Nobel peace laureates meeting in Barcelona for their 15th World Summit on 13-15 November 2015, adopted the Barcelona Declaration in which they condemned terrorism and war, supported refugees from conflict regions, proposed a 10% reduction in military budgets to pay for the SDGs, supported global action to address climate change, and called for the global abolition of nuclear weapons.
On January 24, 1946, the United Nations General Assembly adopted by consensus its very first resolution, Resolution 1 (I): which 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.’
UNFOLD ZERO highlights the upcoming 70th anniversary of UNGA Res 1 (1) as a time to take action to implement the resolution.
by John Burroughs and Peter Weiss*
Reprinted from Arms Control Today
(Click here for the article on Arms Control Today)
Beatrice Fihn’s recent article (“A New Humanitarian Era: Prohibiting the Unacceptable,” July/August 2015) highlights the commitment by the signers of the “Humanitarian Pledge” to “pursue effective measures to fill the legal gap for the prohibition and elimination of nuclear weapons.” Put forward by Austria in December 2014, the pledge is now supported by well more than 100 countries. Fihn also states, rightly, that nuclear weapons “fundamentally violate the principles of humanitarian law.”
If the use of nuclear weapons already is unlawful, how should the concept of a “legal gap” be understood? The deficiency should be seen as a compliance gap, the failure to eliminate nuclear weapons in accordance with Article VI of the nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty (NPT). That article requires the pursuit of negotiations in good faith of “effective measures…relating to nuclear disarmament.”