The Berlin World Conference of Workers against Imperialist War and Colonialism was held by the ICFI on November 16-17, 1991. The ICFI's initiative to hold the conference was taken in response to the launching of the Gulf War by Washington, US imperialism’s “unipolar moment” and the march toward the restoration of capitalism and dissolution of the USSR.
The pamphlet calling for the conference, the May Day 1991 manifesto, was published by the ICFI in 18 different languages. The manifesto is included below, along with major reports delivered to the conference and the resolutions that were adopted there.
The conference was a milestone in the development of the International Committee of the Fourth International. As the opening report by David North to the conference (included in this section) explained, “The International Committee today constitutes the only bona fide world Trotskyist organization in the entire world. The International Committee is not merely a specific tendency within the Fourth International, but it is the Fourth International as such. Starting with this conference, the International Committee will assume leadership responsibilities for the work of the Fourth International as the World Party of Socialist Revolution.” The conference laid the foundations for the decision taken within the ICFI four years later, for the transformation of the leagues into the Socialist Equality Parties.
Statement of the International Committee of the Fourth International
This 1991 May Day manifesto issued the call for the holding of the Berlin conference. It places the Persian Gulf War in the context of the long history of the struggle to build the revolutionary socialist movement in the struggle against war.
This conference is a historic victory for the Fourth International and the working class. For the first time in many decades, it has become possible to organize and convene an international conference of the Fourth International with delegations representing the working class from many different parts of the world on the basis of a Trotskyist, that is, revolutionary socialist program.
We have called this conference not only to reply to the immediate problems of the working class, but in order to set about resolving the great unanswered and uncompleted tasks which have confronted the working class in the course of this century.
It is now nearly three decades since the deliberate liquidation of the Soviet Union by the Moscow Stalinist bureaucracy and the launching of the First Persian Gulf War, which began in January 1991.