“We, the women gathered in this international congress… protest against the madness and horror of war, which brings with it an irresponsible sacrifice of human life and the destruction of so many things that humanity has taken centuries to build (Resolution 1 ) …protesting vehemently against the hateful aggressions to which women are subjected in times of war and especially against rape, which is present in every war (Resolution 2).
This International Congress of Women advocates for universal disarmament and, aware that this can only be ensured through an international agreement, urges all countries, as a step towards this end, to put an end to the production of weapons and munitions of war and control their international traffic. For in the private profits derived from the large arms factories lurks a powerful obstacle to the abolition of war…” (International Congress of Women in The Hague, 1915).
Europe and the World, today as in 1915, is at a moment of maximum military tension. We are aware of the fervent wave of militarization, rearmament and escalation that exists, as if that path served to guarantee peace. Neither before, nor now, nor in the future, the path of militarization can lead us to a goal other than mutual destruction.
The configuration of our world order is crossed by the weakening of democratic spaces and the decline of Human Rights, in favor of the instruments of war, which, like NATO, are committed to unilateralism and the benefit of the war industry. .
In Europe, we have had opportunities in recent years to build a Shared European Security designed in the Single Helsinki Act (1975), in the Charter of Paris (1990) and in the successive agreements of the OSCE, from Budapest (1994) to Astana (2010), on the basis of a comprehensive, cooperative, equal and indivisible European security, which links the maintenance of peace with respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms and links economic and environmental cooperation with peaceful relations between the states.
These very important steps to achieve a model of security and mutual trust, a European space that advances in its demilitarization and in a zone free of weapons of mass destruction, foundered due to the imposition of the NATO member countries of a unilateral model based on the growing militarization, the possible use of nuclear weapons, the increase in military spending and a conception of security based on the security of some over the insecurity of others.
According to SIPRI, in 2020, global military spending grew to nearly $2 trillion. In the first year of the pandemic, military spending grew. The 2.6% growth in global military spending occurred in a year in which the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) fell by 4.4% (International Monetary Fund October 2020 projection), mainly due to economic impacts derived from the covid-19 pandemic. As a result, in 2020, the share of military spending in GDP – the military burden – achieved a global average of 2.4%, up from 2.2% in 2019. This was the largest year-on-year increase in the military burden since the global financial and economic crisis of 2009.
It seems unreasonable, from the point of view of Human Security, that world military spending in 2019 was estimated at 1.63 trillion dollars, 2.2% of world GDP (the highest figure since the cold war), compared to the €50.4 billion annual average during the 1990s of official development assistance.
According to the United Nations with data from 2019, more than 820 million people are hungry and 2000 are threatened. 26.4% of the world’s population is not assured of a plate of food a day and 80 million people become refugees fleeing wars.
The United Nations World Social Report 2020 warns that growing inequality, both in developing and rich countries, exacerbates social divisions and slows economic and social progress. More than two-thirds of the world’s population live in countries where inequality has grown. The richest 1% of the population have more and more money, while the poorest 40% get less than 25% of income.
In this real scenario, where a very important part of humanity lives in situations of extreme unhealthiness, the appeal of the NATO countries to raise their military spending to 2% of GDP, is a true attack on the most elementary values and principles of equity. , solidarity and social justice.
In the case of Spain, this inopportune military spending, committed by the President of the Government Pedro Sánchez, will be carried out, if it is not remedied, at the expense of the quality of public services, the fight against poverty in general and particularly that of children and a state policy on care.
The sole existence in the world of 13,865 missiles3 nuclear, tactical and strategic, should promote urgent action to achieve a Treaty on the Prohibition and Ecological Destruction of the entire nuclear arsenal.
The silence of the European foreign ministries about the existence of a nuclear arsenal and the comments that arose about its possible use in the damn war in Ukraine is very striking.
The prohibition of war, solemnly proclaimed in the preamble and in the first two articles of the UN Charter, can be considered the constitutive principle of the legality of the new international order with the birth of the United Nations.
To make this prohibition imperative, it is necessary to advance in the reform of the United Nations to achieve, as defined by Luigi Ferrajoli, a model of “international democracy”, an order based on the democratic-representative character of the supra-state bodies and, above all, everything, in its function of guaranteeing peace and the fundamental rights of individuals and peoples
Those of us who subscribe to this article do so because we are united by a shared vision of the world based on solidarity, equality, fraternity, social justice, peace and disarmament. We are united by the duty to guarantee for our present and for future generations, a democratic world order, guided by the general interest, which places life at the center.
Peace between peoples is not a utopia, it is a necessity. And we know that there is no peace without rights and freedoms just as there are no rights and freedoms without peace. The European experience with the great wars, with the Spanish civil war, with the war in Yugoslavia, but also with the war of Israel against Palestine, or of Morocco against the Sahara, or the wars made invisible, and now the war of Russia against Ukraine , shows us that any democratic progress of the peoples will be destroyed by the logic of war and rearmament.
The Summit for Peace to be held in Madrid on June 24, 25 and 26, convened by different pacifist platforms, becomes an opportunity to defend a viable alternative to the official NATO summit on June 29 and 30 that it will reaffirm its decision to expand, increase military spending, its possible use of nuclear weapons and its willingness to act outside the framework of the Charter of the United Nations.
This alternative summit for Peace will become an international event that will bring together all the men and women of the world willing to continue fighting for the demilitarization of security and build shared Human Security.
In the words of the German pacifist Luise Rinser: “Until now we tended to regard war as a curse, and peace as a divine blessing. Today we know that humans make and allow wars and that it is up to us to forge peace, if we want to enjoy it”.