President, Nuclear Age Peace
1. Fulfill Existing Obligations. The nuclear
weapons states have made solemn promises to the
international community to negotiate in good faith to
achieve nuclear disarmament. The United States, Russia,
Britain, France and China accepted this obligation when
they signed the Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT), and
extended their promises at the 1995 NPT Review and
Extension Conference and again at the 2000 NPT Review
Conference. India and Pakistan, which are not signatories
of the NPT, have committed themselves to abolish their
nuclear arsenals if the other nuclear weapons states
agree to do so. The only nuclear weapons state that has
not made this promise is Israel, and surely it could be
convinced to do so if the other nuclear weapons states
agreed to the elimination of their nuclear arsenals. The
International Court of Justice, the world's highest
court, unanimously highlighted the obligation to nuclear
disarmament in its 1996 Opinion: "There exists an
obligation to pursue in good faith and bring to a
conclusion negotiations leading to nuclear disarmament in
all its aspects under strict and effective international
control." This means an obligation to reduce the world's
nuclear arsenals to zero.
2. Stop Nuclear Weapons Proliferation. The
failure of nuclear weapons states to act to eliminate
their nuclear arsenals will likely result in the
proliferation of nuclear weapons to other nations. If
nuclear weapons states continue to maintain the position
that nuclear weapons preserve their security, it is only
reasonable that other nations with less powerful military
forces, such as North Korea, will decide that their
security should also be maintained by nuclear arsenals.
Without substantial progress toward nuclear disarmament,
the Non-Proliferation Treaty will be in jeopardy when the
parties to the treaty meet for the NPT Review Conference
in the year 2005.
3. Prevent Nuclear Terrorism. The very
existence of nuclear weapons and their production
endanger our safety because they are susceptible to
terrorist exploitation. Nuclear weapons and production
sites all over the world are vulnerable to terrorist
attack or to theft of weapons or weapons-grade materials.
Russia, due to the breakup of the former Soviet Union,
has a weakened command and control system, making their
substantial arsenal especially vulnerable to terrorists.
In addition, nuclear weapons are not helpful in defending
against or responding to terrorism because nuclear
weapons cannot target a group that is unlocatable.
4. Avoid Nuclear Accidents. The risk of
accidental war through miscommunication, miscalculation
or malfunction is especially dangerous given the
thousands of nuclear warheads deployed and on high alert
status. Given the short time periods available in which
to make decisions about whether or not a state is under
nuclear attack, and whether to launch a retaliatory
response, the risk of miscalculation is high. In
addition, the breakup of the former Soviet Union has
weakened Russia's early warning system, since many parts
of this system were located outside of Russia, and this
increases the likelihood of a nuclear accident.
5. Cease the Immorality of Threatening Mass Murder.
It is highly immoral to base the security of a nation
on the threat to destroy cities and potentially murder
millions of people. This immoral policy is named nuclear
deterrence, and it is relied upon by all nuclear weapons
states. Nuclear deterrence is a dangerous policy. Its
implementation places humanity and most forms of life in
jeopardy of annihilation.
6. Reverse the Concentration of Power. Nuclear
weapons undermine democracy by giving a few individuals
the power to destroy the world as we know it. No one
should have this much power. If these individuals make a
mistake or misjudgment, everyone in the world will pay
7. Promote Democratic Openness. Decisions about
nuclear weapons have been made largely in secrecy with
little involvement from the public. In the United States,
for example, nuclear weapons policy is set forth in
highly classified documents, which are not made available
to the public and come to public attention only by leaks.
On this most important of all issues facing humanity,
there is no informed consent of the people.
8. Halt the Drain on Resources. Nuclear weapons
have drained resources, including scientific resources,
from other more productive uses. A 1998 study by the
Brookings Institution found that the United States alone
had spent more than $5.5 trillion on nuclear weapons
programs between 1940 and 1996. The United States
continues to spend some $25-$35 billion annually on
research, development and maintenance of its nuclear
arsenal. All of these misspent resources represent lost
opportunities for improving the health, education and
welfare of the people of the world.
9. Heed Warnings by Distinguished Leaders.
Distinguished leaders throughout the world, including
generals, admirals, heads of state and government,
scientists and Nobel Peace Laureates, have warned of the
dangers inherent in relying upon nuclear weapons for
security. These warnings have gone unheeded by the
leaders of nuclear weapons states.
10. Meet Our Responsibility. We each have a
responsibility to our children, grandchildren and future
generations to end the threat that nuclear weapons pose
to humanity and all life. This is a responsibility unique
in human history. If we do not accept responsibility to
speak out and act for a world free of nuclear weapons,
© TFF 2003
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