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At the recent Writers for Peace Annual Conference in Bled, Slovenia, the delegates and members of the Writers for Peace Committee of PEN International voted to adopt the following statement on the developing crisis in the Ukraine.

Involved in the drafting of the statement, and wider discussions on how writers and PEN Centres can respond to such crises, were leading Ukrainian and Russian writers and human rights defenders including Andrei Kurkov (PEN Ukraine) and Alexei Simonov (PEN Russia).

The discussions were part of a series of rolling meetings led by PEN members in Kiev, Warsaw, Bled and Stockholm to address the situation in Ukraine. For more information please see: http://www.pen-international.org/newsitems/ukraine-pen-urges-peaceful-solution-to-escalating-violence-through-dialogue-and-debate 

  • For more information on the Writers for Peace Annual Conference please click here.
  • For more information on the Writers for Peace Committee please click here.
  • For a copy of the Bled Manifesto of the Writers for Peace Committee please click here.

Statement

Bled, 9 May 2014

Today all the world is watching what is happening in Ukraine. At stake is not only the future of the country, but also the destiny of its people and of Europe as a whole. In order to appease the situation and to bring long awaited stability to the country all the actions of both sides of the conflict should be legitimized, observed and approved by the international community; starting with the Presidential elections scheduled for the 25th of May 2014, followed by the Parliamentary elections and the Constitutional reform.

The Writers for Peace Committee of PEN international encourages all stakeholders in Ukraine and outside Ukraine to persevere in seeking a peaceful settlement of differences through dialogue and openness to compromise.

The WfPC reaffirms the Bled Peace Manifesto, adopted by PEN International at its Reykjavik Congress in September 2013 in conformity with the vocation expressed in the PEN Charter to work for peace through literature and to recognize the common aspirations of all members of the human family and the commonalities of writers in all nations.

The WfPC urges writers to exercise their rights to freedom of expression, peaceful assembly and association, and to demand respect for the sovereignty of the Ukrainian peoples, who alone have the democratic right to determine their own future. The human rights, including linguistic rights, of all Ukrainians must be guaranteed in solidarity with the United Nations General Assembly and other institutions, which are invited to promote confidence building and to exercise their influence on the leaders of all governments concerned so as to prevent further interference in the internal affairs of Ukraine, in keeping with articles 1 and 2  of the UN Charter.

The Writers for Peace Committee of PEN International

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