the friend online
09 January 2009


Nuclear disarmament: turning the vision into reality - preview

Kat Barton and Paul Ingram detail developments in nuclear disarmament campaigning over the last two years and announce a new lobbying initiative for Quakers

Nuclear weapons have always been of deep concern to Friends – incompatible as they are with our understanding of security and its recognition of the inherent worth of every human being
  • As we begin the new year, it’s worth reflecting on some of the developments in terms of nuclear disarmament over the past couple of years
  • While Friends continue to play a key role in the nuclear disarmament movement, calls for ‘zero nuclear weapons’ have been coming from the most unusual places

  • This new wave of nuclear abolitionists first emerged with an article in the Wall Street Journal in January 2007 in which leading US statesmen George Schultz, Henry Kissinger, William Perry and Sam Nunn called for a ‘world free of nuclear weapons’
  • Given that two of the four are former secretaries of state and another a former secretary of defense, their argument that deterrence is now increasingly ineffective at maintaining security is not to be ignored
  • The article triggered a series of supportive responses from governments, members of the elite and civil society and was followed up a year later with another piece in the Wall Street Journal detailing further the steps needed to achieve the goal

  • Kat Barton and Paul Ingram

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