Abolition 2000 – Global Network to Eliminate Nuclear Weapons

Photo: Members of Abolition 2000, Austria Red Cross and Youth Fusion engage with the #3DNukeMissile in Vienna.

Most citizens rarely contemplate a nuclear weapon — or, if they do, it is perceived as an abstract threat which they can’t see or influence. This week, that changed for passers-by in the Vienna Central Square and diplomats at the UN Vienna International Centre (VIC) when they were confronted with an eerily realistic 3D artistic rendering of a nuclear missile.

The #3D interactive art installation depicting a nuclear missile about to be launched was displayed in commemoration of the nuclear bombings of Hiroshima (August 6) and Nagasaki (August 9) and as a reminder of the increased threat of nuclear war.

“Hiroshima and Nagasaki Days occur this year amid heightened conflicts involving nuclear armed states in Europe, North East Asia, South Asia and the Middle East,” said Alyn Ware, Peace and Disarmament Program Director for the World Future Council which created the #3DNukeMissile.

“A nuclear war could occur from escalation of one of these conflicts, miscalculation, accident or even intent,” said Mr Ware. “We in civil society have to call on the nuclear armed states to stand-down the nuclear forces by relinquishing first-use policies, affirming international law prohibiting the threat or use of nuclear weapons, commencing negotiations on comprehensive nuclear weapons abolition and committing to achieve the global elimination of nuclear weapons within a set timeframe.”

The #3DNukeMissile was displayed in Vienna as governments met at the United Nations (VIC) to discuss nuclear risk-reduction, nonproliferation and disarmament proposals in a two-week-long Preparatory Committee Meeting for the Nonproliferation Treaty Review Conference (NPT Prep Com).

The interactive art display provides a symbolic opportunity for members of the public to ‘prevent’ a nuclear missile launch by holding or standing on the chains which are wrapped over the missile.

“The humanitarian and environmental impacts of our shared nuclear history, as well as potential threats, are a threat to our common security and the future of our youths,” said Michaela Higgins Sørensen, a team leader of the Youth Fusion global network which has brought youth perspectives and proposals into the NPT Review process and which co-organised the #3DNukeMissile display. “Now is the time to act and work across the board to ensure we take a human security approach in working towards a more sustainable and peaceful world for our future generations.”

The States Parties to the NPT recognized in 2010 that there would be “catastrophic humanitarian consequences of any use of nuclear weapons” and reaffirmed “the need for all states at all times to comply with applicable international law, including international humanitarian law.” In addition, the legal obligation to negotiate for – and achieve – the complete elimination of nuclear weapons has been affirmed by the International Court of Justice (in 1996) and the UN Human Rights Committee (in 2018). To-date, the States Parties to the NPT have failed to implement this obligation.

The Abolition 2000 Global Network to Eliminate Nuclear Weapons, another co-organiser of the #3DNukeMissile display on Hiroshima and Nagasaki Days, submitted a working paper entitled Abolition NWC Reset: Frameworks for a Nuclear-Weapon-Free World to the NPT Prep Com on August 2 outlining a choice of three possible frameworks which the nuclear armed and allied states could employ to implement these obligations and abolish nuclear weapons under strict and effective international verification and control.

“The nuclear armed and allied states could negotiate either: 1) A nuclear weapons convention or package of agreements which provide a comprehensive framework for the elimination of nuclear weapons along with the necessary verification and compliance measures,” said Ms Jackie Cabasso, Executive Director of Western States Legal Foundation and Coordinating Committee Member of Abolition 2000, “or 2) A framework agreement which includes the legal commitment to achieve a nuclear-weapon-free world, identifies the measures and pathways required in general terms, and provides a process for agreeing on details over time; or 3) Protocols to the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons (TPNW) or related instruments which nuclear armed and allied states would sign as part of a process for them to join the TPNW and build the nuclear destruction, elimination, verification and compliance process through the TPNW, particularly its Article 4.”

“The nuclear-armed and nuclear sharing states should immediately affirm that the threat or use of nuclear weapons is not only inadmissible but also illegal under international humanitarian law and human rights law,’ said Mr Bill Kidd MSP, Co-President of Parliamentarians for Nuclear Nonproliferation and Disarmament (PNND), “And they should commit to adopting a framework, package of agreements or comprehensive nuclear weapons convention by 2030, and to achieving its full implementation no later than 2045, the 75th anniversary of the NPT, 100th anniversary of the founding of the United Nations and the 100th anniversary of the use of nuclear weapons against Hiroshima and Nagasaki.”

 Click here for photos of the #3DNukeMissile in Vienna.