The Peace Committee of Turkey issued its report on 2020 underlining that the pandemic has highlighted humanity’s need for peace and equality.
The Peace Committee of Turkey issued a special report on 2020 underlining that 2020 has been an exceptional year for the whole world and its extraordinary conditions were determined with the pandemic while the aggression of imperialism has continued.
Turkey Peace Committee’s full report is as follows:
While 2020 is nearly over, we saw that humanity is far away from peace. 2020 has been an exceptional year for the whole world and its extraordinary conditions were determined with the pandemic. The pandemic has highlighted humanity’s need for peace and equality.
- Under these exceptional conditions, the aggression of imperialism has continued. While peoples fought against the pandemic all over the world, the imperialist military activities continued normally. Countries under embargo like Venezuela and Iran have suffered from difficulties while fighting the pandemic.
- Cuba has achieved becoming a success story. Henry Reeve Brigade has helped countries, including Western countries, which suffered from the pandemic. More than 3700 health workers have contributed to the fight in 39 countries. Cuba’s efforts were historically meaningful in the face of the capitalists’ control over means against the pandemic including vaccine as well as the priority of profit in health. World Peace Committee, of which Turkey Peace Committee is a member of, and several institutions and peoples nominated Henry Reeve Brigade for the Nobel Peace Prize. The US’ embargo on Cuba still continues.
- The majority of countries sustained their defence budgets despite the economic impact of the pandemic. The world’s total military spending has reached almost 2 billion USD. The US’ military spending constitutes more than one-third of this number.
- Proliferation has constituted an important part of such military spending. Drones have been developed and sophisticated. Hypersonic missiles captured significant media attention. The competition on hypersonic missiles between the United States and Russia has risen. The officials from both countries gave speeches about hypersonic missiles.
- The focus of space research was mostly given to military endeavours. A US private company’s space research gave concrete results, as was the case with SpaceX. The United States already undertook military activities in space beginning in 2019. Russia and China, as well as the United States, accelerated their space research.
- Imperialism has fuelled conflicts throughout the world. The United States continued its attack on China using the pandemic as an excuse. China continued to be the US’ first and foremost enemy. The US attack on Russia also continued. Iran and Venezuela were also subjected to the US’ attacks.
- The continuous coup attempts continued in Venezuela. A conspiracy, where US private soldiers were used, was organised to assassinate President Maduro. The Venezuelan government exposed the conspiracy. The economic embargo against Venezuela still continues and the Venezuelan economy suffers from it. The US and Western European governments continue to recognise Guaidó, the puppet of imperialism, instead of Maduro elected by the people.
- The Palestinian question has arrived at a new turning point through the current process, called the Millennium’s Agreement, under the US’ leadership. Israel’s illegal settlements in West Bank continue. The Israeli government also undertook steps toward normalisation with certain Arab countries with the US support. In this way, the Israeli government has tried to gain the upper hand. The Gulf monarchies tended to isolate Palestine.
- One of the offspring of such Israeli steps was the case of Morocco. Following the normalisation agreement between Israel and Morocco, Israel announced its recognition of Moroccan sovereignty over Western Sahara. The part of Sahrawi Arab Democratic Republic, which was established in 1976, has been under the invasion of Morocco. Morocco has launched its military endeavours in Western Sahara in November 2020. Even though the people in the region have countered the Moroccan attacks with their own means, Israeli recognition of Moroccan sovereignty over the region damages the legitimate struggle of the people in the region.
- The ongoing conflicts and problems in the Middle East continued in 2020. The Iraqi Assembly decided on the withdrawal of foreign military forces from the country in January 2020. Even though the United States announced their will not to respond to such demand, it began to withdraw its soldiers in March 2020. However, withdrawal is not completed. The Iraqi Kurdistan Region demanded the location of the US forces on the Syrian border. It is apparent that the US military presence in the region would continue.
- The conflict in Yemen, where is another war zone in the Middle East, seems irresolvable. Many actors including Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates have been actively involved in the conflict. Such involvement has resulted in the prolongation of the conflict, the rise of the death toll, and the partition of the country. Almost 20 thousand people lost their lives only in 2020. This number is the highest death toll after Afghanistan.
- In Caucasia, where is close to Turkey, a short conflict happened in Nagorno-Karabakh. As a result of the conflict, Armenia agreed to withdraw from the part of Azerbaijan where it invaded for almost 30 years. After almost 7 thousand people lost their lives the ceasefire continues. It is clear that the conflict in Nagorno-Karabakh could resolve in a long time and serious efforts as the region has been under the influence of many actors. Imperialism affects this region too.
- The ceasefire in Libya continues for now. It is yet clear that deep conflicts and interventions of foreign powers make it difficult to resolve the question.
- The tense process regarding the access to natural resources in the Eastern Mediterranean has cooled down by the recent months; however, it is not resolved yet. The domination of discrepancies among national interests within the imperialist European Union as well as the interests of multi-national conglomerations regarding the process is significant. The legal questions of Cyprus and the Aegean Sea still persist. The Turkish capitalists are already involved in tensions in Libya and the Eastern Mediterranean.
- In 2020, there were consequences of the imperialist focus on Asia in the face of the rise of China. The United States often brought up issues in waters bordering China. The US navy increased is presence in the region. New Zealand and Australia, the allies of imperialism in the region, were more involved in trade wars between the West and China in 2020. Taiwan, which has not been recognised in many countries and is not a member of the UN, has become a bargaining chip for imperialism in 2020.
- Massacres and other war crimes of Australia and Canada against Afghanistan, where chaos and imperialist military presence persisted, were proved with new documents. While a number of the US soldiers withdrew from the country, the US officials declared the United States would not completely withdraw. The highest death toll as a result of war was in Afghanistan (almost 20 thousand) in 2020.
- The conflict in Kashmir, which also prevents peace in Asia, continued. India and Pakistan have been in conflict over Kashmir. More than 700 died in the region in 2020.
- Following the President of France Emmanuel Macron’s declaration that NATO was ‘brain dead’, NATO 2030 was presented to the foreign ministers of NATO allies. The report was supposed to be presented at the NATO Summit in 2021. Even though the report considered Russia as the most important enemy of NATO for the coming 10 years, it is suggested that NATO should focus on China and its military rise. It is also suggested that NATO should foster its relations with non-members like Australia and focus on China’s space research. The report also suggests that NATO should undertake a key global player role and ‘must adapt to meet the needs of a more demanding strategic environment marked by the return of systemic rivalry, persistently aggressive Russia, [and] the rise of China’.
- One of the most significant events of 2020 was the rise of social movements and voicing of societal demands in various countries. Particularly in the United States, protests erupted following the massacre of George Floyd by police have reached to unexpected consequences. These protests have spread to various countries. In combination with labour movements, such as the biggest strike in India, social movements have underlined the importance of social justice and the improbability of peace without social justice.
With the hope that 2021 would bring humanity closer to peace.