Nuclear Disarmament

Nuclear weapon test Romeo on Bikini Atoll, 1954. Photo courtesy of the US Dept. of Energy

The existence of nuclear weapons poses the single greatest threat to humanity today. The stockpiles held by the United States, Russia, France, the U.K., China, India, Pakistan and Israel have the capacity to destroy the Earth hundreds of times over. As well, approximately 40 member-state parties to the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, which include North Korea and Iran, have legally acquired nuclear technology for peaceful purposes and also therefore have the capability to develop nuclear weapons.

The proliferation of nuclear weapons and the advent of terrorists seeking to acquire them heightens the existing dangers.

The U.S., Russia, the U.K., France and China possessed nuclear weapons when the Treaty went into force, and committed to eliminate their arsenals.

Though the numbers have been reduced, much more must be done to achieve total prohibition and abolition of nuclear weapons. The pace is slow and some of these states are upgrading their stockpiles and asserting that nuclear weapons are essential to their security strategies.

There is no ban on nuclear weapons, though they are indiscriminate weapons and their use would constitute a violation of International Humanitarian Law. It is not currently illegal to manufacture them, stockpile them or target a city deemed of military interest. According to the Advisory Opinion on the Legality of Nuclear Weapons, if it is believed that the survival of the state is at risk, it is not illegal to threaten to use and to use nuclear weapons. However, any use would have catastrophic humanitarian consequences and would contravene International Humanitarian Law.

Despite the end of the Cold War and warmer relations between Russia and the United States, the two countries still have thousands of nuclear weapons, on continuous high-alert status, targeted on each other. Thus, the risk of accidents, accidental launch, terrorist acquisition and attacks remains.

Cities are at risk. The design and purpose for nuclear weapons is to target the most densely populated areas, to kill the maximum number of civilians and to destroy their habitats. Military installations do not require the massive destructive power of a nuclear weapon. 

 

Nuclear Disarmament Content

By Bruce G. Blair, Ph.D.
Published by Politico Magazine
June 23, 2016

Bruce G. Blair, Ph.D., is Co-Founder of Global Zero, Research Scholar with the Program on Science and Global Security at Princeton University, and one of The Simons Foundation's Peace Leaders.

Opinion by Marius Grinius, Peggy Mason, Paul Meyer, Douglas Roche and Christopher Westdal
Published by The Ottawa Citizen
June 21, 2016

Amb. (Ret) Paul Meyer is Adjunct Professor of International Studies and Fellow in International Security, Simon Fraser University in Vancouver, Canada; and Senior Fellow in Space Security, The Simons Foundation.

The Hon. Douglas Roche is a former Canadian Senator, parliamentarian, diplomat and author, and one of The Simons Foundation's Peace Leaders.

By Bruce G. Blair, Ph.D.
Co-founder of Global Zero
Published by Politico Magazine
June 11, 2016

Bruce G. Blair, Ph.D., is Co-Founder of Global Zero, Research Scholar with the Program on Science and Global Security at Princeton University, and one of The Simons Foundation's Peace Leaders.

Statement by Hon. Douglas Roche, O.C.
Canadian Defence Policy Review
Edmonton Roundtable
June 4, 2016

The Hon. Douglas Roche is a former Canadian Senator, parliamentarian, diplomat and author, and one of The Simons Foundation's Peace Leaders.

 

Opening remarks by Jennifer Allen Simons, C.M., Ph.D., LL.D.
at the "Nuclear Dangers from Hiroshima to Fukushima" panel discussion
Liu Institute for Global Issues
University of British Columbia
Vancouver, Canada

Presentation by Dr. Yves Tiberghien
Associate Professor of Political Science and Director, Institute of Asian Reserach, The University of British Columbia
at the "Nuclear Dangers from Hiroshima to Fukushima" panel discussion
Liu Institute for Global Issues, The University of British Columbia
May 3, 2016

 

The panel discussion was sponsored by The Liu Institute for Global Issues at The University of British Columbia, The Simons Foundation, and the Centre for Dialogue at Simon Fraser University.

Presentation by Dr. Brian Job
Professor of Political Science and Associate Director, Institute of Asian Research, The University of British Columbia
at the "Nuclear Dangers from Hiroshima to Fukushima" panel discussion
Liu Institute for Global Issues, The University of British Columbia
May 3, 2016

 

The panel discussion was sponsored by The Liu Institute for Global Issues at The University of British Columbia, The Simons Foundation, and the Centre for Dialogue at Simon Fraser University.

Presentation by Amb. (ret'd) Paul Meyer
Adjunct Professor of International Studies and Fellow in International Security at the Centre for Dialogue, Simons Fraser University
and Senior Fellow in Space Security and Nuclear Disarmament, The Simons Foundation
at the "Nuclear Dangers from Hiroshima to Fukushima" panel discussion
Liu Institute for Global Issues, The University of British Columbia
May 3, 2016

 

The panel discussion was sponsored by The Liu Institute for Global Issues at The University of British Columbia, The Simons Foundation, and the Centre for Dialogue at Simon Fraser University.

 

Presentation by Dr. Fumihiko Yoshida
Visting Scholar, The Carnegie Endowment for International Peace
at the "Nuclear Dangers from Hiroshima to Fukushima" panel discussion
Liu Institute for Global Issues, The University of British Columbia
May 3, 2016

 

The panel discussion was sponsored by The Liu Institute for Global Issues at The University of British Columbia, The Simons Foundation, and the Centre for Dialogue at Simon Fraser University.
 

Opening remarks by Jennifer Allen Simons, C.M., Ph.D., LL.D.
"From Hiroshima to Fukushima: Poetry of Nuclear Survival"
Poetry Reading by Sayuri Yoshinaga with Ryuichi Sakomoto
The Chan Centre for the Performing Arts - Telus Studio Theatre
University of British Columbia
Vancouver, Canada
May 3, 2016