Delegations from all over the world are gathering on 24 and 25 March at the Nuclear Security Summit (NSS) in The Hague to talk about nuclear security. They will hold discussions on how to prevent nuclear terrorism and how to secure nuclear materials. However, what they won’t do is talk about nuclear weapons. Dutch peace organisation PAX thinks this is inconceivable. ‘If we are talking about terrorism, if we are talking about (in)security, we cannot leave out nuclear weapons.
PAX recently published the report ‘The Rotterdam blast’, in which PAX outlines a realistic scenario on what would happen if a nuclear bomb would explode it in Europe’s largest logistic and industrial hub: the port of Rotterdam. The Rotterdam scenario is a good example of nuclear insecurity and fits into the NSS agenda. In a promotion video for the NSS Rotterdam is mentioned as a transit point for smuggling of nuclear materials, but no one talks about the risks associated with nuclear weapons.
PAX thinks the absence of nuclear weapons on the NSS agenda is a missed opportunity. Susi Snyder from PAX: ‘We will participate in several events during the NSS to put this topic on the agenda. For example, on 23 March I will speak at the Border Sessions in The Hague. I am going to talk about the dangers and consequences of nuclear weapons and the urgent need to outlaw nuclear weapons.
Another speaker at the Border Sessions is research journalist Eric Schlosser, author of the book ‘Command and Control’. Schlosser researched a ground-breaking account of accidents, near-misses and near-accidents with nuclear weapons. ‘All the more reason to talk about nuclear weapons during the NSS’, according to Snyder.
Snyder continues: ‘People often think that no rational person would ever use a nuclear weapon. However, recent history shows that political developments are unpredictable and many governments are unstable. In addition, there are real terrorist threats. If there are no nuclear weapons, they can not be used. That is why PAX is calling for a nuclear weapons free world.‘