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Schiller Institute June 15-16 Conference: End the Nuclear War Threat; Join The Global Majority!

The Schiller Institute June 15-16 Conference first panel. Credit: Schiller Institute

The international Schiller Institute’s two-day conference, “The World on the Brink: For a New Peace of Westphalia!” got underway June 15 at a time of extreme crisis, and served as a platform for not only review of the nature of the causes of the emergency, but for statements of principles for solutions. The two-day event is organized into four panels, with 23 speakers from 11 countries, and with participation in the question-and-answer sessions from many nations around the world. The full program is posted on the Schiller Institute site, along with the archived video of the entire event. (The transcript of the opening speeches of Panel 1 is available in Documentation.)

The opening point raised in the conference invitation was addressed head-on in the first panel: “The collective West’s attempt to assert the global dominance of the neoliberal system after the end of the Cold War has been a resounding failure.” Many different aspects of this were discussed, in particular, the incompetence of Western leaders, their lack of diplomacy, and the fact that last week’s elections for European Parliament was a resounding rejection of the current leading office-holders throughout the EU. The title of Panel I was “Europe after the European Elections.”

‘Why Are We on the Verge of World War III?’

Schiller Institute founder Helga Zepp-LaRouche, who gave the keynote address, spoke gravely of the present danger, asking, “Why are we on the verge of World War III?” She cited glaring evidence of that, from the recent Ukraine-based strikes on two of the Russian 10 nuclear early warning facilities, and other stark events. But in fact, she stressed, “We are at an end of an epoch,” referring to the end of colonialism and neo-colonialism, a brake on humanity since 1500, and we should be moving ahead. We need a new system, and the good news—blacked out by the Western media—is that, “a new world system is in the process of being built.” She referred to past fundamental, positive shifts promoted by great figures, Germany’s Gottfried Leibniz (1646-1716) and Friedrich List (1789-1846), and China’s Cai Yuanpei (1868-1940). Zepp-LaRouche concluded her keynote remarks, saying, “Let us join the Global Majority.”

The other panelists, from the United States, Germany, France, Switzerland, Belarus, and Russia, all concurred on the urgency to act on today’s crises, and had differing points of information and emphasis. Former U.S. Ambassador Chas Freeman, a U.S.-China scholar, led off his remarks simply, “Someone must speak out for peace.”

Two spokespersons from Belarus added to what voices for peace have been saying for years from Eurasia. Dr. Olga Lazorkina, Chairwoman of the Foreign Policy Department of the Belarusian Institute of Strategic Research (BISR), spoke of nations “finding common ground,” since we live on one planet. There are as of 2023, some 183 regional conflicts in the world, she said. We must act on alternatives. On the vast Eurasian continent, there are “alternative mechanisms for global economic” development, active regionally, such as the Eurasian Economic Union, which builds upon “friendship and continuity.” Her Belarusian colleague in, Vitaly Romanovsky, Chief Adviser of the Foreign Policy Department of BISR, specifically reviewed the role of Belarus in the peace efforts in recent years over Ukraine.

The four speakers on Panel 1 with military backgrounds and associations were very hard-hitting. Col. Alain Corvez (ret.) of France, former adviser to the French Ministry of the Interior, cited Nietzsche to make his point that leading figures in the West are demented. They are in the domain of nihilism, capable of no rational thought. The U.S. is a hegemon failing to recognize that it has lost dominance, so looking for diplomatic relations from them is what makes it so dangerous. Corvez concurred with the conference theme on mobilizing at large for a Peace of Westphalia approach. His compatriot from France, Caroline Galactéros, a political scientist, and colonel in the reserves, called for France to “de-align” from the U.S. and its war-making, and join forces with those promoting stabilization and security. We should “save whatever remains of Ukraine.”

From Switzerland, Lt. Col. Robert Bosshard (ret.) gave military details on how “we are in a global stalemate” when it comes to entrenched, terrible situations, as in Ukraine and Gaza. This can and must be shifted.

From Germany, Rainer Rupp, military-intelligence expert, who worked directly in NATO from 1977 to 1993, in relation to their periodic simulated nuclear drills called “Wintex” (Winter Exercises), made very clear the mindset he saw firsthand, of U.S., British and other NATO leaders giving no regard at all to the mass casualties at stake within the Europe they claimed to be protecting.

‘A Mock Peace of Westphalia II?’

The prospect of a positive outcome to today’s crisis was a theme picked up by the speaker from Russia, Georgy Toloraya, Director, Center for Asian Strategy, Institute of Economics of the Russian Academy of Sciences. He gave a brief report on the major speech made June 14 by Russian President Vladimir Putin to top Foreign Ministry leaders, on proposals for Eurasian and global security. This involves the “Global South'’ and “Global East,” and new configurations in motion such as the BRICS. This past week the BRICS foreign ministers of the original five nations and the four new member nations—Egypt, Iran, Ethiopia, U.A.E., and Saudi Arabia—met together for the first time in Nizhny Novgorod, looking toward what may be “a new stage of action” to benefit the whole world.

Zepp-LaRouche recommended during the panel discussion period that we seek out different settings and institutions in which to discuss prospects and principles for ending the crisis. What about at think tanks from all five continents? Or on the level of universities? There is an extreme lack of dialogue, and the NATO narrative is designed to be stifling, blocking any thought and action.

She put this on an individual level. Each person should have a vision for himself or herself of what the world should be, and what each one of us can do for that, and make of our lives. “War is an outcome of a deep cultural crisis” in the West. Zepp-LaRouche sees the present period of three to six months as the most dangerous time in history. We need to create a process of dialogue where the best of humanity everywhere is inspired and enlisted to act. The Schiller Institute, and the International Peace Process are dedicated to that.

The Global Majority

Panel II, titled, “The Development Aspirations of the Global Majority” featured six speakers, who represented South America, Europe, and Palestine in Southwest Asia. The stage was set by a video excerpt from Lyndon LaRouche speaking 20 years ago at a conference in Germany, May 4, 2001, addressing economic development, in which he focused on, “looking at the possibility of what we can do in Eurasia, and at the needs of Africa.” He presented the idea of development corridors “from the Atlantic to the Pacific,” radiating in all directions, years before the September 13, 2013 launch by Chinese President Xi Jinping of the Belt and Road Initiative.

The first panel as well, led off with a video from LaRouche in Virginia on February 20, 2005, warning that there must be a new world economic and security framework organized. He spoke of “the decline and fall of U.S. leadership” 1971 to 2005, citing George Shultz, Paul Volcker, Zbigniew Brzezinski and others.

On Panel II from South America, former President of Guyana Donald Ramotar gave both a picture of the economic exploitation, for decades, of his and other nations. Look just at food in the Caribbean. Nations there must spend $4 billion a year on food imports. This all must change, and the rise of the BRICS nations is critical to that. Henry Baldelomar, Professor of International Affairs at Nur University, in Santa Cruz, Bolivia said, “We are now at a crossroads of development for a new order.” The old ECLAC model (UN Economic Commission for Latin America) is too limited for the challenges of real development. Baldelomar spoke of such projects as the new bi-oceanic rail corridor, connecting the Pacific and Atlantic Oceans.

In counterpoint to the perspective of growth, reports from Europe presented the picture of needless economic and social breakdown, resulting from destructive policies. Folker Hellmeyer, Chief Economist at Netfonds AG in Germany, in a pre-taped interview by Zepp-LaRouche, titled, “Quo Vadis, Germany?” spoke of such fundamental problems as the lack of energy, and its unaffordability. The harm to imports and exports from sanctions, and much more. Hungarian expert Prof. Dr. Laszlo Ungvari, President (emeritus) of the Wildau University of Technology, spoke of how disappointed he is in Europe, with its degraded politicians in power, and lost young people.

Italian economist and China expert Michele Geraci, former Undersecretary of State, Italian Ministry of Economic Development, elaborated on what “win-win” relations among nations would mean for their mutual economic development. He said, “Your prosperity and my prosperity are integral to each other.”

From Copenhagen, Palestine Ambassador to Denmark Prof. Dr. Manuel Hassassian began his presentation on the need for Palestinian statehood, by laying out the “LaRouche concept” of development in the Oasis Plan. With a perspective of water, power and all other infrastructure to be made available, there is a basis for the future.

The reports and dialogue on this panel were a concrete expression of creative reaction to problems, which came about as if in response to the music which opened the panel. A video was shown of American bass-baritone William Warfield (1920-2002), singing “Die Beiden Grenadiere,” whose text is by Heinrich Heine, and musical setting by Robert Schumann. Instead of the pitiable scene of soldiers dragging themselves home from the Napoleonic wars, going to their graves, seeking some remembrance, we are now called to throw off the imperialism and warfare, and make a world of life and hope.

There are two Panels Sunday, June 16:

Panel III on Sunday (14.00-17.00 CET; 8 am ET) is titled, “The Implications of the Scientific Revolution Underway.” Panel IV: The Richness of the Cultures of Humanity and the Coming Golden Renaissance (18.00-21.00 CET; 12 pm ET)