Resolution accepted at the 13th EGP Council, Tallinn, Estonia, October 8-10, 2010
In order to avoid that the new NATO doctrine will jeopardize the recent promise of progress toward peace and zero nuclear weapons, awareness raising in the upcoming weeks is highly needed.
A world without nuclear weapons and without war is a vision we Greens adopt in our hearts and minds. The latest but fragile steps on the road towards global zero were the UN Security Council Resolution end of 2009, a slight revision of the US Nuclear Posture Review, the Russian-American negotiations on a New Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty (START) and the UN Review Conference of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) in May this year. The Review Conference achieved consensus on 22 Actions on disarmament, including the commitment for further progress in diminishing the role of nuclear weapons in security policies.
In November NATO member states have to show, how sincere this commitment to nuclear disarmament was. At their summit on Nov. 19-20 in Lisbon the Alliance is adopting its new Strategic Concept which gives the chance to redefine the role of nuclear weapons in the Alliance’s strategy.
Under NATO nuclear sharing arrangements, the United States currently keeps an estimated 150 to 240 nuclear weapons in Belgium, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, and Turkey. Furthermore these countries (except Turkey) provide aircrafts to deliver those weapons to their targets in times of war. In addition to the US tactical nuclear weapons, NATO relies for nuclear deterrence on the nuclear arsenals of France, the United Kingdom, and the United States which includes a pre-emptive option for the use of nuclear weapons. These mechanisms of nuclear sharing and a possible pre-emptive option for the use of nuclear weapons not only violate the NPT but also seriously undermine the prevention of the spread of weapons of mass destruction and NATO’s credibility in non-proliferation.
Even though many states (as the Netherlands, Belgium, Germany and Norway, Italy, but also the UK and the US) had indicated before the NPT Review Conference in May openness to reconsidering NATO’s nuclear posture in the context of calls for a world without nuclear weapons, these voices have been silent over the last weeks. Furthermore, the pre-report to the summit, chaired by former US Secretary of State Madeleine Albright, restated a number of old-fashioned principles of NATO’s nuclear weapons policy, including that NATO relies upon a mixture of conventional and nuclear weapons for the purpose of deterrence and that nuclear sharing also of the non-nuclear Allies is an essential sign of transatlantic solidarity.
It goes without saying that Albright’s report also includes other proposals that we European Greens do not share at all including: justifying military actions with regard to competition for petroleum or other strategic resources, cyber-attacks regardless of its geographical origins; demographic problems; climate change and other identified threats. This can have serious consequences for democracy and citizen’s rights of the member states and third countries and have an influence on their economies, infrastructures, troops, as well as, protection of personal data. The financial pressure on national budgets to satisfy these demands will be a long term consequence of the new strategy and a new course for conventional and nuclear armament.
In order to avoid that the new NATO doctrine will jeopardize the recent promise of progress toward peace and zero nuclear weapons, awareness raising in the upcoming weeks is highly needed. With this resolution we as European Greens commit ourselves to support the efforts of NGOs and the network of parliamentarians to bring nuclear disarmament on the European agenda. We will support campaigns around and in the forefront of the NATO summit to remind our governments of their commitments to create a world without nuclear weapons and weapons of mass destruction as an essential to preserve peace.The European Greens, gathered in Tallinn and committed to their anti- war traditions:
Stress that conflict prevention, civilian crisis management and peaceful mediation of international conflicts is the primary task and must be led with the help or through the United Nations (UN), with the participation of all the parts involved, respecting human rights, sovereignty and state integrity and aiming at an ecological and sustainable development;
Stress that the use of military actions has to be avoided by all available means and can only happen as a last resort and in line with the UN Charter and the Parliaments involved.
Recommend to the NATO Summit in Lisbon to use this crucial opportunity to remove from its Strategic Concept the possibility of launching pre-emptive strikes and call on all NATO member states to fulfil as first steps their minimum nuclear disarmament commitments they agreed to at the NPT Review Conference in May.
Call for a redefinition on NATO’s nuclear posture by the following measures:
Affirm the groundswell of calls for a world without nuclear weapons
In the context of the new commitment of all NPT member states, to reduce and eliminate nuclear arsenals, the new Strategic Concept should signal in its principles that the Alliance is a strong supporter of a functioning global regime on nuclear disarmament and non- proliferation and that it confirms its commitment of the objectives of the NPT by denuclearizing Europe in the intent of a world free of nuclear weapons. As expressed by the 2010 NPT Review Conference the Alliance should re-confirm that using or threatening with nuclear weapons is clearly against international humanitarian law. Therefore nuclear weapons should be banned in the same terms as chemical or biological weapons.
Remove tactical nuclear weapons from Europe and stop modernization
The summit should encourage removing all remaining tactical US nuclear weapons from the territories of non-nuclear weapon states in Europe, as otherwise neither those states nor the US as the supplier state can claim full compliance with the Nonproliferation Treaty. This includes removing nuclear sharing from NATO’s Strategic Concept. Furthermore language to cease the modernization and qualitative improvement of nuclear weapon systems has to be included, as without UK and France not ending their nuclear weapons system programmes a European nuclear weapons free zone will not develop.
The political leverage of this move has to be used to foster a reinvigorated disarmament dialogue with Russia, especially about the withdrawal of their tactical nukes from Western Russia, and including measures to embrace the security concerns of Eastern European states.
Adopt a no-first use policy
This revision should include a no-first-use commitment, negative security assurances of not using or threatening to use nuclear weapons against non-nuclear states and to confine the role of nuclear arsenals to exclusively deter the use of nuclear weapons by others until nukes are universally prohibited and eliminated. Furthermore it has to make disarmament a core element of its approach to provide security and should reject the view of “the unsecure world” as stated in Madeleine Albright’s pre-report which justifies the massive spread of military infrastructures and operations all over the world, under NATO supervision.
Download the complete resolution in PDF format here...