The Irish Anti-War Movement

Statement on NATO summit in Madrid 29 – 30 June 2022




The international network ‘No-to-War No-to-Nato’ is outraged by the decision of NATO’s heads of government to further increase confrontation, militarization and globalization instead of opting for dialogue, disarmament and peaceful co-existence.

In Madrid, NATO approved a new strategic concept. NATO claims to be an alliance based on shared democratic values, working towards just and inclusive peace and is a bulwark for a rules-based international order. In reality, in NATO-countries like Poland, Hungary and Turkey, democratic values and human rights are being trampled on. All member states combined account for two-thirds of the global arms trade that helps destabilize entire regions. Warring countries like Saudi Arabia are among their best customers. NATO maintains privileged relationships with gross human rights violators like Colombia and apartheid state Israel. Military interventions in the former Yugoslavia, Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya and Syria have been in breach with essential principles of international law. Whistleblowers are persecuted and threatened. Refugees are killed and rights are violated while trying to cross NATO’s militarized borders.

NATO propaganda paints a false picture of NATO representing the so-called democratic countries versus an authoritarian world to legitimize its militaristic course. In reality, NATO is stepping up its confrontation with rival and emerging superpowers in pursuit of geopolitical hegemony, control over transport routes, markets and natural resources.

Although NATO’s strategic concept claims to be working toward disarmament and arms control, it is doing just the opposite. NATO was already responsible for more than half of world wide military spending before Russia started its brutal war un Ukraine. Since, the military alliance is abusing the war to dramatically increase the armament of its member states by many tens of billions and by expanding it’s Rapid Reaction Force on a massive scale.

Under de leadership of the US, NATO applies a military strategy aimed at weakening Russia rather than bringing a swift end to the war. This is a dangerous policy that can only contribute to increase the suffering in Ukraine and can bring the war into dangerous levels of (nuclear) escalation.

NATO and the nuclear member states continue to see nuclear weapons as an essential part of their military strategy and refuse to comply with the obligations of the Non-Proliferation Treaty. They reject the new nuclear ban treaty (TPNW) which is a necessary complementary instrument to free the world of genocidal weapons.

We reject NATO’s further expansion plans which are provocative. Any country in the world would see it as a violation of its security interests if a hostile military alliance would advance towards its borders. We also condemn the fact that the inclusion of Finland and Sweden into NATO, is accompanied by the acceptance and even support of Turkey’s war policy and human rights infringements against the Kurds. The silence on Turkey’s violations of international law, invasions, occupations, looting and ethnical cleansings in northern Syria and northern Iraq bears witness to NATO’s complicity.

NATO invited several countries from the “Indo-Pacific” to its summit with the purpose to strengthen mutual military ties in what is framed as meeting “systemic challenges” that would emanate from China. This regional military build-up is part of NATO’s further transformation into a global military alliance that will increase tensions, risks dangerous confrontations and can lead into an unprecedented arms race in the region.

The international peace movement calls on social movements such as trade unions, environmental movement, women’s, youth, anti-racism organizations to resist the militarization of our societies that can only come at the expense of social welfare, public services, the environment, and human rights. Together we can work for a different security order based on dialogue, cooperation, disarmament, common and human security. This is not only desirable, but necessary if we want to preserve the planet from threats and challenges posed by nuclear weapons, climate change and poverty.


International No to war – No to NATO network

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