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The Nordic Left suggests a policy for peace and disarmament

The Nordic region, the Arctic, and the Baltic Sea region have for years been characterized by a widespread, upward spiral of military exercises and buildup, which has been combined with an increasingly harsh rhetoric.  Both NATO and Russia contribute to this alarming development, and it is time that the Nordic countries take the initiative to reverse it.

The goal is to strengthen the security policy tools. We want to create a policy that reduces tensions and the threats of war. We respect that Finland and Sweden still want to be free of a military alliance, and thus reject full membership in NATO. We call for closer Nordic cooperation, that can ensure disarmament, strengthen the UN, and fortify the independence of Danish, Icelandic and Norwegian foreign policy from NATO, where President Donald Trump is in charge.

If we are to insure the security of the North, it requires an active, independent foreign policy, together with a wide-ranging commitment to: democracy, human rights, international law, women's liberation and global social justice.  However, it also requires tireless work toward disarmament, conflict prevention, a strong UN, intensified activity in the OSCE--the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe, and a restored respect for international law. The Nordic countries that are members of the EU should promote this policy there.

We must stand firm on criticism of Russia's violation of international law in Ukraine and Syria.  It is central to our security that existing national borders, international law, and the sovereignty of each country are respected.  At the same time we must develop contact with Russian civil society and create better conditions for various forms of dialogue between people.

With Donald Trump as United States President, the world's strongest military force has gotten a supreme commander who is unpredictable, and who does not respect international law.  The election of President Trump has made the world more uncertain, and has increased the risk that the United States, by virtue of its leadership of NATO, will join current armed conflicts, or start new ones.  This development in the United States enhances the need for our cooperation in the Nordic countries.

Dynamic work for disarmament and for the relaxation of tensions in the Nordic region will include the Baltic Sea and the Arctic, plus the demilitarization of space programs.  This must be a focus area for the future work of the Nordic Council.  But efforts are also required at all levels - diplomatic, governmental, and organizational - as well as interpersonal contacts, and contacts among research workers.  Everyone can contribute in the security policy work. There must be an overall development of a Nordic strategy for peace, relaxation of tensions, and disarmament in the Nordic region.

Weapons exports to dictatorships, to warring states, and to countries that commit gross and profound breaches of human rights do not strengthen peace.  The Nordic countries should exercise leadership in the quest for the international control of the arms trade, and should, in our own countries, prohibit weapons exports to repressive and warring countries.

The Nordic left wing parties therefore propose the following:

We wish to develop a comprehensive Nordic strategy for peace, relaxation of tensions, and disarmament in the Nordic region.

We want to strengthen the UN's work for peace and security.  Together, the Nordic countries must prepare and train military forces that can participate in combined, UN-mandated peacekeeping efforts.  The final decisions on such efforts will, however, always be taken by the respective countries.

We want the Nordic countries to undertake to mutually prohibit arms exports to repressive and warring countries, and to internationally raise the question of the banning and control of the arms trade.

We support the initiative of the former German Foreign Minister Steinmeier in the OSCE to initiate new negotiations on a new multilateral arms control agreement in Europe.  The goal is new negotiations on disarmament in Europe, and that through these negotiations both Russia and NATO will refrain from military buildup and offensive exercises in the Baltic Sea area.

We propose, that under the aegis of the Nordic Council, a Nordic peace and security conference be held to discuss a strategy for disarmament and relaxation of tensions in the Baltic Sea and the Arctic. And that the Nordic Council will in the long term take the initiative for a wider international conference involving all countries around the Baltic Sea to promote these.

We wish that research in peace and conflict resolution be strengthened in our countries, and that there be closer cooperation among the countries in the north.

The Nordic countries must contribute to the disarmament of nuclear weapons.  A concrete step is to make the Nordic countries and the Arctic nuclear weapon-free zones.  We want a ban on nuclear weapons in the form of a legally binding Nuclear Weapons Convention, which prohibits the manufacture, testing, possession and use of nuclear weapons, and sets out the mechanisms required to destroy them within the foreseeable future.

 

Li Andersson, chairperson, Left Alliance, Finland

René Gade, peace spokesman, The Alternative, Denmark

Høgni Hoydal, chairman, Tjodveldi (Republic), Faroe Islands

Pia Olsen Dyhr, chairman, Socialist People's Party (SF), Denmark

Katrín Jakóbsdóttir, chairperson, Left Green Party (VG), Iceland

Sara Olsvig, chairman, Inuit Ataqatigiit, Greenland

Jonas Sjöstedt, chairperson, The Left Party, Sweden

Audun Lysbakken, party leader, Socialist Left Party (SV), Norway

Pernille Skipper, Political spokesperson, The Red-Green Alliance, Denmark

 

March 2017

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