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World without Wars and Violence

International Humanist Organisation - Official Website

Regarding the NATO summit

November’s Lisbon Summit of NATO leaders took place together with invited guests representing governments around the globe together with the UN Secretary General.There is absolutely nothing about this summit that World without Wars is able to support. The new strategy document is a disaster. The attempt to bring Russia into a Missile Defence Shield system totally ignores the will of the citizens of Europe. The withdrawal from Afghanistan by 2014 will not lead to peace and stability while the country is ravaged by poverty and forced into spending money on weapons and maintaining an army it can’t afford. All in all, it’s a disaster. We didn’t have much hope, to be honest. It’s like the people who wrote the strategy document are living in a world where they have a god-given right to control everything on the planet; the people, the natural resources and the economy. In their view, nuclear weapons are ok as long as they have enough to destroy everyone else and no one else can make them. They believe they have the right to dominate space and to intervene anywhere on the planet where their “interests” are under threat. It is a vision that perpetuates the idea that consumption of energy and natural resources must be allowed to continue expanding without finding alternative sources because as long as they have the biggest guns they will be able to access resources anywhere in the world. It is a vision that believes that only through NATO is there peace and stability in the world and that the citizens of NATO countries sleep better in their beds at night and it is a vision that totally ignores the economic crisis that the planet is facing. While claiming that NATO is committed to a nuclear free world, it is NATO states that vote against moves to disarmament at the UN, and with 3 nuclear states in their ranks do everything within their power to prevent moves towards a Nuclear Weapon Convention, which is an essential step on the path to disarmament. It claims that NATO must continue to act in the face of proliferation, ignoring that it is NATO countries selling weapons and nuclear technology that is contributing to it. It somehow believes that NATO is a deterrence against terrorism, as if the people of New York, Madrid and London were not already within NATO before they suffered their horrendous terrorist attacks. Did NATO prevent the devastation of the Twin Towers, Atocha Railway Station and the London Underground? In this vision NATO believes they are not part of the problem of terrorism but the saviours from it. NATO believes that the global economic crisis is irrelevant and that defence spending is exempt from the austerity measures being implemented in several NATO countries. Instead of learning from Afghanistan and the Balkans that military intervention is always an unmitigated disaster affecting and killing people in the tens of thousands; they believe that a military approach is always part of the solution. All this is part of an old, violent world and an old, violent mentality. As an organisation that opposes not only war, but every kind of violence, our task is to indicate a new horizon that is approaching, based on nonviolence and dialogue, and to denounce all the choices and the politics that try to slow or prevent this change: Nato’s decisions are among them. Therefore we will strengthen our commitment to show to the people of the world that NATO needs to be disbanded, that all military spending needs to be rapidly, progressively and proportionally diverted to non-military means and that the global economic system needs to be converted to production and the needs of the work force, and away from speculation and control by the banks.