Sustainable Peace Manifesto: Never Again 2.0

2023-09-27 | Political initiatives, Expert publications

Executive Summary

Ukraine seeks to fulfill its potential as a European democracy built on the principles of the rule of law. This will only be possible after the invasion is over.

The liberation of the entire territory of Ukraine and the end of hostilities will not bring an end to the war. And it is not only a matter of reparations for the damage caused to the country and punishing the guilty. Feverish anti-Ukrainian and anti-Western sentiment in tandem with the imperial ambitions of both the Russian elite and ordinary Russians will, sooner or later, lead to future escalation and war. To protect Ukraine and the world from new waves of aggression, the anti-war coalition needs to create conditions that will result in profound internal changes in Russia to ensure sustainable peace.

Compelled by the calls of our defenders, the Armed Forces of Ukraine, we, the authors of this manifesto and representatives of Ukrainian civil society, have taken the liberty of detailing these conditions. The world will never be the same as it was before the war, so instead of returning to the pre-war status quo, our goal is to look at what made the war possible and create a new, safer system that will completely rule out further Russian aggression down the line. Most of our proposals are within the framework of international law, and some seek legal changes that are commensurate with new threats to global security.

This manifesto offers a vision of such a postwar world and how to achieve it. We cannot achieve peace at the expense of justice or justice at the expense of peace. For sustainable international security, justice and peace must be achieved simultaneously.

This means that the aggressor must bear full responsibility for the war and be held fully accountable.

  • War criminals must be punished: for their aggression, for their war crimes, for their crimes against humanity and genocide, and for inciting hatred, which led to a war that was previously unthinkable in the 21st century.
  • Not all losses can be compensated. Hundreds of thousands of people have died, millions have lost their loved ones, tens of millions have lost years of their lives. But all material damage must be properly appraised and compensation paid, and all losses should be compensated to the maximum extent possible.
  • Russia must suffer a loss of status. It should not be allowed to influence international politics through international organizations. An aggressor cannot be a member of the UN Security Council, whose core mission is to guarantee peace.
  • Russia’s withdrawal from Ukraine must recognize the priority of the interests of Ukrainian society and respect for the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Ukraine; all legislation enacted in the occupied territories must be made null and void.

Ukraine is entitled not only to demand justice for the crimes committed by Russia, but also to receive unambiguous guarantees of sustainable peace in the future.

  • Ukraine’s accession to the European Union and NATO is the number one prerequisite for sustainable peace.
  • Western societies must cast aside their stereotypes about Russian grandeur as nurtured by Russian propaganda over the centuries, fuelling its imperial aggression and colonial policies towards neighboring countries.
  • Russia must bring its constitutional system, social structure and political systems in line with modern-day standards. Debunking the concept of “Ruskiy Mir” (the “Russian world”) will create the conditions for the further transformation of public consciousness that would drive the decolonization of the country.
  • The process of “derashization” must begin by vanquishing its imperial historical memory, meaning Russia must reject ideas of its historical exceptionalism as a separate civilization and notions of its supremacy, as well as its territorial claims to neighboring countries.
  • The international community should demand the demilitarization and denuclearization of the Russian Federation to reduce the risks of future aggression.
  • Abandoning Russian energy will deprive Russia of the opportunity to use it as a weapon and accelerate the transition to green energy.

We, the authors of this manifesto and representatives of Ukrainian civil society, believe that the implementation of the ideas herein will prevent future aggression and ensure sustainable peace in the interests of all people — not only in Western Europe, but also in Central and Eastern Europe — through the motto “Never Again”.


Read the full manifesto.