Chapter 24 » 24.47

Practical expressions of our peace testimony

Building the institutions of peace and social justice

Extracts from a statement issued by the Quaker Council for European Affairs in 1987:

Our vision of Europe is of a peaceful, compassionate, open and just society, using its moral influence to encourage other countries and peoples towards the same goals. It is of a community of peoples which acts towards individuals and other communities as we would have others act towards us. As Quakers we seek to be sensitive to that of God in others and in ourselves, whose needs have the same validity as our own. Hence the right sharing of the world’s resources is central to our thinking…

[We envision] a non-threatening Europe, committed to the non-violent resolution of conflict. As Quakers we are committed to peace, but we cannot eliminate conflict. It can be minimised by reducing tension, by not posing threats to others (not only military, but also economic and cultural threats) and by seeking to understand the attitudes of others. Where conflicts arise, we can seek a nonviolent resolution by working for reconciliation…

We look forward to an economy which is conservationist, balanced in respect of growth, and sensitive to the needs and situations of other countries, not selling arms to others. We have only one world, and our present wasteful consumption of non-renewable resources and damage to the biosphere must stop. This requires alternative economic strategies, which are driven by need, not greed. The European economy should take positive account of the economies of other countries and not exploit their weaknesses. The selling of arms exploits such a weakness, and is morally indefensible.

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