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NATO Nuclear Planning Group summonsed!

For Mother Earth International

NATO defence-ministers get summons for illegal nuclear weapon policy US nuclear weapons have to be withdrawn from Europe

For immediate release

Brussels, 2nd of December 1999

This morning at the beginning of their NATO ministerial meeting a delegation of the international peace movement handed summons to all defence-ministers condemning the illegal nuclear policy. The planned non-violent peace-vigil was immediately broken up by the Brussels police force who didn't tolerate any presence of the international peace movement near NATO headquarters. Following the first day meeting the twenty international peace campaigners reacted shocked and disappointed to this denial to freedom of speech, as well as to the announcement of Mr. Cohen, the US State Secretary of Defence which followed later on the day. Mr. Cohen denied officially the rumour spread last month by the French news agency AFP, announcing the withdrawal of US nuclear weapons out of Europe.

"This announcement by Mr. Cohen misses any military reality, and is outdated. It is time for NATO to wake up to the post-cold war reality. The statement by Mr. Cohen is confirming the arrogant position of US Defence policy, while at the same time exposing once again the weakness of the governments of other NATO member states" declared Pol D'Huyvetter, a spokesperson For Mother Earth International. The peace campaigner stated that the withdrawal of the 150 tactical US nuclear weapons from Europe will remain one of their main goals in the near future. They immediately announced new parliamentary initiatives and non-violent direct actions at NATO nuclear weapon bases to enforce international law on the illegal nuclear policy of the alliance. They also oppose any plans for a European nuclear deterrent.

Mala Spotted Eagle, a Shoshone Native American who travelled to Brussels especially for this occasion stated: "The Western Shoshone Nation has been suffering for a long time now of the effects of over 900 US and British nuclear tests on our treaty lands in Nevada (USA). Today however all life on our Mother Earth is suffering from the consequences of the nuclear tests. It makes no sense to continue to threaten the world populations with such immoral and monstrous weapons."

Cath Bann & Annwen Jones of the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament from England and Wales also expressed disappointment in being prevented from demonstrating: "It is not only our democratic right to protest against nuclear weapons, but our duty. We find it unbelievable that the Belgian authorities have prohibited democracy in this way. It is a strange situation when we are threatened with arrest for holding a banner, while NATO is allowed to plan for genocide and break international law."

In the summons which were handed this morning at NATO headquarters all NATO defence ministers are confronted with the advisory opinion of the International Court of Justice in The Hague, which said that NATO's nuclear deterrent is not compatible to International Law. The Court urgently calls upon the ministers to work towards total nuclear disarmament, as was agreed with Article VI of the Non-Proliferation Treaty 1968.

As stated in the summons, NATO and its member states are acting illegally because it is:

- retaining the option to use nuclear weapons first in future conflicts; issuing orders to its military personnel to prepare for the illegal use of nuclear weapons;

- making conditional plans to use, through its member nuclear weapon states, a stockpile of nuclear weapons which, because of their yield, would necessarily violate international humanitarian law;

- compounding its violation of international law by admitting three new members into its nuclear alliance and therefore implicating them in its illegal nuclear planning process;

- condoning the consistent opposition by its member nuclear weapon states to moves towards the global elimination of nuclear weapons.

In addition, NATO States will continue to contravene Articles I and II of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty as long as the US maintains nuclear weapons in European NATO countries and involves European nationals in training for their delivery.

Link to earlier communique on the NATO Nuclear Planning Group

Link to further general information on nuclear weapons.

Link to main page on Y2K issues.

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