Madrid Peace Summit 2022: Defund War, Disband NATO
The main goal of the Peace Summit 2022, that took place in Madrid on 24th and 25th June 2022, was to analyze the role of NATO as a threat to global peace and security, as well as the promotion of alternatives based in a culture of peace, nonviolence and global justice. The gathering was as a response to the NATO summit taking place in the city a few days later (June 29 and 30), on the occasion of the Spain’s 40th anniversary of NATO membership. You can see the full program of the Peace Summit here, and its final declaration here.
GCOMS and IPB members were present at two of the panels of the Peace Summit to discuss NATO, military spending, international security architecture and to present the Common Security Report 2022. The discussion on alternatives was varied during the whole weekend, but the policy of “common security” and the opposition to military spending were repeatedly formulated as unifying positions worthy of support.
The panel ‘Which security architecture do we want for Europe? Common Security 2022 Report‘, had Joseph Gerson (IPB and CPD&CS), Katerina Anastasiou (Transform) and Reiner Braun (IPB) as speakers, with Anna Montull (Centre Delàs), moderating the table. At this well-attended event on the common security topic, the report was welcomed as a good basis for developing a new security architecture for Europe and beyond.
On the other hand, the panel on NATO’s military spending and armed forces discussed the resources dedicated to war with a focus on how NATO boosts and exacerbates militarization trends. This panel had Juan Carlos Rois (Grupo Tortuga), Quique Sánchez (GCOMS and IPB) and Gemma Amorós (Centre Delàs) as speakers, with Elisenda Ribes (also Centre Delàs), moderating the table.
During this conference, also well-attended, an emphasis was put on the fact that peace can never be achieved by increasing arms spending, and that further militarization can only end lead to war. NATO countries already spent 17 times more than Russia in their militaries so, accoridng to speakers, it is difficult to justify that further increases in military spending could change the current trends and provide security and stability. Disarmament for social and climate justice was a repeated demand, along with the urgent need to join forces with the feminist, antiracist and social and climate justice movements against war and militarism.
See also this article at Pressenza covering the summit.
Also during the summit, the report ‘NATO, building global insecurity‘, written by Centre Delàs, IPB and Greenpeace experts, was presented to the public. The report can be found here in Spanish, and an English version will appear here soon.
On 26 th June 2022, thousands of pacifists chanted loudly “No to NATO, yes to peace” throughout downtown Madrid during the largest anti-NATO demonstration in a long time. The message was clear: we shall not be silent about NATO expansion and NATO is a danger to peace. Left-wing National, European and international, radical left-wing groups were represented as well as peace organizations, women’s groups, solidarity organizations and environmental organizations, including Friday For Future and Extinction Rebellion, all with clear anti-militaristic statements. Impressive was not only the number, but also the clear recognition that NATO and peace are not compatible and that a global peace cannot be achieved with a “global NATO”.
See also this video, provided by People’s Dispatch Youtube Channel, featuring Reiner Braun, Executive Director of the International Peace Bureau.
This article is based on IPB’s report on the summit, available here.