An Open Letter, urging nuclear weapons states to adopt no-first-use and other policies to ensure a nuclear war is never fought was delivered to leaders of the “nuclear five” or N5 countries — China, France, Russia, the United Kingdom, and the United States (also known as the P5 because they are permanent members of the UN Security Council) — and to leaders of the other 185 countries which are States Parties to the NPT.
The Open Letter, entitled “Fulfil the NPT: From nuclear threats to human security,” was organized by NoFirstUse Global, a global network of organizations, academics, policy makers and civil society advocates. It has so far been endorsed by over 1000 signatories from 69 countries, including former government ministers and ambassadors, parliamentarians and Nobel laureates, former military commanders and high level officials of the United Nations, and leading scientists, religious leaders, business leaders and representatives of civil society organizations from around the world.
What the nuclear weapons States should do
The Open Letter calls on nuclear weapon states to:
- end the nuclear arms race by stopping nuclear weapons production;
- phase out the role of nuclear weapons in security policies starting with adopting no-first-use policies;
- commit to eliminating their nuclear weapons no later than 2045 – the 75th anniversary of the NPT;
- shift budgets and public investments from the nuclear weapons industry to supporting public health, climate stabilization, and sustainable development.
Stop playing with fire!
“First-use options are literally playing with fire in very combustible situations, and have nearly led to a nuclear war being initiated by mistake or miscalculation,” the Open Letter states. “Unilateral no-first-use declarations, bilateral no-first-use agreements and/or a multilateral no-first-use agreement can reduce these risks.…These can be followed by nuclear force restructuring and operational controls to implement no-first-use policies, and to build credibility and confidence in the policies to further reduce nuclear risks.”
“And most importantly, the adoption of no-first-use or sole purpose policies could open the door to the nuclear armed states and their allies joining negotiations for the complete elimination of nuclear weapons.”
Last week the Bulletin of Atomic Scientists announced that its Doomsday Clock would remain set at 100 seconds to midnight for the third year in a row — closer to midnight than ever in its history – attesting to a continued high level of risk from today’s nuclear arsenals and nuclear policies.
This blog is the text of an email from UNFOLD ZERO (unfoldzero.org).
Citizens for Global Solutions is proud to have endorsed this Open Letter.