Statement by the International Peace Bureau
tony at cultureshop.org.uk
Thu Mar 24 21:54:25 GMT 2011
Anti-democratic corporate Cameron enforces democracy with bombs.
>From: maw.emails at talktalk.net
>Subject: Statement by the International Peace Bureau
>Date: Mon, 21 Mar 2011 20:34:00 +0000
>Movement for the Abolition of War - Emails
>MAW is a member of the International Peace
>Bureau (Geneva) and works closely with it. The
>attached statement on the Libyan crisis was made
>by IPB today. It sets out a clear position
>which is in line with MAW's thinking.
>For any further information call 01908 511948 or
>email tony.kempster at abolishwar.org.uk.
>Libya: International Peace Bureau condemns
>military strikes and urges political
>negotiations to protect the civilian population
>21 March 2011. A new historical era opened three
>months ago with the popular uprisings in Tunisia
>and then Egypt, the first of the Arab spring
>season. These rebellions brought hope to
>millions and youthful energy to societies
>suffering decades of repression, injustice,
>inequality, especially gender inequality, and
>increasing economic hardship. The Libyan revolt
>was inspired by these largely nonviolent
>victories, but, as the world has witnessed with
>dismay, has rapidly become militarized and is
>now embroiled in a full-scale civil war.
>NO MORE ARMED INTERVENTIONS
>The western powers fateful decision to push
>through the UN Security Council a resolution to
>authorize military strikes and a no-fly zone has
>transformed the situation into one reminiscent
>of the Iraq crisis of 2003. While supporting the
>objective of protecting the civilian population,
>in Benghazi and elsewhere, IPB condemns yet more
>armed attacks by western powers on yet another
>Muslim country. Have these same powers learned
>nothing from their disastrous failures over the
>last 10 years? It is clear that non-military
>methods have not been utterly exhausted. Were
>all economic sanctions imposed and enforced? Was
>massive electronic jamming put into operation?
>Were all oil and gas sales cancelled? and will we ever be told?
>WHEN WILL WE EVER LEARN?
>Western media fascination with the minutiae of
>battle tends to obscure historical memory,
>without which any clear assessment is
>impossible. Have we all forgotten who sold arms
>to, and struck energy deals with, Col. Gaddafi
>in the first place? Do the phrases no-fly zone
>and air strikes not bring back painful
>memories of the slide into disastrous occupations in Iraq and Afghanistan?
>There is no lack of alternative courses of
>action. In IPBs view, the most urgent task, and
>the most effective way to carry out the
>UN-mandated Responsibility to Protect the
>civilian population, is to engage immediately
>both the Gaddafi regime and the rebels in
>serious negotiations. These should focus, first
>on a genuine and multi-lateral ceasefire, and
>then on the foundations of a political
>settlement based on participatory democracy. The
>UN already has a special representative in place
>in Tripoli. Cynical or not, Gaddafi has made a
>ceasefire gesture which could be used as a
>starting point. Western states, especially the
>US and the former colonial powers, should keep
>out. The UN Secretary-General and a panel of
>highly respected figures from the Muslim world
>should be invited to take part in whatever talks
>can be arranged. An offer to call off the air
>strikes could be used as a confidence-building
>measure. In the medium-term, consideration
>should be given to a UN-authorised peacekeeping
>presence, preferably not composed of western
>military forces, with a classical peace-keeping
>(not peace-enforcement) mandate. Why is it that
>investment in mediation, diplomacy,
>trust-building and similar efforts is always a
>tiny fraction of the money spent on armed intervention?
>Arab peoples have shown that they have the
>courage to break away from past habits and have
>demonstrated impressive discipline and dignity
>in confronting their oppressors. The western
>world should now respond by finding the courage
>to break with its own past habits, and to apply
>the enormous creativity of its own societies in
>the search for new ways of resolving conflicts.
>Success in Libya - or indeed elsewhere in the
>region - would offer tremendous inspiration to
>peoples locked in deadly conflict in other regions.
>It is still not too late for those leading this
>latest military gamble to pull out of the
>quagmire that looms ahead. We urge the world to
>mobilise now against war and foreign
>intervention, and in favour of negotiated solutions.
>What is done in the coming days and weeks will
>determine the possibilities for a long-term
>settlement. Foreign bombing only threatens a
>wider conflagration with unpredictable consequences.
>There are all kinds of wider considerations to
>be explored, and important lessons that need to
>be assimilated. In particular, that the five
>permanent members of the Security Council cannot
>continue to police the world as if we were still
>in 1945; and that it is time for a global outcry
>against the massive expenditure devoted to the
>military system ($1,500 billion per annum), and
>in particular the international arms trade, with
>its accompanying corruption and double standards.
>The International Peace Bureau is clear on its
>own priorities. We need to disarm in order to
>develop. The basic needs of the population must
>be catered for as the absolute priority, not as
>a by-product of national security. We appeal
>to the arms-producing countries and industries
>to urgently start converting military research
>and production to civilian purposes. The world
>will never achieve the Millennium Development
>Goals if it fails to abandon the
>military-dominated way of thinking and action.
>We have learned in recent years that democracy
>cannot be imposed, and that regime change is
>only a matter for the population itself. The
>time is now ripe to assist the people in the
>Middle East/North Africa region in building
>societies based on the vision of a culture of
>peace, as hoped for by peoples everywhere. Such
>a programme was agreed by the UN in the
>preparation of the International Year for a
>Culture of Peace in 2000 and the following
>Decade on a Culture of Peace and Non-Violence
>that has just come to an end, and that must now be energetically renewed.
>The International Peace Bureau is dedicated to
>the vision of a World Without War. We are a
>Nobel Peace Laureate (1910), and over the years
>13 of our officers have been recipients of the
>Nobel Peace Prize. Our 320 member organisations
>in 70 countries, and individual members, form a
>global network which brings together expertise
>and campaigning experience in a common cause.
>Our main programme centres on Sustainable
>Disarmament for Sustainable Development. We welcome your participation.
>Current project: Global Day of Action on
>Military Spending, April 12, 2011: http://demilitarize.org
>Movement for the Abolition of War (MAW)
+44 (0)7786 952037
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