Global Unity Statement
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We, the undersigned peace, justice and environmental organizations and individuals from around the world, endorse the following Statement of Unity and commit ourselves to working together in a broad-based international campaign to organize an International Conference Against all US/NATO Military Bases, with the goal of raising public awareness and organizing non-violent mass resistance throughout the world against all US, NATO and EU military bases, and their military missions around the world.
While we may have our differences on other issues, we all agree that US/NATO military bases are the principal instruments of imperial global domination and primary causes of devastating environmental and health impacts through wars of aggression and occupation, and that the closure of the US/NATO military bases is one of the first necessary steps toward a just, peaceful and sustainable world. Our belief in the urgency of this necessary step is based on the following facts:
- While we are opposed to all foreign military bases, we do recognize that the United States maintains the highest number of military bases outside its territory, estimated at almost 1000 (95% of all foreign military bases in the world). Presently, there are US military bases in every Persian Gulf country except Iran.
- In addition, the United States alone has 19 Naval air carriers (and 15 more planned), each as part of a Carrier Strike Group, composed of roughly 7,500 personnel, and a carrier air wing of 65 to 70 aircraft — each of which can be considered a floating military base.
- These bases are centers of aggressive military actions, threats of political and economic expansion, sabotage and espionage, and crimes against local populations. In addition, these military bases are the largest users of fossil fuel in the world, heavily contributing to environmental degradation.
- The annual cost of these bases to US taxpayers alone is approximately $156 billion. The cost of these military bases drains funds that can be used to fund human needs and enable our countries to provide necessary services for the people.
- NATO, as the armed wing of the United Sates and the European Union, is expanding further to the east to safeguard its control of energy resources and pipelines, spheres of influence and markets for the sake of big capital and the transnational corporations. The European Union, in particular, is advancing alone or/and with NATO to its further militarization with the Permanent Structural Cooperation (PESCO) and its powerful EU army.
- All governments of the member states of NATO bear direct individual responsibility for NATO’s aggressive policies, and the increase of their military budgets to the 2% of the GDP while their people are suffering under severe austerity measures and the economic crisis caused by their militaristic policies.
- All of this has pushed the world toward ever-increasing increasing militarization, and to ever-deepening antagonism between the U.S. and its NATO allies, on the one hand, and the rest of the world, on the other. Stationed throughout the world, almost 1000 in number, US/NATO military bases are symbols of the ability of the United States to intrude in the lives of sovereign nations and peoples.
- Many individual national movements — for example, in Okinawa, Italy, Jeju Island Korea, Diego Garcia, Cyprus, Greece, Serbia, Spain, Ghana, Czech Republic and Germany — are demanding closure of the US/NATO bases on their territory. The base that the U.S. has illegally occupied the longest, for over a century, is Guantánamo Bay, whose existence constitutes a violation of International Law and the Cuban people’s right to sovereignty. Since 1959 the government and people of Cuba have demanded that the government of the United States return the Guantánamo territory to Cuba.
The NATO states’ military bases in other countries are NOT in defence of their national, or global security. They are the military expression of imperialist intrusion in the lives of sovereign countries on behalf of their dominant financial, political, and military interests of the ruling elite. Whether invited in or not by domestic interests that have agreed to be junior partners, no country, no peoples, no government, can claim to be able to make decisions totally in the interest of their people, with foreign troops on their soil representing interests antagonistic to those of their peoples.
We express our solidarity with the just causes of the peoples in their struggle against foreign military aggression, occupation and interference in their internal affairs, and their devastating environmental and health impacts, and for a world of real peace and social and environmental justice.
We must all unite to actively oppose the existence of all US/NATO military bases on foreign soil and call for their immediate closure. We invite all forces of peace, social and environmental justice to join us in our renewed global effort to achieve this shared goal.