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Abolition 2000: 

filler.gif (854 bytes)ABOLITION 2000

10 January, 2000
Our vision is a world free of nuclear weapons and the intolerable threat that they pose to humankind, the environment and all living creatures. It is a vision the United Nations General Assembly recognized in its very first
resolution, which sought to address "the elimination from national armaments of atomic weapons and all other major weapons adaptable to mass destruction." It is a vision reaffirmed in numerous resolutions of the General Assembly throughout the past five decades.

Our vision is a world in which the obligations of Article VI of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty are adhered to by all states.

Our vision is a world in which the obligation to achieve nuclear disarmament
"in all its aspects" set forth in the 1996 opinion of the International Court of Justice is acted upon by all states.

Our vision is a world in which no nation's security rests upon threatening the "ultimate evil" of murdering tens of millions of innocent people by means of nuclear annihilation.

The obstacles to achieving this vision have been created by the nuclear weapons states, which have continued to rely upon nuclear deterrence as the cornerstone of their defense policies and have actively resisted all pleas to meet their obligations under international law as well as their moral obligations to humanity and the earth.

A decade after the fall of the Berlin Wall, the danger of intentional or accidental use of nuclear weapons remains very real. Nuclear tests in South Asia, wars in the Balkans and Chechnya, and plans for theater and national
missile defense systems have introduced new nuclear tensions.

In 1995, citizens' organizations at the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) Review and Extension Conference released a statement calling for the implementation of NPT disarmament obligations through the commencement of negotiations leading to the conclusion by the year 2000 of a nuclear weapons abolition convention setting out a binding schedule for the elimination of nuclear arsenals. Over 1400 organizations have endorsed this statement, and comprise the Abolition 2000 Global Network. In 1999, the abolition of nuclear weapons was adopted as a core program of the Hague Appeal for Peace, a multi-issue, international civil society initiative. Public opinion polls show over 80% support for a nuclear weapons convention in most NATO countries and nuclear weapon states, including the United States and the United Kingdom. The General Assembly and the European Parliament have both adopted resolutions calling for a nuclear weapons convention. A Model Nuclear Weapons Convention, demonstrating the feasibility of nuclear abolition, has been circulated within the United Nations.

Nonetheless, the states possessing nuclear weapons show few signs of willingness to relinquish their nuclear arsenals. Instead, they are continuing with deployment of nuclear weapons and deterrence policies including massive retaliation and, for most, an option of first use. They also spend vast amounts on infrastructure to enable the indefinite maintenance of their arsenals, and continue to research and develop new nuclear weapons and to test them through a variety of means. Most refuse the commencement of multilateral negotiations on nuclear disarmament.

To end reliance on nuclear weapons, the doctrine of deterrence must be squarely rejected as a viable basis for international security. It instead must be recognized as illegal, immoral, and irresponsible. True security can
only be found in abolition of nuclear weapons, global demilitarization, and strengthening of the war prevention and dispute resolution capabilities of the United Nations and other international institutions.

At the dawn of the new millennium, the world's governments must move rapidly to fulfill the promise of complete nuclear disarmament expressed by the first General Assembly resolution. Urgent actions include:

  1. Immediate commencement of multilateral negotiations leading towards the
    early conclusion of a nuclear weapons convention that requires the phased
    elimination of all nuclear weapons within a timebound framework, with
    provisions for effective verification and enforcement. Such negotiations
    could take place in the Conference on Disarmament, or in a special
    conference convened by NPT parties, the General Assembly, or interested
  2. Withdrawal of all nuclear weapons from foreign soil and international
    waters, and achievement of global zero alert through de-alerting, de-mating,
    and disabling of all nuclear forces.
  3. Cessation of further design, development and testing of nuclear weapons
    by any means, closure of all nuclear test sites, and cessation of further
    nuclearization and militarization of space.
  4. Commitments to non-use of nuclear weapons and declarations recognizing
    the illegality, immorality, and irresponsibility of doctrines of nuclear
  5. Reallocation of resources to ensure a sustainable global future and to
    redress the environmental devastation and human suffering caused by nuclear
    weapons production and testing, which have been disproportionately borne by
    the world’s indigenous peoples.

- Submitted by the Coordinating Committee on behalf of
the Abolition 2000 Global Network to Eliminate Nuclear Weapons

Coordinating Committee members: Janet Bloomfield (UK); Jacqueline
Cabasso(US); Pol D'Huyvetter (Belgium); David Krieger (US); Richard
Salvador (Belau); Alice Slater (US); Hiro Umebayashi (Japan); Alyn Ware
(Aotearoa/New Zealand)/John Burroughs (US); ; and Ross Wilcock (Canada)

John Burroughs, Executive Director
Lawyers' Committee on Nuclear Policy
211 E. 43d St., Suite 1204, New York, NY 10017 USA
tel: +1 212 818 1861; fax: 818 1857
e-mail:; website:
Part of the Abolition 2000
Global Network to Eliminate Nuclear Weapons







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