28 February 2022 – We, members of the Club of Rome, condemn in the strongest possible terms the Russian invasion of Ukraine and believe all efforts must be made to prevent war and any nuclear conflict immediately. We call upon leaders on all sides of this conflict, Russian, European, US, NATO and Ukrainian, to immediately cease military action and negotiate a peaceful solution.
We are also acutely aware of the many other conflicts currently unfolding on our planet largely driven by the interests of great powers, for example Afghanistan, Yemen, Syria, Iran, Venezuela, Ethiopia, Myanmar, among many others, all of which are causing immense human suffering that passes largely unremarked.
All are rooted in systemic failures that must now be addressed collectively if the human family and all species are to survive and resilience to future shocks and stresses are to be ensured. These failures have resulted in the cascading impact of climate change, biodiversity loss, soaring inequality, food and water insecurity, resource scarcity, pandemics, and much more, leading to increasing social conflict. The outcome is an existential threat to our future which can only be overcome with unprecedented global cooperation. This is no time for conflict.
It is as if we are all on a ship, headed towards an iceberg, which is simultaneously on fire – and instead of navigating the ship and putting out the fire, we start fighting amongst ourselves. Focusing on an “Us and Them” divide, including racist utterances and practices, only perpetuates conflict, enhances division and delays collective action on the current global challenges before us. There is little time to address these challenges before they move beyond humanity’s capacity to influence.
50 years ago the Club of Rome released its seminal report The Limits to Growth. Its call for action was ignored, but it forecast these grave geo-political outcomes and current social and environmental tipping points. On this bittersweet 50th anniversary, the Club of Rome is proposing an alternative future vision of “Global Equity for a Healthy Planet” as a global guiding star and ask all leaders to embrace this vision.
This is not the time to play power politics or, in particular, to allow war to steer us away from the task of overcoming this existential threat. Wasting precious human resources and financial capital to fuel a war, rather than confront our social and environmental tipping points, is an absolute folly and irresponsible at this time. This is the moment where we must all rise and work together towards peace and build new radical partnerships between all nations and actors to redesign a prosperous and equitable world worth living for generations to come. It will take all of us, pulling together, to safely navigate our ship towards the future we all want to see.
We call upon all global leaders, decision-makers, activists, and citizens to seek peaceful solutions to current global conflicts, condemn power politics and all wars, and refocus on overcoming the immediate existential threat to our civilization. Let us turn our backs to war and not to each other!
*This statement was approved by the Executive Committee of the Club of Rome. It does not necessarily reflect the views of all members of the Club of Rome