Auto Workers Statement on Canada's Role in Yugoslavia
following statement was unanimously adopted by the CAW's NEB on March
bombing and air attacks on Yugoslavia by hundreds of NATO aircraft should
be a major concern for all Canadians.
are protests in Canadian cities over this issue as worried relatives
and concerned Canadians react to the images and stories brought to us
hourly from this war zone.
Canadian aircraft and military personnel taking part in this NATO assault
and a recent announcement of even more fighter jets committed, Canada
is deeply involved in a painful and troubling chapter of Yugoslavian
NATO arsenal being pointed at Yugoslavia is an overwhelming force of
cruise missiles, bombers and fighter aircraft that are pounding 'strategic'
sites everyday. Canadian planes and personnel are a small, but key and
highly visible, part of this NATO assault a far cry from the
traditional role of a peacekeeping nation.
is also a troubling chapter in the history of NATO as a cold-war defensive
alliance is transformed into an offensive military alliance. The fact
that NATO has begun to assume this role raises critical questions about
the future security of our world. When and how does the decision to
intervene happen and why has this troubled region been targeted versus
the host of other similar situations in other parts of the world?
is not a United Nations sanctioned operation. Instead of building on
its long standing reputation as a peacekeeping nation, in the case of
Yugoslavia, Canada has shifted direction and joined a U.S. led NATO
need for humanitarian action to protect innocent refugees fleeing Kosovo
is not in question. The reports of atrocities and attacks on people
and communities of Kosovo by the Serbian majority require ongoing action.
But taking action as a NATO force rather than first finding agreement
and responding through the United Nations is troubling. Canada's participation
in an action sanctioned by the United Nations is far different than
what is currently occurring.
a multi-national peacekeeping ground force with the proper air support
to ensure the safety of troops would have been a truly effective way
of stopping ethnic cleansing, stopping the atrocities and contributing
to a process of resolving some of the historic differences between ethnic
groups within this area.
the recent government announcements of humanitarian aid for refugees
is a positive move, the refugee crisis was predictable and should have
been a major consideration in planning this action.
the current assault involves increased bombing and represents a further
threat to innocent civilians in the area.
a real and lasting solution won't be achieved through air strikes and
bombs. It's time for Canada to reassert its traditional role as a peacekeeper
and push hard at the United Nations for peacekeeping troops and meaningful
discussion between area leaders that will eventually bring a lasting
peace to this part of central Europe once again.
time for Canada to re-establish its traditional role as a peacekeeping
nation with a humanitarian and independent international agenda.
behalf of the 215,000 CAW members and their families, the CAW National
Executive Board is calling on the Prime Minister and the Canadian government
all Canadian fighter jets immediately
a meeting of the United Nations to develop a plan to send ground
troops into the region as a peacekeeping force to end the armed
conflict and start the process of a lasting peace in Yugoslavia
our commitment to humanitarian aid for the refugees
Canadian troops as peacekeepers to assist with the settlement of
by the CAW National Executive Board at Port Elgin, Ontario on March