To all endorsers of
We all should take this opportunity to make as much public outcry as possible about the necessity of our governments and our civil societies to dedicate themselves to eliminating the scourge of nuclear weapons from the Earth. We have had 71 years of inaction. We cannot afford to wait decades more to address this issue.
It is clear that civil society must play a leadership role. The survival of the planet is something ordinary people understand more passionately than any of the so-called leaders who are crippled by ideological disputes and power struggles.
Dr. Gordon Edwards, President, Canadian Coalition
for Nuclear Responsibility
The Real Dangers of Nuclear War: Will the UN General Assembly Resolution To Prohibit Nuclear Weapons “Change Anything Before It Is Too Late”?By Carla Stea, Global Research’ Correspondent at United Nations Headquarters, New York, NY, October 25, 2016
This week the United Nations General Assembly will vote on Resolution A/C.1/71/L.41 [local PDF copy] which “Calls upon States participating in the conference to make their best endeavours to conclude as soon as possible a legally binding instrument to prohibit nuclear weapons, leading towards their total elimination.”
The Charter of the United Nations opens with the words: “Determined to save succeeding generations from the scourge of war, which twice in our lifetime has brought sorrow to mankind....”
Ignoring its own “determined” words, the United Nations still appears to be conspicuously in denial of the deadly trajectory that the US, the UK and Germany are spearheading, as the US invests one trillion dollars in development of advanced nuclear weapons in coming years. This investment is paid for by US citizens who are currently enduring increasing poverty, economic inequality, homelessness, astronomical increases in the cost of education (which makes advanced education prohibitively expensive, and, indeed inaccessible for many Americans), inadequate health care, infrastructure deterioration, etc.
The UK announced a 60 billion dollar investment in upgrading nuclear weapons, as their own citizens also endure a deplorably lowered standard of living, and Germany has been applauded by NATO countries for its recently announced 150 billion dollar investment in a military buildup.
It defies comprehension that the mere mention of the problems created by grossly increased investment in nuclear weapons causes many United Nations officials to squirm, and at best give lip service to disarmament, while simultaneously delivering bellicose statements at the Security Council, demonizing Russia and the tiny DPRK as justification for this astronomically profitable increased investment in the deadliest of all weapons of mass destruction, nuclear weapons.
When I have raised questions, with some United Nations officials, concerning the implication of the huge investments in nuclear weapons by NATO states, some reply defensively that the subject of reduction of military budgets “threatens certain powerful interests,” and one official more candidly replied that this problem of nuclear weapons buildup cannot be resolved as long as the present ideological conflicts exist.
Throughout over one hundred meetings held during the first week of the 71 Session of the General Debate, at which most Heads of State and Heads of Government were present, from September 19 through September 24 . . . not one meeting focused upon the imperative need for nuclear disarmament and the threat that the renewed nuclear arms race poses to the survival of the human species and to all other living species on the planet, including the dangers of a nuclear winter.
Finally, it was only after the highest level government officials had left, at the very end of the General Debate, on September 26, in commemoration of the “International Day for the Total Elimination of Nuclear Weapons,” that an “informal” meeting was held, almost as an afterthought, addressing what should have earlier been a top priority. The few remaining higher level government officials and permanent representatives finally addressed the subject of the “Total Elimination of Nuclear Weapons,” and the outrage of the current potential victims of this horrifically unjust global nuclear imbalance, (where a few nuclear armed states have the power to demolish the entire world), was finally expressed.
It is stupefying that nuclear weapons, the most destructive of all weapons, are the only weapon of mass destruction which have never been subjected to a legally binding treaty prohibiting their use and prohibiting their possession.
Among the most powerful speeches at that September 26 meeting for the “Total Elimination of Nuclear Weapons” was the address given by H.E. Ambassador Olof Skoog of Sweden, who stated:
We cannot continue to commemorate the victims of nuclear weapons year after year while at the same time accepting that these weapons still remain in existence. Sweden’s position is clear. The only guarantee that these weapons will never be used again is their total elimination...My Government is deeply concerned by the lack of progress in nuclear disarmament. While we should be seeing real progress on disarmament, in reality 16,000 nuclear weapons remain in the world, each and every one of them posing a real threat to humanity. There is a risk that these weapons could be used by accident, miscalculation or design. Rather than engaging in disarmament, we see that the states possessing nuclear weapons are modernizing design. Some states even talk about using them and some are expanding their nuclear arsenals. All this is utterly unacceptable. It is also economically irrational. Consider the cost of these weapons and put it next to the constant shortfalls in financing for development and humanitarian needs. A truly mind-boggling discrepancy....During the past years there has been a serious and dangerous loss of momentum and direction in disarmament and non-proliferation efforts.
If the General Assembly this week adopts L.41, leading toward a legally binding instrument prohibiting nuclear weapons, that may, at least, make possible the stigmatization of nations investing huge sums of their budgets in modernization of nuclear weapons.