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INTERNATIONAL PEACE CONFERENCE - CALL FOR IMMEDIATE WITHDRAWAL OF US NUCLEAR WEAPONS FROM EUROPE

Ruth Tanner

Saturday 5th March 2005,  9.30am - 5pm, 

Mechanics Institute, 103 Princess St, central Manchester

People from across Europe will take part in A Europe for Peace, an international conference in Manchester on the 5th March 2005. The Conference, organised by the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament (UK) and Mouvement de la Paix (France), will demand an immediate withdrawal of US nuclear weapons from Europe. Speakers at the conference will include Tobias Pflueger, MEP, (Germany), Jeremy Corbyn MP, Caroline Lucas MEP (UK), Arielle Denis, Co President of the Mouvement de la Paix (France), Kate Hudson, Chair of CND (UK) and Roger Cole, Peace and Neutrality Alliance (Republic of Ireland). 

A recent report by the Natural Resources Defense Council revealed that there are 480 US Nuclear weapons in Europe. An estimated 110 of these bombs are based at Lakenheath airbase in the UK. Under the guise of an expanding NATO the US is also able to store its nuclear weapons in non-nuclear weapon states in Europe. Around 150 are kept in three bases in Germany; 90 in south-eastern Turkey, 90 in Italy, and 20 each in Belgium and the Netherlands. Under international law a nuclear weapons state is prohibited from transferring nuclear weapons to a non-nuclear weapons state, so these weapons should leave the European continent on legal grounds as well as moral and political ones.

Kate Hudson, Chair of the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament who is speaking at the conference said, "Much of Europe is now integrated into NATO, but how many of us are aware that NATO has a first-use nuclear policy, and that around 480 US nuclear weapons are littered across Europe, mostly in countries that are not themselves nuclear weapons states. Given the US's current war-like posturing this is bad news for Europe. Where will the US attack next? Iran? And will it use these weapons? There must be an immediate withdrawal of US nuclear weapons from Europe."

 

Caroline Lucas MEP who is also speaking at the Conference said, "Europe must not be the front line for aggressive US foreign policy. We need a Europe without US nuclear weapons under the guise of NATO. There must be a real debate about the EU constitution. Do we want a militarised nuclear armed Europe or a Europe which promotes peaceful, non-military solutions to conflict?"

 The conference will be debating the key issues facing Europe today, including the new European constitution, NATO expansion, US military bases in Europe and Europe's relationship with international bodies such as the UN. These issues are in urgent need of public debate. It is time to decide whether we want a militarized, nuclear-armed Europe or one which promotes peaceful, non-military solutions to conflict.

 

 


 

2.       For further information on the conference and conference agenda http://www.gmdcnd.org.uk/events/europepeace.htm

3.       Link to the full text of the Non-Proliferation Treaty: http://disarmament.un.org:8080/wmd/npt/npttext.html

5.       Link to report by the Natural Resources Defense Council http://www.nrdc.org/nuclear/euro/contents.asp

6.       New York Times article http://www.nytimes.com/2005/02/09/politics/09nukes.html

 

March 2005

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