[Photo: French nuclear test in Algeria]
Seven major peace organisations in France released a joint statement yesterday commemorating the 73rd anniversary of the first resolution of the United Nations General Assembly, Resolution 1 (1) adopted on January 24, 1946, and calling on the leaders of France and other nuclear armed States to ‘put an end to this absurd and suicidal nuclear arms race by finally committing to the path of general, progressive and controlled nuclear disarmament.’
Resolution 1 (1) established a commission of the UN Security Council to ensure the elimination from national armaments of atomic weapons and all other major weapons adaptable to mass destruction.
Unfortunately, the ensuing Cold War dashed the early hopes of the commission implementing the resolution, as nuclear weapons became entrenched in the policies of the USA, Russia and the three other permanent members of the Security Council – China, France and the UK.
However, the UN resolution remains valid as setting a core objective of the United Nations, and contributing to customary international law requiring the global abolition of nuclear weapons and other weapons of mass destruction.
“Nuclear weapon is the accepted end of humanity”
Theodore Monod, French scientist and humanist. Quoted in the joint statement of French organisations
The statement by the French organisations notes that: ‘In France, the absence of any objective debate on nuclear weapons suggests to public opinion that they would be an absolute guarantee of security,’ but that in reality the current nuclear arms race ‘… increases the risk of destruction of humanity caused intentionally (by nuclear war) or unintentionally (by human or technological error)… The threat of such destruction is now ranked among the highest for our planet.’
The statement was endorsed by French Physicians for the Prevention of Nuclear War (AMFPGN), French Association of Local Governments for Peace (AFCDRP), Research and Information Group on Peace and Security (GRIP), Initiatives for Nuclear Disarmament (IDN), Mouvement de la Paix, Pax Christi France and Pugwash France.
The statement coincided with the announcement by the Bulletin of Atomic Scientists that the Doomsday Clock remains set at 2 minutes to midnight due to the risks to humanity and civilisation from nuclear weapons and climate change.