This is a moment at United Nations Headquarters here in New York that is energizing and hopeful. It rings of possibility that progress can be made in many areas of conflict in the world. One of the primary areas of shifting politics is in Disarmament.
Negotiations will be long and arduous, but there is a strong move toward cooperation — something which has not been felt for years. For us, as Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs) it is a time of putting our minds and hearts into full gear. It is time to present our issues to governments, Commissions and the Secretariat so that our concern for safety, security and a peace that reverences the dignity of every human person as well as our Earth is not ignored.
Our work at the UN is international, but we realize that the United States is a major player on the long road toward negotiating the elimination of nuclear weapons in the world. There are nine countries: US, Russia, United Kingdom, France, China, Israel, India, Pakistan and North Korea, who already possess nuclear weapons and we know that other countries are in the process of developing them. And so, our work is a movement toward entering into the conversation of deterrence. How do we get there?
Our first move is an urgent request for the US and Russia to hold a new round of talks. These two countries hold 80% of the world’s nuclear arsenal. The goal is to achieve significant reductions of nuclear weapons in these two countries. This would be a major political leadership achievement and it is hoped that other countries would follow.
In anticipating a nuclear free world, we need to encourage our own governments to move beyond a fig leaf and/or a handshake. We need to examine our current stance on all the treaties we have signed and ratified and examine what commitments we need to make. Then, we need a serious commitment to be willing to disarm our arsenal. As citizens of the world, as peacemakers, we need to utter our call for peace once again. The time is now!
- International Commission on Nuclear Non-proliferation and Disarmament
- Nuclear Weapons Free
- Reaching Critical Will
- Nuclear Age for Peace
– from Partnership for Global Justice: UN Update, March, 2009