Saturday, 23 January 2021

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Out from the shadow of the mushroom cloud

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26 September 2014 – There are over 17,000 nuclear weapons in the arsenals of world today.

Be they a remnant of the Cold War arms race or the results of later build up, many countries still retain, or are associated with, nuclear weapons. Globally, more than half of the total population still lives in countries that either have such weapons or are members of nuclear alliances.

The pursuit of total nuclear disarmament is one of the UN’s oldest goals. Subject of the first resolution ever passed by the General Assembly; the peril of nuclear weapons was shown following the catastrophic use of nuclear power in World War II. Yet, as the 69th Generally Assembly is currently underway, not one nuclear weapon has been physically destroyed pursuant to a treaty, bilateral or multilateral, and no nuclear disarmament negotiations are underway.

ELYX NUKEThe first landmark step to addressing the risk of nuclear weaponry is the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT), with the specified goal of leading to disarmament through seeking, “to prevent the spread of nuclear weapons and weapons technology, to promote cooperation in the peaceful uses of nuclear energy.” It gathers 190 signatories making it the largest arms limitation and disarmament treaty signed.

Though we agree on the need to limit the spread of nuclear weapons and the risks they pose, the doctrine of nuclear deterrence persists as an element in the security policies of all possessor states and their nuclear allies. Thus the public and their leaders must change this perception to render a disarmament scheme is viable.

On today’s International Day for the Total Elimination of Nuclear Weapons, we remember that while the journey has begun, there is a long way to go before complete disarmament. Today we have an opportunity to educate the public—and their leaders—about the real benefits of eliminating such weapons, and the social and economic costs of perpetuating them. To this end, today can be used to remind everyone that the cataclysmic humanitarian effects of a local, regional or global nuclear war are a threat to the world as a whole.

United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon delivered a call to action today and a reminder of the need and the danger. “The world has long recognized that nuclear disarmament offers the only absolute guarantee against the use of nuclear weapons, and that any such use would have catastrophic humanitarian consequences. Nuclear disarmament is therefore not an idealistic dream, but an urgent necessity to meet the genuine security interests of all humanity.”

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