strategy

Campaigning for nuclear disarmament

Synonyms:
Working for elimination of nuclear weapons
Protesting nuclear arms
Eliminating nuclear arms
Eliminating all nuclear weapons
Abolishing nuclear weapons
Context:
The vast majority of the world's states have been committed to the elimination of nuclear weapons since the UN General Assembly first met in 1946. But this commitment, and much else on the agenda drawn up by the 1978 First Special Session on Disarmament, remain unfulfilled. It was estimated in 1993 that approximately 20,000 nuclear warheads, including non-strategic nuclear weapons, would still remain by the year 2003 -- still enough to annihilate all life on Earth. Despite cuts in the nuclear weapons capability of the USA and former USSR, the UK and France plans are to expand their arsenals, and cuts in the Chinese arsenal are considered unlikely.
Implementation:
The survivors of Hiroshima and Nagasaki have been calling for an international convention eliminating nuclear weapons for over 40 years. Draft texts have been drawn up by NGOs. The World Court Project, under formal request from the World Health Organization, aims to secure an advisory opinion from the International Court of Justice on the legal status of the use of nuclear weapons in armed conflict.

In 1999, three UK women boarded a trident nuclear submarine moored in a Scottish loch. Undetected, they located computers and other equipment, which they dumped into the sea or smashed with hammers. They were charged by military police and brought before a magistrate, accused of causing many thousands of pounds worth of damage. One of them decided to defend herself. She based her case on international law which states that it is illegal to manufacture weapons of mass destruction. Therefore they were 'upholding the law'. The magistrate dismissed the case. The UK government is appealing.

Claim:
1. They are built to turn living things to dust. Their ongoing construction is polluting and destroying our environment. Accidents and danger levels are rarely reported. They are here to protect and uphold racist and capitalist agendas of exploitation and domination. Their existence goes against international law, yet nuclear weapons are here. This is despite lots of UN resolutions calling for nuclear disarmament. There are no UN inspectors calling to inspect the nuclear sites. In many countries, they are not even on the map. But they are here.

2. The international community should reaffirm its commitment to progressively eliminate nuclear and other weapons of mass destruction from all nations. As new global powers emerge, they are likely to insist on having the same rights of self-defence as others. It is therefore imperative that all nations, especially existing nuclear powers, accept the principle of eventual elimination of nuclear weapons. To work towards this goal, four steps should be taken: early ratification and implementation of existing agreements governing weapons of mass destruction; the indefinite extension of the [Non-Proliferation Treaty]; conclusion of a treaty to end all nuclear testing; and initiation of talks among declared nuclear powers to establish a process to reduce and eventually eliminate all nuclear arsenals.

3. The release of atom power has changed everything except our way of thinking...the solution to this problem lies in the heart of mankind. If only I had known, I should have become a watchmaker (Albert Einstein).

Constrains:
Using weapons
Values:
Elimination
Type Classification:
C: Cross-sectoral strategies
Related UN Sustainable Development Goals:
GOAL 16: Peace and Justice Strong Institutions