The first resolution that the United Nations ever adopted in 1945 called for nuclear disarmament. The nuclear states have stalled for 71 years and will continue stalling unless the world declares that time is up!
It is foolish to rely on nuclear deterrence for our security. The threat of retaliation does not deter suicide bombers, fanatics, or madmen. Indeed, if we really believed in nuclear deterrence we’d want every nation to have its own arsenal so they would all deter each other and we’d have world peace!
After the Cold War ended most people assumed that the risk of nuclear war had ended, but there are still over 15,000 nuclear bombs on the planet, many of them on alert and ready to be launched upon warning within ten minutes or so. But such warnings are often false alarms and, once launched, nuclear missiles cannot be called back. We are just lucky not to have blundered into a nuclear war yet.
instead of disarming, the United States is planning to spend a trillion dollars to modernize its nuclear weapons; Britain has voted to replace its aging Trident nuclear submarines, and Russia has developed new inter-continental ballistic missiles and submarines, and has retracted its pledge not to be first to use nuclear weapons in a conflict. We are in a new nuclear arms race. William Perry says that the risk is ever greater today than during the Cold War.
Dozens of polls all around the world have shown that, on average, over three-quarters of humankind (including in nuclear weapons countries) want disarmament. In Canada about 90 percent do so. A move to do so would be immensely popular with voters.
In 1996 the International Court of Justice (the “World Court”) stated unanimously: “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.”
Almost 900 members of the Order of Canada have called upon “all member States of the United Nations – including Canada – to endorse, and begin negotiations for, a Nuclear Weapons Convention.”
In 2010 both the House of Commons and the Senate unanimously endorsed that call by the Order of Canada members. However, the government of Canada has not responded to that call.
The official 2016 Liberal Party platform calls for Canada to “commence negotiations for a Nuclear Weapons Convention that would ban nuclear weapons.” So let’s do it!