Common Security 2022: Global civil society leaders set out path to peaceful progress

With the threat of a new cold war looming as war rages in Ukraine, a group of influential civil society leaders have launched a call to action to set the world on the path to peace based on the concept of common security.

Forty years years ago, the Palme Commission’s groundbreaking report, Common Security: a Programme for Disarmament, helped inspire Gorbachev and Reagan to negotiate an end to the Cold War.

The high-level advisory commission for Common Security 2022 revisited the premise that “international security must rest on a commitment to joint survival rather than a threat of mutual destruction” in a current geopolitical context.

The report urges world leaders to return to the path of disarmament and peaceful progress and cooperate to overcome contemporary security risks and causes of conflict, especially climate change and global warming, inequality, current and future pandemics, and authoritarian regimes shrinking democratic space.

The report makes concrete recommendations to strengthen the global architecture for peace, create a new peace dividend to invest in sustainable development, revitalise nuclear disarmament and arms control and regulate new military technologies and outer space weapons.

ITUC General Secretary Sharan Burrow said: “The world must realise that we can only escape a new spiral of conflict, death and destruction if we rebuild trust. Common security requires a new social contract between peoples, governments and business across national boundaries.

“Ultimately, we all depend on each other for peace and stability. We are not safe if our neighbour feels threatened. We need dialogue, diplomacy, disarmament and multilateral cooperation – now more than ever.”

The report was put together over a year of global webinars and meetings of the commission and a wide range of experts. The final report can be accessed here.

The project was a cooperation between the International Peace Bureau, the International Trade Union Confederation and the Olof Palme International Centre.