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Published on October 18th, 2010 | by Krista van Velzen

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NAVO op weg naar nieuw Strategisch Concept

Uit het proces dat moet leiden naar een nieuw Strategisch Concept voor de NAVO, blijkt dat de NAVO zich steeds meer richt op publieke diplomatie om te voorkomen dat de alliantie wordt gezien als overbodig of onnodig. Dit is één van de conclusies uit een artikel van Susi Snyder (IKV Pax Christi) en Ray Acheson (Reaching Critical Will of WILPF) in de First Committee Monitor, die deze week werd gepubliceerd.

Lees hier het hele artikel.

Nuclear Sharing and Alliances
Ray Acheson (Reaching Critical Will of WILPF) and Susi Snyder (IKV Pax Christi)

This year as in previous ones, several delegations have expressed concern with the continuation of nuclear sharing and alliance practices and policies. In the opening week, the Non-Aligned Movement, along with a few individual delegations expressed concern with the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO)’s nuclear alliance. Espen Barth Eide, the deputy foreign minister of NATO member Norway, said that his government is actively promoting a disarmament agenda in NATO through pushing for reducing the role of nuclear nuclear in the alliance’s posture.
On Friday, 15 October, the delegations of Mexico and Switzerland both specifically highlighted the NATO summit in Lisbon as an opportunity for the alliance to revise and modernize what Mexican Ambassador Claude Heller described as an “archaic security concept”. He emphasized that his delegation insists on the immediate removal of the almost 200 nuclear weapons currently located on the territory of European countries that are supposed to be non-nuclear weapon states, arguing that the current situation is not in conformity with article II of the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty. Swiss Ambassador Jürg Lauber said he hoped that NATO would take the lead in reducing the role of nuclear weapons at its Lisbon summit, arguing that its decision there will be important for implementing other aspects of the 2010 NPT Review Conference action plan, including those on “tactical” nuclear weapons. He urged NATO to take the outcome document of the Review Conference “into full account” during the deliberations in November.

A bit from Brussels, by Susi Snyder of IKV Pax Christi
On Thursday, 14 October Brussels was filled with Ministers—both Foreign and Defence—for a joint meeting at NATO Headquarters.Expectations were that this meeting would discuss and possibly get consensus on key contentious issues in advance of the November summit, including missile defence, NATO reform, relations with Russia, and NATO nuclear policy.

Much of the process leading up to the new strategic concept, this meeting included, has demonstrated that NATO is renewing its determination to engage in public diplomacy in order to prevent it from being recognized as obsolete or unnecessary. The new strategic concept, a “short and crisp” document, expected to be only a dozen or so pages, will not be much more than a broad overview laying out general conceptual agreements for the coming period.Details, such as how the alliance will engage with Russia on missile defence capabilities, or how the alliance will live up to its renewed arms control, disarmament, and non-proliferation commitments, will be left out of the concept and kept away from the probing eyes of the public.

The public is growing increasingly more concerned with what the alliance is doing and how alliance operations are impacting their daily lives.Earlier this year, the government of one of the founding members fell because of continued involvement in Afghanistan.Strikes have wreaked havoc across the alliance in recent weeks because members are taking austerity measures and significantly reducing social services.While defence budgets were once seen as sacrosanct, defence ministers are having an increasingly difficult time explaining the expenditures associated with the alliance, and finding justifications for new costs.A public diplomacy strategic concept is meant to help them to do just that.

No clear consensus emerged from the joint ministerial on any of the issues under debate.It will be left up to the heads of state to take decisions when they meet in Lisbon.In the meantime, the alliance should consider a few simple things that could alleviate some of the monetary pressures they are feeling,including eliminating their nuclear sharing policy—which would save millions of euros in modernisation costs for planes, facilities, and the bombs themselves—and reducing the number of command centres.

 

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About the Author

Krista van Velzen is a former Dutch MP and is currently working as nuclear disarmament campaigner with PAX in The Netherlands. She is running a citizens initiative in the Netherlands in order to get national legislation banning nuclear weapons. Van Velzen has been working on disarmament issues since the early nineties. As spokesperson on defence and foreign affairs she has convinced the Dutch government to ban and eliminate clustermunitions and and to prohibite investments as well. She has worked in Central and Eastern Europe creating a network of campaigners on the nuclear issue. She organised a Walk for Nuclear Disarmament from Brussels to Moscow. Her attempts to disarm a British Trident submarine gave her truly interesting experiences inside a Scottish jail. Disagreeing with president Obama, she believes a world without nuclear weapons is achievable in this lifetime.



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