Abolition 2000 member organizations organized a press conference at the United Nations in New York today to highlight the critical need for successful diplomacy on nuclear-weapons related conflicts, promote the upcoming UN High-Level Conference on Nuclear Disarmament, and announce two related initiatives.
Open letter to leaders of USA, South Korea and North Korea
Jackie Cabasso, Executive Director of Western States Legal Foundation, released the open letter, which has been signed by more than 100 US civil society groups. The letter expresses support for the upcoming inter-Korean summit in April and the US-DPRK summit in May, and urges the leaders “to patiently and diligently seek common ground.”
The letter states: “Dialogue and diplomacy is essential if we are to prevent a war that would likely result in an unthinkable disaster for the Korean Peninsula, the United States and the world…..We recognize that one encounter between US and North Korean leaders will not likely produce an agreement that leads to a lasting solution. But the planned summits offer the potential for starting a serious process that could move us decisively away from the current crisis.”
Support for the UN High Level Conference
"The United Nations has key roles to play in promoting and supporting diplomacy, nuclear risk-reduction and disarmament,' said Jonathan Granoff, President of the Global Security Institute. "The upcoming UN High-Level Conference on Nuclear Disarmament comes at a vital time to build global support from UN Member States. We encourage all UN members to participate at the highest level, and to give full support to nuclear risk-reduction and disarmament measures."
“States could use this opportunity to either sign the new Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons or commit to a negotiation process to stop the new arms race, lower nuclear risks, and fulfill existing disarmament obligations by agreeing to a phased process of reductions leading to the universal, legally enforceable, verifiable elimination of all nuclear weapons,” said Granoff. “As a first step toward a safer saner world, the nine States with the weapons must all pledge never to initiate a nuclear war.”
Move the Nuclear Weapons Money
The UN High Level Conference on Nuclear Disarmament is scheduled to take place in New York May 14 -16. Nuclear disarmament campaigners plan to use the occasion to focus public attention on the nuclear-weapons industry, a key stimulus to the nuclear arms race.
“Companies manufacturing nuclear weapons and their delivery systems are a powerful lobby to increase nuclear weapons budgets, and to expand nuclear weapons policies in order to justify this massive public spending,” said Alyn Ware, Global Coordinator of Parliamentarians for Nuclear Nonproliferation and Disarmament.
“Legislators in our networks are becoming increasingly concerned about the risks of the nuclear arms race, and the fact that budget investments in nuclear weapons reduces the funds available for other important needs,” Ware said. “They have joined with civil society in Move the Nuclear Weapons Money, a global campaign to cut nuclear weapons budgets, and end investments in nuclear weapons companies.”
Count the Nuclear Weapons Money
‘The public is not aware of the colossal amount of money wasted on nuclear weapons, and what an incredible contribution this money could instead make to ending poverty, protecting the climate and providing education, housing and basic health care for all,’ said Holger Gūssefeld, Special Projects Coordinator for the World Future Council. “We will demonstrate this by counting out 1 trillion dollars –- the nuclear weapons budget for the coming decade — while the UN High-Level Conference is taking place.”
“Artists have designed mock $1 million notes. We will count 1 million of these one-by-one over seven days and nights outside the United Nations and in public locations in New York,’ said Gene Seidman, Project Director for Count the Nuclear Weapons Money. “While counting – at $100 million per minute – we will shine the light of shame on companies manufacturing these weapons of mass annihilation, and we will highlight areas of economic, environmental and social need that could instead be met with these funds.”
For more information see Move the Nuclear Weapons Money and the Abolition 2000 Working Group on Economic Dimensions of Nuclearism.
From The Basel Peace Office Team