Irish Activists Attending International Peace Summit in Brussels

On May 25th, government leaders from around the world will meet in Brussels for a NATO Summit which will be attended by US President Donald Trump. NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg already met with Belgian Prime Minister Charles Michel on the 2nd May at Palais d'Egmont to prepare for this meeting, with a stated agenda including NATO's role in the fight against terrorism and EU relations. Meanwhile US President Trump has already announced a massive increase in military spending, and has demanded that Europe adopt a similar policy. The rise of defence budgets up to 2% of the Gross Domestic Product will undoubtedly be one of the most important topics at this Summit meeting.

The Peace and Neutrality Alliance (PANA) have sent a strong delegation to attend a counter 'Yes to Peace...NO to NATO' Conference in Brussels which is organised by the World Peace Council (WPC). There they will meet up with other representatives of peace groups and peace activists from all over Europe and the United States.

The World Peace Council (WPC) is an anti-imperialist, democratic, independent and non-aligned international movement of mass action. It is an integral part of the world peace movement and acts in cooperation with other international and national movements. As a membr of PANA, Shannonwatch welcomes the Irish attendance at the WPC Conference in Brussels this week.

Before travelling to Brussels, Roger Cole of PANA stated that he hopes to highlight critical issues at this international peace conference, including the substantial increase in the number of US troops and military equipment passing through Shannon Airport on their way to and from various imperial wars in the Middle East. There is also the ever increasing militarisation of the EU itself through the European Defence Agency with their EU Battle Groups, all of which is moving us closer to a European Army. So not only is the link between NATO and EU military formations confirmed, the EU Battle Groups also encourage small countries, such as neutral Ireland, to be integrated into their military training and structures.

PANA is concerned that since its creation, the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO), has been an aggressive military arm of imperialism. Without the approval of the UN, NATO bombed Yugoslavia in 1999, and is responsible for destabilisation, and for fermenting sectarian and ethnic conflict and war that today mark the reality in Ukraine, Syria, Iraq, Libya and Afghanistan. In none of these cases, neither the objective nor the result was ever counter terrorism, democracy or peace - but more to do with corporate interests in resources and the sale of military equipment, and the only legacy has been terror, death and mass migration.

"Hopefully the international media will give balanced coverage to both Summits in Brussels so people can decide if they want a Europe at War or a Europe at Peace" said Roger Cole.


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