Report on the First International Conference “Against US/NATO Military Bases” in Dublin

9. Januar 2019 News
NATO, the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, is set on taking new steps in its aim to bring its military forces closer and closer to Russian territory

A summary

The first International Conference against US/NATO Military Bases was held on November 16-18, at the Liberty Hall in Dublin, Ireland. The conference was attended by moren than 300 participants from over thirty-five countries from around the world.

Speakers representing countries from all continents, including Cuba, Argentina, Brazil, Colombia, United States, Italy, Germany, Portugal, Greece, Cyprus, Turkey, Poland, United Kingdom, Ireland, Czech Republic, Israel, Palestine, Kenya, D. R. Congo, Japan and Australia, made presentations at the conference.

This conference was the first organized effort by the newly formed “Global campaign against US/NATO Military Bases”, created by over 35 peace, justice and environmental organizations and endorsed by over 700 other organizations and activists from around the world.

The participants in the Conference heard from and shared with representatives of organizations and movements struggling for the abolition of foreign military bases from around the world about the aggressions, interventions, death, destruction, and the health and environmental damages that the military bases have been causing for the whole humanity along with the threats and violation to the sovereignty of the “host” countries.

Seven continents

According to the U.S. Department of Defense website, the U.S. military operates in more than 160 countries, on all seven continents with approximately 4.800 defence sites. An estimated 800 to 1.000 of these bases are foreign bases, with approximately 450.000 soldiers stationed overseas according to Business Insider.

Environmental and health impact

The ongoing Global Campaing against US/NATO Military Bases pays a lot of attention to the devastating environmental and health impact of these bases. Military are the largest users of fossil fuel in the world, heavily contributing to environmental degradation and climate change. Other poisonous and polluting substances that were used on the bases, remain a health risk for both staff and local population. Groundwater contamination, air pollution, high noice levels are all a result of the military activities on and around the bases.

The depleted uranium weapons issue was briefly mentioned during the presentation on ‘Environmental and Health Impact of Military Bases’ by Senator Grace O’Sullivan, Green Party Ireland. After this presentation ICBUW representative Ria Verjauw could inform the audiance about the UN First Committee resolution on the ‘effects of the use of armament and ammunitions containing depleted uranium’, that was adopted last November by 140 states. Special attention was asked (as mentioned in the resolution) for the affected states that face barriers, technically and financially, to implement post-conflict remedial measures, that meet international standards for radioactive waste managment .

The participants of the Conference call upon the organizations and movements to work closely with each other in a coordinated manner as a part of the Global Campaign to organize and mobilize the public around the world against US/NATO military bases.

Nov.2018 – Ria Verjauw

Report on the First International Conference (long version)