Conference Report, Panel 1: With One Voice for Economic Justice from India, Africa, China, Italy

Sam Pitroda, a former advisor to the Indian Prime Ministers Rajiv Gandhi and Manmohan Singh, called for replacing the current security order, which is based on command and control, with one of cooperation, and for replacing the motivation of power and profit with the needs of the people and the planet. It is not enough to promote human rights, we must meet the physical needs of the population.

Pitroda was followed by Jay Naidoo, a Cabinet Minister in Nelson Mandela’s government in South Africa and a freedom fighter against apartheid. In the context of building a new and inclusive security architecture, he said, Africa, “a continent with mineral and natural resources that fuel a global economy, and the youngest profile of demographics in the world”, wants to play a prominent role. “We don’t need any global power acting as our policeman. We strive to rise above the paradigm of war driven by imperial and colonial thinking.”

Chen Xiaohan of the Chinese People’s Association for Peace and Disarmament presented a passionate call for a “community with a shared future for mankind”,which Xi Jinping has promoted. She located the cause of many of the strategic problems today in the “regional security contradictions fermented over the decades”, in which the legitimate security concerns of all parties are not taken into account.

Alessia Ruggeri of the Comitato per la Repubblica in Italy pointed to the hypocrisy of Western powers, that call for peace while fueling the flames of war with massive arms deliveries to Ukraine. She described the absurdity of the Italian government increasing military spending, while the economy is collapsing, with factories closing and hardship for families.

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