“If we can risk nuclear war, we can risk disarmament!”
Negotiations To Ban Nuclear Weapons Begin This Month
Starting on June 15th and running through July 2017, representatives from more than 115 world governments will gather at UN Headquarters in New York to negotiate a “legally binding instrument to prohibit nuclear weapons, leading toward their total elimination.”
These groundbreaking talks are the result of a landmark UN General Assembly resolution in December 2016, which voted with overwhelming support to begin negotiations on a treaty prohibiting nuclear weapons. They reflect widespread concern among the world’s nations to prohibit the use, possession and development of nuclear weapons — which have the potential to annihilate all life on the planet.
These historic negotiations could generate real momentum toward reducing and eliminating nuclear weapons and represent a resurgence of political will following decades of paralysis in multilateral nuclear disarmament efforts.
With global tensions and nuclear threats rising, the need for progress on nuclear disarmament “has rarely been as urgent as it is today”, according to the UN Undersecretary General for Disarmament’s statement at the opening round of talks.
Sadly, the US is not taking part in this fresh new nuclear disarmament initiative. Instead, it has joined Russia, China, Japan and several other nuclear states in sitting out the talks. In the absence of US leadership, countries like Brazil, Austria, and Ireland are taking the lead.
Nonetheless, there is growing grassroots support for nuclear disarmament in many countries throughout — including nuclear weapon states like the United States and the United Kingdom and nuclear-dependent states like Germany. On Saturday, June 17, women around the world will hold “Ban the Bomb” marches in support of the UN talks and against the policy of mutually assured destruction.
As long as nuclear weapons systems like Trident continue to exist on our planet, we will all be forced to live with the threat of hair-trigger situations such as 1962 Cuban Missile Crisis which nearly sparked nuclear war between Russia and the United States.
To quote U.S. President John F. Kennedy’s 1961 address to the UN General Assembly: “We far prefer world law, in the age of self-determination, to world war, in the age of mass extermination.”
Ground Zero Center for Nonviolent Action
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