Against the Return of War, for Peace and Disarmament: A New Collective Security

Gala Kabbaj reports from the Plenary 2, held at Theld at the 6th European Forum 2022 in Athens. The aim of this session was to outline a new collective safety architecture based on nuclear disarmament, military de-escalation, an end to over-armament, respect for the territorial integrity of nations and the defence of human rights.

This session allowed, from different political contexts and various expertises, to reaffirm the common objectives of peace and disarmament, common platform for progressive forces. The historical responsibility of the left, which has always embodied the pacifist camp, was recalled.It is now necessary to specify a conception of peace that goes beyond its abstract and consensual content. Security, like peace, is a multi-dimensional concept, and its preservation takes place at several levels: public health, energy sovereignty and telecommunication are all central elements of security. Secondly, the security project formulated by the left must be based on solidarity and propose a collective defense system that is not based on the interests of the richest and imperialist forces and that does not perpetuate inequalities. Finally, it was recalled that international law and justice are resources that we must seize, as well as the diplomatic framework: dialogue, discussion and compromise on all issues where possible.

Also, a central milestone in the discussion is disarmament for a peace strategy. This requires first of all the prohibition of nuclear weapons, otherwise there will come a time when it will be the weapons that abolish the world. Disarmament is not consensual, even in progressive groups, and in the face of arguments of fatality such as “humans will always make war on each other”, “weapons are indispensable”, we must propose concrete arguments.

Weapons are not the causes of conflict and their suppression is not enough, but they contribute to the emergence of conflicts and become an easy answer for the dominant to difficult problems. They erase and divert available resources (discussion, negotiation). For example, in the US there are as many people working on the F35 as in the diplomatic corps. Also, when faced with the argument of saving jobs in the sector, it is important to remember that this industry represents less than 1% of the European economy in terms of revenues or employment. Moreover, jobs in the field of armaments are highly qualified; workers can easily be retrained, especially in renewable energies where the required skills are similar.

In concrete terms, the left must propose a truce as soon as possible as a starting point for collective peace negotiations. Let’s go back home and take matters into our own hands to develop a powerful peace movement!

6th European Forum of Left, Green and Progressive forces

Watch the video from plenary 2 here: