close
Advertisement
Can't connect right now! retry

add The News to homescreen

tap to bring up your browser menu and select 'Add to homescreen' to pin the The News web app

Got it!

add The News to homescreen

tap to bring up your browser menu and select 'Add to homescreen' to pin the The News web app

Got it!
 

January 3, 2015

Let there be peace

Opinion

 
January 3, 2015

At the beginning of each new year people around the world express their hopes and desires for seemingly elusive peace on earth. In the past year there have been many strides toward that goal. The greatest threat to peace and our survival, nuclear weapons are at long last on the road to abolition. This new year we must recommit to the steps necessary to make this a reality.
In the words of Pope Francis,
“Nuclear weapons are a global problem, affecting all nations, and impacting future generations and the planet that is our home. A global ethic is needed if we are to reduce the nuclear threat and work towards nuclear disarmament.
“Nuclear deterrence and the threat of mutually assured destruction cannot be the basis for an ethics of fraternity and peaceful coexistence among peoples and states. The youth of today and tomorrow deserve far more. They deserve a peaceful world order based on the unity of the human family, grounded on respect, cooperation, solidarity and compassion....
“The desire for peace, security and stability is one of the deepest longings of the human heart... This desire can neither be satisfied by military means alone, much less the possession of nuclear weapons and other weapons of mass destruction...”.
This profound message was delivered Dec 7 to representatives of 158 nations, the UN and over 100 international, civil society, academic and religious organisations in two days of testimony about nuclear weapons from experts at the Vienna Conference on the Humanitarian Impacts of Nuclear Weapons.
This conference focused on the recent scientific reports on global humanitarian effects of these weapons and the impotence of any effective response to their use. These weapons long known to threaten our extinction if large numbers were used are now recognised to be much more dangerous threatening the lives of up to 2 billion from the climatic disruption that would come with the use of only 100 weapons representing half of one

percent of the global nuclear arsenals.
This meeting was followed days later by the annual Nobel Peace Laureate Conference in Rome where they stated,
“If we fail to prevent nuclear war, all of our other efforts to secure peace and justice will be for naught. We need to stigmatize, prohibit and eliminate nuclear weapons...
“We welcome the pledge by the Austrian government ‘to identify and pursue effective measures to fill the legal gap for the prohibition and elimination of nuclear weapons’ and ‘to cooperate with all stakeholders to achieve this goal’.”
We urge all states to commence negotiations on a treaty to ban nuclear weapons at the earliest possible time, and subsequently to conclude the negotiations within two years. This will fulfil existing obligations enshrined in the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, which will be reviewed in May of 2015, and the unanimous ruling of the International Court of Justice. Negotiations should be open to all states and blockable by none.
And yet the governmental actions of the principle nuclear nations of the United States and Russia who hold 94% of the global stockpiles fail to recognise the reality of the people’s demands.
This is not acceptable and the growing chorus of world leaders and the people are getting louder every day. This year marks the 70th anniversary of the bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. The diminishing Hibakusha survivors of these explosions are a daily reminder of the atrocities that mankind has wrought.
When your children’s children ask what you did to make peace a reality, what will be your response? Now is the time to take action and make your voice heard. Let there be peace on earth.
Excerpted from: ‘In 2015, Let There Be Peace on Earth’.
Courtesy: Commondreams.org