Disarmament and a stop of wars is the order of the day
On July 7th thousands protested against the coming NATO summit in Brussels. The protests were called for by Belgian peace, environment, development and human rights organizations, as well as unions and the international network “No to war – No to NATO.”
At the protest Ludo De Brabander, member of the coordination committee of the network “No to war – no to NATO,” declared: “NATO wants to increase military investments up to 2% of GDP for each member state. For Europe we are talking about 100 billion Euro extra, annually. This is madness. We need the money to fight poverty, for social and environmental investments.”
On July 8th the counter summit was held in Brussels by the international network “No to war – no to NATO” and by organizations from the Belgian peace movement, in particular vrede.
100 participants came from 15 NATO member countries and 5 no NATO states
The participants of the counter summit agreed upon the rejection of
- The massive armament that is pushed for by the NATO states. They oppose the 2% GDP goal for armament and instead demand a widespread disarmament of the global military expenses of 1.7 trillion US dollars to the benefit of social and environmental investments, for education and for the overcoming of poverty and hunger.
- The modernization of nuclear weapons. Essentially this is about the acquisition of a new generation of nuclear weapons that are supposed to lower the threshold for a nuclear war and make regional nuclear wars possible. “The abolition of all nuclear weapons and even broader coalition in support of the ban treaty remain our goal,” said Arielle Denis, form ICAN and IPB
- The monstrous and deadly arms exports. Arms exports have to be outlawed in general.
- The drone warfare and a further automatization and robotization of war. An international convention against drones has been demanded again and again.
“NATO is, in spite of its repugnancies, the!! military alliance of the world, stronger and more comprehensive than every other war alliance in history. It encompasses not only Europe and North America but extends over the whole world, Asia in particular. The encirclement of Russia and China is the goal. “Wars of intervention are a daily, murderous method and against international law,” said Kristine Karch and Lucas Wirl, co-chairs of the network “No to war – no to NATO.”
The participants agreed that the long-term goal of peace work has to be the dissolution, resp. overcoming, of NATO. National withdrawals from NATO are an important step in this.
The network “No to war – No to NATO” is especially alarmed by the militarization of Europe, which is connected to NATO but also detached from it, which is further increasing the dangers of confrontation and war in the world. Europe has to return to a policy of “mutual security,” in particular with Russia.
The international network will, alongside many other forces for peace, prepare for the 70th anniversary of the founding NATO in April 2019 with many actions. “NATO belongs on history’s midden heap,” this was the collective conclusion of the counter summit in Brussels on July 8th 2018.