in a peace march from Perugia to Assisi, two municipalities in the center of Italy, around 170 kilometer North of Rome. It was the biggest peace rally in recent times not only in Europe, but in the world.

Peace demonstrators calling out against indifference

Peace demonstrators calling out against indifference

Referring to the conflicts and wars in Syria, Yemen, Congo, Iraq, Afghanistan or South Sudan, among others, the event sent a signal against “a deafining silence” of the world community and denounced its inability to stop mass atrocities in the city of Aleppo.

The march was lead by a banner that read “Overcoming Indifference”. “This is a message against the indifference of international institutions but also to all those who think they can’t do anything,” said Flavio Lotti of Tavola della Pace, one of the event’s organizers. The organizers called for an open Europe that should welcome and protect “those fleeing war and hunger.”

The march was supported not only by over 100 Italian schools and various civil society organizations, but also nearly 500 cities and many provinces and regions.

A common platform presented at a press conference in Rome by the umbrella organization Rete della Pace, which is part of the peace march, included a call for a federal and united Europe and the establishment of a United Nations Parliamentary Assembly. The document asks the Italian government to “submit a plan for UN reform to the next UN Secretary-General” who will begin his term in January 2017.

A manifesto published on the occasion of the peace march in 2001 already included a call on the Italian parliament and government, the European Parliament, and the UN General Assembly to work towards “strengthening and democratizing the United Nations by abolishing the veto right in the Security Council and by establishing a United Nations Parliamentary Assembly.”

Last week, the international campaign for a UN Parliamentary Assembly was endorsed by Nobel Peace Prize laureate the 14th Dalai Lama.

The peace march is organized since 1961 and was held on 9 October this year.