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NATO Announces New Common Security Measures and Withdrawal from Afghanistan PDF Print E-mail
Peace News
Wednesday, 31 March 2010 17:40

NATO Announces New Common Security Measures and Withdrawal from Afghanistan

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April 1. 2010 
Report on address to NATO Council by Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen 
(Check against Delivery)

NATO’S NEW VISION OF SECURITY – COMMON SECURITY
Rasmussen recognized that True Security is not through militarism, not through “human security”, not through “humanitarian intervention”, not through “the responsibility to protect” and not through “will to intervene” but through  an extension of the concept of common security as advanced by Olof Palme

 April 1. 2010 
Report on address to NATO Council by Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen 
(Check against Delivery)

NATO ANNOUNCES  NEW COMMON SECURITY MEASURES – AND THE WITHDRAWAL FROM AFGHANISTAN

Secretary General Of NATO General Rasmussen
Report on address to NATO Council by Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen 

On February 7, 2010 at the Munich Conference on Security, Anders Fogh Rasmussen, the Secretary General of NATO, outlined his view of the new  expansive role of NATO

“NATO can be the place where views, concerns and best practices on security are shared by NATO’s  global partners. And where, if it makes sense ” if we decide that NATO should have a role -- we might work out how to tackle global challenges together. I know very well that this idea might seem a bit ambitious. But is it really? Who stands to lose if NATO and other international institutions were to move closer together? The record shows already that it makes sense ” we should just do more of it. What would be the harm if countries such as China, India, Pakistan and others were to develop closer ties with NATO? I think, in fact, there would only be a benefit, in terms of trust, confidence and cooperation.”

“And let me address a concern which I can already see forming. No, I don’t see this proposal as competing with the UN. Because I don’t think it does compete with the UN. We are talking here about a group of nations consulting, formally or informally, on security. Nothing more. In fact, I think it would actually benefit the UN. NATO is operating almost without exception in support of UN resolutions. Miles are all strong and active UN members. A stronger, more inclusive security coalition, with NATO as the hub, would, to my mind, be firmly to the benefit of the UN, and to the principles of the UN Charter.“

Now just a few months later, on April 1, 2010, Rasmussen gave the following address to NATO Council and indicated his notion of an “expansive role’, his concept was now much  more nuanced..

NATO CALLS FOR THE “FORCE OF COMPLIANCE”

Rasmussen announced that in its desire to work more closely with the United Nations and the UN Charter, NATO has decided to embrace the force of compliance rather than the force of arms. Rasmussen remarked that throughout the United Nations history, there have been important international conventions, treaties and covenants related to “common security – a concept that he is borrowing from Olaf Palme. 

NATO’S NEW VISION OF SECURITY – COMMON SECURITY
Rasmussen recognized that True Security is not through militarism, not through “human security”, not through “humanitarian intervention”, not through “the responsibility to protect” and not through “will to intervene” but through  an extension of the concept of common security as advanced by Olaf Palme

1. to promote and fully guarantee social and cultural rights such as the right to food, potable water, sewage treatment, housing, health care, education and social justice; and fully guarantee civil and political rights such as and the right to self-determination, freedom of expression; labour rights including compliance with International Labour Organization Conventions

2. to prevent discrimination on grounds such as race, gender origin, disability, political and other opinion, religion, as well as gender identity, and sexual orientation, Also to prevent discrimination against indigenous peoples and migrant workers;

3.  to enable socially equitable and environmentally safe and sound development; and institute fair and just transition into socially and environmentally safe and sound development

4.  to achieve a state of peace, justice

5.  to create a global structure that respects the rule of
     law; and to respect the jurisdiction of the International Court of Justice

6. to preserve and protect the environment, to respect the inherent worth of nature beyond human purpose, to reduce the ecological footprint and move away from the current model of overconsumption

He has thus advocated that the NATO members should concentrate on signing and ratifying international Conventions related to the above components of Common security. He stressed the importance of respecting the jurisdiction of the International Court of Justice, and quite out of character, he urged the United States under Obama to be willing again to respect the jurisdiction of the ICJ.

NEW CONCEPT OF SECURITY WILL INVOLVE NEW  MANDATORY MEASURES TO ADDRESS OTHER SERIOUS ISSUES SUCH AS CLIMATE CHANGE

Rasmussen noted at the COP 15 on Climate Change, that the issue of militarism was raised in the context of climate change. in the following ways;

Addressing the contribution of militarism to greenhouse gas emissions and thus climate change.

In keeping with the new vision, NATO has announced that it will urge the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change to assess the full contribution of militarism to greenhouse gas emissions.

Reallocating the global military budget

NATO has assessed that the global military budget is now over 1.7 trillion annually, and he recalled the commitment in Chapter 33 of Agenda 21 (UNCED, 1992) to reallocate military expenses. In the context of COP15, he noted that there were several recommendations by the developing states for the NATO states to reallocate military expenses so as to pay compensation for the climate debt owed by the developed states to the developing states.

NATO MISSION IS NOW RECOGNIZED AS BEING IN VIOLATION OF ARTICLE 51 OF THE CHARTER OF THE UNITED NATIONS AND SUBSEQUENTLY OF THE CONVENTION AGAINST TORTURE

Rasmussen announced that NATO now perceives the original invasion of Afghanistan not to be justified under self defence but as a blunt act, by the United States, of revenge. For this reason he urged all NATO states to withdraw immediately from Afghanistan.

OBSERVATIONS BY RASMUSSEN TO JUSTIFY THE WITHDRAWAL OF NATO FROM AFGHANISTAN

(1) INVASION OF AFGHANISTAN WAS AN ACT OF REVENGE IN VIOLATION OF INTERNATIONAL LAW

The serious irreversible human, environmental, health, psychological, economic and social   consequences of war support the contention that under no conditions or circumstances is war legal or just, and that war must be de-legitimized as an option or even a last resort.
 
The seeds for de-legitimizing war have been planted through the Charter of the United Nations and through over 60 years of UN instruments. For years, member states have incurred obligations under the charter, treaties, conventions, and covenants, made commitments under conference action plans, and created expectations through UN General Assembly Resolutions and Declarations that would, if implemented and enforced, give substance to the de-legitimization of war. From these instruments peremptory norms, which further the rule of international law, can be extracted.
 
Under the Preamble of the Charter of the United Nations the fundamental purposes of the Charter are delineated:
 
-to save succeeding generations from the scourge of war, which twice in our lifetime has brought untold sorrow to mankind [humanity].
 
 -To establish conditions under which justice and respect for the obligations arising from treaties and other sources of international law can be maintained, and
 
- to promote social progress and better standards of life in larger freedom.
 
Chapter VI, entitled "peaceful solutions of disputes", of the Charter of the United Nations, conforms to and upholds the fundamental purposes of the Charter of the United Nations, advances the de-legitimization of war, and promotes respect for the rule of international law through the International Court of Justice.
 
Under Chapter VI of the Charter of the United Nations, a number of provisions have been established to bring about the peaceful settlement of disputes:
 
(i) The first provision is to counter conflict of interest in decision-making related to peaceful solutions of disputes.
 
Decisions under Chapter VI are constrained by Article 27, which reads that a party to a dispute shall abstain from voting. This provision, which is present in Chapter VI but is absent in Chapter VII, is consistently violated by the UN Security Council. 
 
(ii) The second provision to bring about peaceful settlement of disputes is recourse, under Article 36, to the rule of international law, through the International Court of Justice:
 
Article 36 reads: "legal disputes should, as a general rule, be referred by the parties to the International Court of Justice in accordance with the provisions of the Statute of the Court".
 
Chapter XIV complements Chapter VI in outlining the role of the International Court of Justice:
 
Chapter XIV, Article 92, states that the International Court of Justice shall be the principal judicial organ of the United Nations...and, under Article 93, and all members of the UN are ipso facto parties to the statute of the International Court of Justice, and under Article 94, each member of the United Nations undertakes to comply with the decision of the International Court of Justice in a case to which it is a party and under Article 96 there is the provision for the UN General Assembly, UN Security Council and other organs of the UN to request the International Court of Justice to give an advisory opinion on any legal question.
 
Under the Charter of the United Nations there is an important principle  the principle of sovereign equality; this principle is violated by the UN Security Council and is respected by the UN General Assembly. The permanent members of the UN Security Council continually attempt to invoke Chapter VII of the Charter of the United Nations; unfortunately, under international law, an invasion of another state is deemed to be legal if the UN Security Council, under Chapter VII, deems that the necessary conditions required for a war to be "legal" have been met.
 
Chapter VII, however, of the Charter of the United Nations, contravenes the purpose of the Charter: to prevent the scourge of war.
 
Sadly, Chapter VII of the Charter of the United Nations continues to be used to justify military intervention, if supported by the UN Security Council.
 
It can be argued that Chapter VII not only violates the purposes of the Charter of the United Nations but also violates a fundamental Charter principle under Article 2 - the sovereign equality of states, because the Security Council blatantly defies this principle.
 
thus
 
to prevent the scourge of war and to remove the conditions which are claimed to support the legality of war, the global community must definitively concur that the conditions that have been used to declare war to be legal must be abandoned.
 
-  Chapter VII, which condones conditional legitimization of war, in contravention of the purpose of the UN Charter itself, must be struck.
 
-  Chapter VI  of the Charter of United Nations must be strengthened and, in particular, the instituting of the mandatory requirement for states to appear before the International Court of Justice, to accept its jurisdiction and to act on its decisions, and for the panel to support the rephrasing of Article 36 to read  "legal disputes  'shall' rather than 'should as a general rule',   be referred by the parties to the International Court of Justice..."
 
- The UN General Assembly - which upholds the principle of sovereign equality, must be strengthened, and for the UN Security Council, which contravenes the  principle of "sovereign equality" - an intrinsic provision of the charter must be dismantled.

Given that the UN Security Council did not support the invasion of Afghanistan, under current international law the invasion of Afghanistan was in violation of international law.
 
In joining the US-led invasion of Afghanistan, NATO engaged in an illegal act because the invasion was not sanctioned by the UN Security Council.
 
There were other options that NATO could have advanced to the United States;
 
1. To call for the peaceful resolution of dispute, under Chapter VI, and advocate that the United States should go to the international Court of Justice;
2. To call for the invoking of the 1951 Uniting for Peace resolution which provides for an emergency session of the United Nations General Assembly.
 
(2) MISINTERPRETATION OF ARTICLE 51-SELF- DEFENCE - OF THE CHARTER OF THE UNITED NATIONS

 In the case of Afghanistan, the United States misinterpreted Article 51- the self-defence clause- of the Charter of the United Nations. Under no circumstance could the invasion of Afghanistan be deemed to be a legal act; it was purely an act of revenge.  

Under most state criminal law, the actions of the US invasion of Afghanistan could not fulfill the criteria of an act of self-defence. (See  references in Canadian Criminal Code to the operative principles related to what would constitute an act of self-defence).
 
(3) " OPERATION ENDURING FREEDOM" MISREPRESENTED AS AN INTERNATIONAL MISSION

Since its inception, "Operation Enduring Freedom" - the US-led invasion and occupation of Afghanistan has been declared to be an international mission. The United States had deluded the public into thinking Operation Enduring Freedom in Afghanistan was part of an internationally sanctioned mission. The UN Security Council did not pass a resolution authorizing the invasion and occupation of Afghanistan.

The UN Security Council did, however, give conditional support to the NATO mission, providing the mission complied with the Charter of the United Nations. (see below).

(4) CONDITIONAL SUPPORT BY THE UN SECURITY COUNCIL FOR NATO MISSION

ISAF, NATO mission in Afghanistan received only conditional support from the UN Security Council.

In the preamble to UN Security resolution 1444 in 2002, related to anti-terrorism and ISAF operations, there was conditional support given to these operations:

There was a conditional sanctioning by the UN Security Council of a NATO's International Security Force, which operated under the US-led "Operation Enduring Freedom". This force, often described as a peacekeeping force, was sanctioned in UN Security Council resolutions only if the force's actions were in keeping with the Charter of the United Nations. Under the UN Charter, one of the purposes of the United Nations is the following:

"To establish conditions under which justice and respect for the obligations arising from treaties and other sources of international law can be maintained,..."

There was only a conditional sanctioning by the UN Security Council of a NATO's ISAF operating in conjunction with the US-led "Operation Enduring Freedom". This force, often described as a peacekeeping force, was sanctioned in UN Security Council resolutions only if the NATO  force's actions were in keeping with the Charter of the United Nations. Under the UN Charter, one of the purposes of the United Nations is the following:

"To establish conditions under which justice and respect for the obligations arising from treaties and other sources of international law can be maintained,..."
 
(5) THE NATO MISSION HAS VIOLATED THE CONDITIONS OF UN SECURITY COUNCIL SUPPORT

The US, in its US-led Operation Enduring Freedom, has been found to have violated the Convention against Torture, [with hundreds of credible complaints having been filed]. Recently it has surfaced that other NATO states, such as Canada have also been complicit in violating the Convention Against Torture.

NATO states also have yet to be assessed on their violation of the Geneva Protocol II on banned weapons systems such as depleted uranium and on their violation of environmental instruments.
 
VIOLATION OF THE FIRST FOUR GENEVA PROTOCOLS

It could be demonstrated that the US-led Operation Enduring Freedom, through its use of weapons that would fall under prohibited weapons systems, particularly in its continued use of land mines, cluster bombs and depleted uranium, has violated the first four protocols of the Geneva convention. Similarly, ISAF has been using these weapons. (See relevant conventions).

The Fifth Protocol has recently come into force, but the US has failed to ratify the protocol. This protocol is significant because it calls upon states to be responsible for the removal of weapon systems that are not self-destructible. The US should be called upon to sign and ratify the protocol, and all belligerent states, including all the NATO states,  should be responsible for immediate removal of these prohibited weapons, which have contributed to insecurity within Afghanistan.
 
VIOLATION OF THE CONVENTION AGAINST TORTURE
 
The US, in its US-led Operation Enduring Freedom, Freedom has been found to have violated the Convention against Torture, [with at least 600 credible complaints having been filed] and has yet to be assessed on its violation of the Geneva Protocol II on banned weapons systems such as depleted uranium, and on its violation of environmental instruments.
 
VIOLATION OF THE PROTOCOL II OF THE ICCPR -CAPITAL PUNISHMENT
 
In Afghanistan, NATO has been complicit in violating the protocol against capital punishment - Protocol II of the International Covenant of Civil and Political Rights.

(6) RECOGNITION THAT BELLIGERENTS SHOULD NOT BE ON THE GROUND AS “REHABILITATORS”
 
The current NATO "mission" is described as a 3D  diplomacy, defence and development; this mission violates a fundamental international principle that a belligerent state should never be involved in reconstruction on the ground.
 
Under the Convention for the Right to Development, it is clearly acknowledged that development is only possible with disarmament.
 
The principle of dissociation between militarism and development is stressed in the 1986 Declaration of the Right to Development:

The Preamble to the Declaration states reaffirmed:
That there is a close relationship between disarmament and development and that progress in the field of disarmament would considerably promote progress in the field of development, and that resources released through disarmament measures should be devoted to the economic and social development and well-being of all peoples and, in particular, those of the developing countries. (Preamble, Declaration of the Right to Development,1986).
 
 It is difficult for the Afghani citizens to appreciate that those who bomb can be trusted to reconstruct. For example, the same countries that were responsible for bombing a school will be not be welcomed when they come in to fund the rebuilding of the school. 

 CONCLUSION AND RECOMMENDATION BY THE SECRETARY GENERAL TO THE NATO COUNCIL:

NATO should end the occupation immediately and, instead, contribute to an international fund for compensation; this fund should draw resources for compensation from the NATO states and from any other states that have contributed to the destruction of Afghanistan.

 

In addition, he even went as far as calling upon NATO to end all military Exercises, including and especially those with nuclear powered and with nuclear arms capable vessels, and with nuclear capable aircraft

 

NATO must be disbanded, and all nuclear weapons removed from European soil.  He also remarked about the inextricable link between civil nuclear energy and the development of nuclear arms, and proposed that at the next NPT meeting, that Article IV – the inalienable right of states to the “peaceful” use of nuclear energy.


AND IT IS APRIL 1

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Last Updated on Sunday, 20 July 2014 11:45
 

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