Abolition 2000 – Global Network to Eliminate Nuclear Weapons

¡David Krieger Presente!

The Abolition 2000 Coordinating Committee mourns the passing of David Krieger on December 7, 2023. David was the co-founder and President of the Nuclear Age Peace Foundation (NAPF) in Santa Barbara, California from 1982 – 2020. He was a “Founding Father” of the Abolition 2000 Global Network to Eliminate Nuclear Weapons in 1995, and a co-drafter of our Founding Statement. Until 2002, NAPF housed Abolition 2000’s Secretariat. Among his many accomplishments, David chaired the Executive Committee of the International Network of Engineers and Scientists for Global Responsibility, the umbrella organization for the International Network of Engineers and Scientists Against Proliferation (INESAP). 

In 1999, INESAP, with the International Association of Lawyers Against Nuclear Weapons (IALANA), and the International Peace Bureau (IPB) published Security and Survival: The Case for a Nuclear Weapons Convention, documenting the Model Nuclear Weapons (NWC). The Model NWC, building on the Abolition 2000 Founding Statement, was drafted by experts in law, science, disarmament and negotiation. It was submitted to the United Nations in 1997 and circulated as an official UN document. The Model NWC and the book were updated and republished in 2007 as Securing Our Survival (SOS): The Case for a Nuclear Weapons Convention. The Model NWC was a taking off point for the initiative that led to negotiations of the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons.

In the early 2000’s David led and supported the Moving Beyond Missile Defense initiative of INESAP and NAPF, which did groundbreaking work on the dangers of newly emerging missile defense technologies. In 2001 he was the editor of A Maginot Line In The Sky: International Perspectives On Ballistic Missile Defense.  

In 2014, following a global public campaign spearheaded by David and his good friend Tony DeBrum, then-Foreign Minister of the Republic of the Marshall Islands (RMI), the tiny island nation brought lawsuits against the nine nuclear-armed countries in the International Court of Justice (ICJ). The RMI argued that the nuclear-armed states have failed to meet their disarmament obligations under the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty and customary international law. Unfortunately, the cases were dismissed on technical grounds, but the RMI’s courageous initiative engendered worldwide support. The RMI was brilliantly represented in the ICJ by a team of leading international lawyers from five countries. Eight Nobel Laureates, dozens of prominent persons, legal scholars, and more than one hundred organizations joined the “Nuclear Zero” consortium in support of the Marshall Islands. And well over five million individuals around the world signed the “Nuclear Zero” petition.

David was a visionary. In late 2016, he and NAPF hosted an extraordinary conference in Santa Barbara, The Fierce Urgency of Nuclear Zero: Changing the Discourse, with the participation of prominent thinkers including Noam Chomsky, Richard Falk, and Daniel Ellsberg. In the final symposium statement, issued on January 17, 2017, taking into account the changed political landscape in the U.S. following the election of Donald Trump which occurred two weeks after the symposium, David warned: “While climate change is the subject of increasing public awareness and concern, the same cannot be said about growing nuclear dangers arising from worsening international circumstances. It’s time again to sound the alarm and mobilize public opinion on a massive scale. Our lives may depend on it.” We will miss you David, but we will carry your legacy forward!

Read more about David Krieger here. Read Richard Falk’s tribute to David here