At a conference in Paris on May 16, organized by the French section of the peace movement, Roland Weyl, a longstanding peace activist and first vice president of the International Association of Democratic Lawmakers (AIJD), called for a “Europe without NATO.”
For Weyl, the foundations of international law were outlined with great precision by the UN Charter. Regional alliances were allowed to be created inside that framework, but NATO as such is the equivalent of “a militia.” Therefore, the UN giving a mandate to NATO is contrary to international law as defined by the UN Charter. NATO acting as a “coalition of the willing” is even more illegal. The current merger between the EU and NATO is an even more worrisome nightmare as one can see with the EU-NATO backing of Nazis in Ukraine. Therefore, France, not only should leave NATO but dissolve it, Weyl concluded.
Also speaking were former OSCE observer Yves-Jean Gallas and defense expert Nils Andersson who complained that the OSCE was drifting away from its initial goals as defined at Helsinki in 1975 and has become increasingly dominated by NATO. Initially, OSCE was supposed to handle three levels of problems: defense, economy, and human rights. But after the Istanbul conference in 1999, the military aspects were taken over by NATO, and the economics watered down.
Asked who created the OSCE, Andersson said that the initial idea of a peace conference between Russia and the United States on conflicts in Europe came from Russian Foreign Minister Molotov. For decades, said Andersson, Russia pushed this idea, but under the Cold War, the U.S. rejected any participation. This changed when Hungary, at that time in the East Bloc, entered into a dialogue with the Vatican. It was Pope John XXIII who finally persuaded the U.S. to become a member of the OSCE. Also thousands of peace activists called for such a peace initiative.
In sharp contrast with the current madness of NATO’s and Obama’s “right to protect” (R2P), the Helsinki conference of 1975 adopted ten guiding principles (“Decalogue”) which are reminiscent of the Peace of Westphalia:
- Sovereign equality, respect for the rights inherent in sovereignty
- Refraining from the threat or use of force
- Inviolability of frontiers
- Territorial integrity of states
- Peaceful settlement of disputes
- Non-intervention in internal affairs
- Respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms, including the freedom of thought, conscience, religion, or belief
- Equal rights and self-determination of peoples
- Cooperation among states
- Fulfillment in good faith of obligations under international law
In light of this tradition, and to oppose the current British push for war in Ukraine and Syria, Roland Weyl and other peace activists called for the dissolution of NATO and the full revival of the original spirit of the OSCE.