EUROMIL’s President at the World Veterans Congress, Belgrade

The World Veterans Congress and 30th General Assembly for the World Veterans Federation were recently held in Belgrade, Serbia from March 6th to March 10th, 2023.

The Congress was hosted by the Union of Associations of Fighters of the National Liberation Wars of Serbia (SUBNOR), one of the founders of the WVF in 1950. In fact, SUBNOR organized the WVF General Assembly in 1951 where significant decisions were made about its mission as a humanitarian federation and in the caretaking of veterans from various wars and conflicts.

The motto of the 2023 Congress was “respect for diversity,” a very relevant topic that was discussed in the Peace and Security session after the official opening of the Congress. This theme aimed to highlight that, despite the differences between the states member of the WVF, they all have in common a great and bright goal: humanity in stable peace and economic prosperity. The WVF believes in negotiating topics where they do not share common ground. Because no one, as WVF’s credo says, can speak more eloquently about peace than those who fought in the war!

During the Congress, EUROMIL’s President Emmanuel Jacob and Vice-President Jörg Greiffendorf, representing at the same time the German delegation, participated in the meetings. Emmanuel Jacob delivered a speech in the Peace and Security session, focusing on diversity in the modern armed forces. He emphasized that the link between Veterans and Reserve should be reinforced, while also improving the collaboration with other uniformed workers and first responders. During his presentation, Mr Jacob discussed various issues, including gender, LGBTI rights, racism, tolerance, ethnicity, respect for minorities, and more, all of which are important to address in our military, veteran, and reserve communities. He concluded by stating “we all know that the way from words, regulation and legislation to a changed mindset, proper behavior and a new culture, is long! Let that be a goal and a challenge for defence forces supported by military associations and trade unions as well as reserve and veteran associations. I am confident that the WVF and EUROMIL will make sure to be the best possible promotors and defenders of these values.”

After going through the internal agenda , the WVF approved several resolutions during the Congress, including a proposition from the German and Slovenian delegations about the war in Ukraine, which raised some tension. However, with the needed lobbying and understanding, the following part of a resolution was accepted: “We the members of the GA of the WVF call to the member states of the WVF to respect and to support the nonbinding resolution of the UN GA dated 23rd of February 2023 calling for an end to the war in Ukraine and demanding Russia’s immediate withdrawal from the country in accordance with the UN Charter.”

Finally, the WVF members elected its new leadership for the next mandate, with Mr El Mostafa El Ktiri from Morocco being elected as President of the WVF, succeeding Dan Viggo Bergtun.


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