Abolition 2000: Call for the New Millenium
The Hague May 1999
|For the past half century humanity has been
under the threat of annihilation from nuclear weapons. The environment and people's lives
and health have been destroyed or adversely affected by the development, testing and use
of nuclear weapons.
Peace movements around the world have struggled to rid the world of this danger. Under this pressure from informed and mobilised citizens, the nuclear weapons states have promised repeatedly that they will eventually eliminate nuclear weapons and even signed treaties to this effect.
Yet the nuclear weapon states have made no moves towards relinquishing their nuclear weapons. Instead they are continuing with deployment of nuclear weapons and their deterrence policies including an option of first-use of these weapons. They also continue to spend billions of dollars for research, testing, and development of new nuclear weapons. The threat from these programs diminished at the end of the cold war, but has again increased dramatically as a result of deterioration of the Russian command and control system, the expansion of NATO, war in the Balkans and nuclear proliferation in Asia. It may increase further as the millennium bug affects nuclear weapons systems into the 21st Century.
Confronted by the failure of international diplomacy to rid the world of nuclear weapons, citizens' organizations at the Non Proliferation Treaty Review and Extension Conference in 1995 released theAbolition 2000 statement calling on countries to implement their disarmament obligations under this treaty by commencing negotiations which would lead to the conclusion of a nuclear weapons abolition convention by the year 2000. Over 1400 organizations have so far endorsed this statement, and comprise the Abolition 2000 network.
This international movement has gained strength from the ruling by the International Court of Justice (ICJ) in 1996 that the threat or use of nuclear weapons is generally illegal and that there is an obligation to conclude negotiations on complete nuclear disarmament. The United Nations General Assembly and the European Parliament have both adopted resolutions calling for the implementation of the ICJ's decision through negotiations on anuclear weapons convention. 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 United Kingdom. A Model Nuclear Weapons Convention, demonstrating the feasibility of nuclear abolition, has now been circulated by the United Nations.
In May 1999, 8000 people joined together in the Hague to launch the Hague Appeal for Peace (HAP), a new agenda for peace and justice for the new century. Abolition 2000, which held its annual meeting at the 1999 HAP Conference, makes an urgent call for all people to act to reduce and eliminate the nuclear threat by:
The dawn of the new millennium should be the time to take bold steps toward achieving a nuclear weapons free world. We urge everyone to help us do this.
For more information contact
Abolition 2000, 1187 Coast Village Road, #121, Santa Barbara, CA 93108.
Tel: 805-965-3443. Fax: 805-568-0466. Website: www.abolition2000.org