Neutrality or NATO? Online book Launch and Conversation

Join us for the launch of A Force for Good? Reflections on Neutrality and the Future of Irish Defence taking place online on Tuesday, June 20th, at 11am. Register here

The first meeting of the Government’s ‘Consultative Forum on International Security’ will take place in UCC on June 22nd, and Afri is warning that there’s a real risk of Ireland further compromising our neutrality and getting dragged into NATO without the consent of the Irish people.

Time and time again, the people of Ireland have expressed their wishes to avoid becoming part of the global military industrial complex. Our history of colonisation and wars such as those in Iraq and Afghanistan, show why we should stand our ground and instead remain an independent and neutral voice for peacemaking in the world, something we are already cherished for.

It’s increasingly clear that the Government is moving to bring us closer into the global war machine and the devastation it reeks. The world needs investment in peacemaking, education, diplomacy, and not the trillions spent to inflict murder, mayhem and environmental destruction while adding to the plight of refugees worldwide.

Join us for the launch of A Force for Good? Reflections on Neutrality and the Future of Irish Defence. The book is a collection of essays by people with long and deep experience of working for peace and against militarism at every level from academic to activist, on this island and in the wider world. Contributors include Nobel Peace Prizewinner Máiréad Maguire; UCC Emeritus Professor John Maguire; Dr Karen Devine of DCU; Dr Iain Atack, formerly of TCD; Carol Fox of the Peace and Neutrality Alliance; and `Tarak Kauff, former paratrooper with the US Army and now active member of Veterans for Peace.

The book is a vital contribution to the discussion on the importance of Irish neutrality and its role as the bedrock of Irish foreign and defence policy. Even today – especially today – as war rages in so many areas around the world and as two nuclear-armed ‘superpowers’ actively engage in a proxy war, the world urgently needs voices calling for, and countries working towards, de-escalation, demilitarisation and disarmament.

The Economist magazine recently described Ireland as ‘having a good claim to be the world’s most diplomatically powerful country’, is ideally placed – historically and geographically – to be that voice. But instead of seizing this opportunity, the Government is increasingly abandoning our neutrality and throwing in its lot with some of the world’s most aggressive military powers”.

How can our Government and Establishment plan to celebrate the Irish peace process and the 25th anniversary of the Belfast/Good Friday agreement when they’ve abandoned the very values of patient, peaceful conflict resolutions which underpinned that process, flowing from Article 29 of Bunreacht na hÉireann?

Despite the constant hallowing out and demeaning of neutrality, we will continue to defend this proud and practical policy and to demand that the militaristically minded minority respect the will of the people on this critically important issue. We owe it to our children to challenge the reckless addiction to war and violence, which wreaks havoc on human beings as well as on the natural world and even threatens the destruction of our planet.

Register here

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