Slow Food stands in solidarity with the people of Ukraine during this time of war, as well as with all people suffering from a growing absence of peace in the world. War makes life on our only planet increasingly fragile.
Our lives are interdependent, as are our challenges. Everyone, everywhere, should stand up for peace. Peace is not just the absence of violence but also the presence of equity and justice. All people have a right to live in peace, and Slow Food is committed to promoting this unequivocal right.
For this reason, we must organize our lives and our livelihoods around peace. We must seek to create the conditions that lead to peace everywhere and oppose policies that leads to individuals and communities becoming prey to the violence of states and non-state actors.
Our movement is rooted in diversity.
For as long as we have existed, we have ceaselessly defended biological and cultural diversity, in all its forms. These are the philosophical underpinnings for our commitment to pluralism. Recognizing that conflict is endemic to social life and international relations, we condemn any use of force and believe that conflict must always be settled peacefully via social, civil, commercial, political, and diplomatic channels.
With all the crises the world is facing today, the civil and political wars, the changing climate, the loss of biodiversity, and the never-ending health crises related to the global pandemic, we must put our differences behind us and join efforts to work towards a culture of peace and end the suffering of communities affected by reckless decisions driven by selfish political ambition and ego. We must condemn all breaches of the peace in the world. After all, when we promote a culture of peace, we support the rights of food communities, activists, and leaders in civil society in pursuing their livelihoods, as well as address structural injustices without the threat of violence.
Civil society can and should be active in building and maintaining a culture of peace.
At Slow Food, we are convinced that we can make a meaningful contribution through our Call to Action that accompanies the cessation of violence: to rebuild Food Communities amidst destruction and to sow the seeds for lasting peace.
When government officials carelessly and unforgivably champion war, their decisions have a far-reaching impact, well beyond those directly targeted by the conflict. Our responsibility is even greater, as the effects of wars and the experience of violence extend far beyond physical, social, and geographical imaginations: suffering is passed on to future generations, whose understanding of the original cause of the war may be obscured. Consider the many ongoing situations of civil unrest in various parts of the global South. They lead to constant and consistent migration of people Northwards, resulting in surges of refugees in many African, Latin American, and European cities.
The shocking situation in Ukraine compels us to stand up for all those whose lives are directly affected by war, just as previous conflicts have. It also compels us to consider the hundreds of ongoing wars and civil disorders around the world that go unnoticed. Most are concentrated in the global South. As a food movement, we believe that food expresses our cultural diversity, heritage, and wealth and in the same way, it expands our sincere support to everyone who suffers the consequences of irresponsible political action and violence. We support Slow Food communities, migrant communities, and Slow Food projects that promote the enjoyment of peace as well as the ability to access good, clean, and fair food at all times.
We know what the absence of peace brings about suffering, loss of life, loss of property, and a denial of access to very important and basic needs, such as food and healthcare. The absence of peace deprives people of their right to grow and enjoy food as well as total neglect and disappearance of the gastronomic heritage of many communities. In many cases, it prevents access to any kind of adequate food. Therefore, the active involvement of our highly connected global community is necessary to regenerate affected communities by supporting their initiatives and activities which are central to the process of building lasting peace.
As Slow Food, we condemn all past and current breaches of the peace.
We recognize food is one of the greatest needs in times of civil unrest and war, and that it can also act as a bridge to peace. We, therefore, renew the invitation to our network to support our communities, projects, and collaborators in war zones, asking everyone, everywhere to do what they can to contribute to rebuilding, in a spirit of cooperation and solidarity, peace, and trust within these territories through the power of food.