(In June 2009 the Board of Directors of the Nuclear Age Peace Foundation adopted the following five-point Action Plan to guide the Foundation’s work through the end of 2010. We provide it here to share the focus of the Foundation’s work with our members and supporters. Thank you for caring and for your support of the Foundation’s continuing efforts to abolish nuclear weapons, strengthen international law, and empower new peace leaders. – David Krieger, President, NAPF)
The Nuclear Age Peace Foundation seeks a world free of nuclear weapons. We believe that nuclear arms reductions and the stabilization of nuclear dangers are not ends in themselves, but must be viewed in the context of achieving the total elimination of nuclear weapons. This is required by the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty and the International Court of Justice. It is a matter that affects the future well-being, even survival, of the human race. In this light, the Foundation is pursuing a five-point program with tangible goals that it seeks to accomplish over the next 12 to 18 months. These goals will guide our efforts in providing leadership toward achieving a world without nuclear weapons. They are consistent with President Obama’s pledge regarding “America’s commitment to seek the peace and security of a world without nuclear weapons.”
1. Support a meaningful replacement treaty for the Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty between the United States and Russia, which expires in December 2009.
The only treaty that provides for verification procedures for nuclear disarmament measures between the US and Russia is the 1991 Strategic Arms Reductions Treaty. This treaty expires in December 2009. Under President Obama’s leadership, the US and Russia have embarked upon negotiations for a replacement treaty. The Foundation will press for a replacement treaty that has deep and verifiable reductions in the number of nuclear weapons on each side, one that reduces the high-alert status of the weapons on each side, and one that includes a legally binding commitment to No First Use of nuclear weapons. To this end, we will seek to form a coalition of like-minded organizations to put forward recommendations for a new treaty, to educate the public on the importance of such a treaty, and to lobby the Senate for the treaty’s ratification.
2. Secure a No First Use commitment from the United States.
President Obama has called for reducing reliance on nuclear weapons, but he has not referred to the possibility of making a legally binding commitment to No First Use of nuclear weapons. We believe that such a commitment would be an essential step in downplaying the role of nuclear weapons in military strategy. We will educate the public and lobby the Obama administration to make a legally binding commitment to No First Use of nuclear weapons and to seek such commitments from other nuclear weapons states.
3. Achieve US ratification of the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty (CTBT).
The US has signed but not ratified the CTBT. President Obama has said, “To achieve a global ban on nuclear testing, my administration will immediately and aggressively pursue US ratification of the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty.” The Foundation will work with other national organizations to achieve Senate ratification of the treaty.
4. Promote a broad agenda for President Obama’s proposed Global Summit on Nuclear Security.
President Obama has pledged to hold a Global Summit on Nuclear Security within the next year. He has called for this Global Summit in the context of preventing nuclear terrorism. We will seek to broaden the agenda of this Summit to include a full range of nuclear security issues beyond only the issue of nuclear terrorism. This would include consideration of the security risks of the current nuclear arsenals and the need to open negotiations on a treaty banning all nuclear weapons. The Foundation will engage in public education, including interviews and op-eds, and networking with other organizations to lobby the Obama administration.
5. Strengthen the Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) by assuring a successful NPT Review Conference in 2010.
The NPT is at the heart of efforts to prevent the proliferation of nuclear weapons. The treaty also requires the nuclear weapons states to engage in good faith negotiations to achieve nuclear disarmament in all its aspects. We believe that the key to achieving the goals of the NPT rests upon the commitment of the nuclear weapons states to take meaningful actions to achieve their Article VI nuclear disarmament obligations. Following the 2009 Preparatory Committee meeting for the 2010 NPT Review Conference, the five nuclear weapons states parties to the treaty, (US, Russia, UK, France and China), also known as the P5, issued a joint statement in which they said, “Our Delegations reiterate our enduring and unequivocal commitment to work towards nuclear disarmament, an obligation shared by all NPT states parties.” These P5 states expressed their commitment to a new US-Russian agreement to replace the Strategic Arms Reductions Treaty and to the entry into force of the CTBT, as well as negotiations for a Fissile Material Cutoff Treaty. We believe that their case for strengthening the NPT will be far more persuasive if they also join in assuring a broad agenda for a Global Summit on Nuclear Security and join in making legally binding commitments to No First Use of nuclear weapons. Thus, the prospects for a successful NPT Review Conference in 2010 will be considerably enhanced if the first four points of the Foundation’s action plan are successful.
David Krieger is President of the Nuclear Age Peace Foundation (www.wagingpeace.org) and a councilor on the World Future Council.