Despite the well documented and well publicized catastrophic consequences from any use of nuclear weapons, over fifteen thousand remain as an existential threat to both human civilization and the entire ecosystem of our planet. They are the only weapons of mass destruction not yet prohibited under international law; and there are currently no negotiations underway for nuclear disarmament. Our world is under increasing risk of nuclear terrorism and proliferation because of the refusal of possessor states to negotiate on the elimination of these weapons.
The doctrine of nuclear deterrence stipulates that nuclear weapons, by virtue of their extreme destructive power, deter adversaries from attacking; and it is held by not only the nine nuclear weapons possessor states, but also dozens of countries, including Canada, which trust in the ‘protection’ of nuclear weapons through military alliances, such as NATO. However, this irrational doctrine, rather than providing security, has the potential to destroy everything.
The Science for Peace Nuclear Weapons Working Group exists to inform citizens and political leaders about this critical issue and to influence our government toward a nuclear weapons-free world. As part of the Canadian Network to Abolish Nuclear Weapons, we work with other organizations to stay abreast of international developments and initiatives in this field and provide input and recommendations for achieving a legal ban on nuclear weapons leading to a Nuclear Weapons Convention, which would prohibit the development, testing, production, stockpiling, transfer, use, and threat of use of nuclear weapons.
This is a formidable task, and one which some of our group members have been involved in all of their lives. However, we remain optimistic because thousands of bright young people in Canada and internationally are engaged in this issue. They realize that the continued existence of these weapons place the future of humanity in jeopardy and are committed to achieving a nuclear weapons-free world. Failure is not an option, and all of us must do our part for the sake of our children and grandchildren.