Dear Friends and Colleagues
We need not tell you that the current world situation is very serious. The prospect of a war against Iraq moves closer by the day. The consequences of war are many and varied. Social workers are only too familiar with this and will be dealing with the outcomes should war erupt. There are less visible consequences, which include the diversion of funding from humanitarian aid towards military effort. The impact upon children is often less immediately evident but well recorded and long lasting. The problems of continuing conflict and violence in almost every region may go comparatively unchecked. These represent only a few examples.
The IFSW has a long-standing commitment to non-violent resolution of conflict. Social workers are committed to Peace. The right to life is the most basic of human rights. Peaceful solutions to conflict enable us to continue fighting against poverty, and thereby to counteract the social injustice which in itself is a main source of conflict and terrorism.
IFSW will do all it can to continue to press for a peaceful settlement to international disputes, wherever it occurs but particularly at present in Iraq. We need political leaders for the 21st Century who understand that a peaceful approach is the brave, forward-looking and wise way to ease tensions and pave the path towards a more sustainable world.
We cannot do this alone and at this critical point in history we encourage our members and Friends to continue to encourage your leaders to respect the basic role of the United Nations and to urge a non violent resolution of the current conflict.
Sydney/Berne 13 February 2003