The communique below is from the recent meeting of the Pugwash 50th Anniversay, held at Pugwash Nova Scotia, Canada. It was co-sponsored by the Pugwash Conferences on Science and World Affairs and the representatives of the Middle Powers Initiative on implementation of the Non-Proliferation Treaty. Nuclear Disarmament is one of the key components of Canadian Department of Peace Initiative.
For Immediate Release
8 July 2007
Revitalizing Nuclear Disarmament:
Policy Recommendations of the Pugwash 50th Anniversary Workshop
Co-Sponsored by the Pugwash Conferences on Science and World Affairs
and the Middle Powers Initiative
Pugwash, Nova Scotia, 5-7 July 2007
As long as nuclear weapons exist, they will one day be used.
This sober, inescapable truth continues to haunt the international community. Every minute of every day, more than 26,000 nuclear weapons – many thousands of them on hair-trigger alert – are poised to bring monumental destruction if they are ever used. Nuclear weapons have spread to more countries, and the international non-proliferation regime is perilously close to collapse. Poorly guarded stockpiles of highly enriched
uranium and plutonium around the world could fall into the hands of terrorists who would think nothing of exploding a nuclear device in a major city.
Momentum is growing in the international community, however, from many different political quarters, to re-energize the campaign to declare nuclear weapons illegal and immoral, and to reduce and eliminate them. But the time is now for decisive leadership and action to mount a global political campaign to eliminate these weapons of mass destruction, before it is too late.
Great changes in history – the end of slavery, the fall of the Berlin Wall and the end of the Cold War – have come about through concerted political action, often suddenly and with little warning. The international community has the opportunity to achieve yet another epochal event: ending the reliance on nuclear weapons and the total elimination of these genocidal weapons.
We ask all governments, nuclear and non-nuclear alike, a simple question. What are you doing to fulfill the basic obligation of every government – the ‘responsibility to protect’ the lives and human rights of its citizens that
would be obliterated by nuclear devastation?
Given political leadership and political will, implementation of the following steps could greatly reduce the risk of nuclear weapons use:
.. Immediate de-alerting of the thousands of nuclear weapons, on quick reaction alert, that could be launched by accident, miscalculation, or unauthorized computer hacking of command and control systems;
.. Official declarations by all nuclear weapons-states of a No First Use policy, and adoption of Negative Security Assurances that nuclear weapons will never be used against countries who have legally bound themselves not to acquire nuclear weapons;
.. Immediate resumption of US-Russian nuclear negotiations to reduce their nuclear forces to 1,000 or fewer nuclear weapons; to accelerate the dismantlement and destruction of all excess nuclear forces and fissile
material; and to jointly develop early warning systems to reduce the risk of accidental or unauthorized launch of nuclear weapons.
.. Political agreement by NATO to withdraw all US nuclear weapons from Europe, and to conclude a global agreement that nuclear weapons of any country not be deployed on foreign territory;
.. Full funding and implementation of the International Monitoring System of the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty to ensure the continued moratorium on nuclear testing, prior to the entry into force of the CTBT;
.. An early start to negotiations of a global Fissile Material Cut-off Treaty and a complete prohibition on the deployment and use of space weapons;
.. Finally, all States should affirm the goal of the complete abolition and elimination of nuclear weapons through a multilaterally-verified instrument – a Nuclear Weapons Convention – and work towards making such a convention a reality.
We hope that the Government of Canada especially will play an active role in the achievement of these objectives.
The goal of all these initiatives should be the strengthening of an equitable non-proliferation regime that emphasizes the obligations of non-nuclear states not to acquire nuclear weapons, and of nuclear weapons-states to reduce and eliminate their nuclear arsenals as soon as practicable.
Only by concerted political will and public pressure can we avoid the inevitable catastrophe that will surely come if nuclear weapons continue to exist.
** From 5-7 July 2007, a distinguished group of 25 international scientists and specialists on nuclear weapons issues met in the fishing village of Pugwash, Nova Scotia – on the 50th anniversary of the first Pugwash Conference – to discuss the urgency of revitalizing nuclear disarmament in order to free the world from the ever-present threat posed by nuclear weapons. Co-sponsored by the Pugwash Conferences on Science and World Affairs, which received the 1995 Nobel Peace Prize with its co-founder and then President, Sir Joseph Rotblat, and the Middle Powers Initiative, the full list of workshop recommendations and analysis will be available shortly in the forthcoming workshop report.
For more information, contact:
Jeffrey Boutwell, Executive Director Douglas Roche, Chair
Pugwash Conferences on Science and Middle Powers Initiative
1111 19th St., NW, Washington, DC 20036 675 Third Av., New York, NY 10017
c. (202) 478-3440; c. (780) 984-8292;
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