United Nations negotiations will begin in March 2017 to agree on a treaty for a complete nuclear weapons ban. At the end of October 2016, 123 countries voted to support negotiations for a global nuclear ban at the United Nations General Assembly. Just 38 countries voted against the resolution and 16 abstained. The story was reported in the Guardian newspaper here.
The UK government voted against the negotiations.
Kate Hudson, CND general secretary, said:
“It’s very encouraging to see so many countries say loud and clear it’s time for the world to move on from nuclear weapons. We have united before to ban biological and chemical weapons, land mines and cluster bombs, and now the international community is taking decisive steps to ban nuclear weapons. It’s very inspiring and CND will do everything it can to support it.”
“It’s therefore very disappointing to see the British government attempt to thwart these vital negotiations.”
Today there are approximately 15,000 nuclear weapons in the world. The majority are owned by the United States and Russia. The UK, France, China, India, Pakistan, Israel and possibly North Korea are also nuclear-armed. Many of the nuclear weapons held around the world have hundreds of times more explosive power than the atomic bomb dropped on Hiroshima in 1945 which completely destroyed the city and killed around 140,000 people.
Nuclear weapons have no legitimate purpose; nor would their use be legal due to civilian casualties being unavoidable. They are also genocidal and utterly immoral. When confronted with any of today’s real security threats, nuclear weapons are irrelevant. They cannot be used to combat climate change, poverty, hunger, overpopulation, terrorists, cyber-attacks or pandemics for example.
Not only do nuclear weapons kill indiscriminately but the radioactive fallout from their detonation means that their effects know no geographical boundaries. Immediate survivors in the vicinity of any nuclear exchange face devastating long-term ill effects or death. Research by the International Red Cross estimates that a billion people around the world could face starvation as a result of nuclear war.
Read the CND briefing concerning the resolution to negotiate a global nuclear ban treaty here.
– Your Joyful Benefactor