The Way Forward: Developing legal and political strategies to abolish nuclear weapons

Tasneem Jamal

Although it is one of the stated objectives of the United Nations, and although people have been working since the end of World War II to rid the world of nuclear weapons, no progress has been made. In fact, the reverse has occurred—the killing power of a nuclear weapon, since the .S bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, has magnified to mass proportions, and nuclear arsenals have multiplied to levels that have become a horrific nightmare.

The end of the Cold War provided an opportunity to eliminate these weapons of mass destruction and to halt the mining of uranium and the research, development and manufacture of nuclear weapons. But the opportunity has been lost and research and development and subcritical testing of weapons continues.

Proliferation is on the rise, the Conference on Disarmament is at a stalemate, the nuclear weapons states are ignoring Article VI of the NPT, and lack of progress in the NPT Regime is a cause for gloom. Moreover, the US Senate has refused to ratify the CTBT, the United States is placing the ABM Treaty in jeopardy and there has been a recent change for the worse in Russia’s nuclear weapons policy.

The purpose of this consultation, convened by The Simons Foundation and in partnership with The Simons Foundation, The Nuclear Age Peace Foundation, Project Ploughshares and Simon Fraser University, was to identify and develop legal and political strategies, approaches and policies in an endeavour aimed at transforming the international disarmament agenda from one of strategic stability to an agenda that pursues the speedy elimination and prohibition of nuclear weapons.

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