On the 75th anniversary of the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, a new campaign is being launched to make Europe a Nuclear Weapons Free Zone. The campaign is being initiated by 8 campaigning organisations: the Bertrand Russell Peace Foundation; Church and Peace; the International Network of Engineers and Scientists for Global Responsibility (INES); the International Peace Bureau (IPB); the International Trade Union Confederation (ITUC); the European section of the International Physicians for the Prevention of Nuclear War (IPPNW); Pax Christi International; and Quakers Europe. They have come together to express their concern about the global situation which they say is more dangerous than it has ever been.
A supporting statement issued with the appeal points out that “arms control treaties are no longer upheld, and governments have started updating and expanding nuclear arsenals” Alongside this new technologies are minimising human intervention and shortening possible response times, and they say that this “shorten[s] the time available to consider possible responses” and therefore “the probabilities of a catastrophic accident or mistake are increasing dramatically”.
The statement goes on to say that “the world is at a crossroads and Europe has to make a strategic choice: remain part of the arms race or demonstrate global leadership by promoting a peaceful approach towards common global security.”
The campaign also points out that people have been calling for Europe to be nuclear-weapon-free, and for the removal of the US nuclear weapons held in their countries, for many years. More recently they have also lobbied their governments to ratify the Treaty for the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons (TPNW).
“As the risks of nuclear confrontation grow in Europe and spread to the Middle East, China and the Korean peninsula and as we emerge from the pandemic, we have a chance to rebuild. Today we join our voices with those of the survivors of Hiroshima and Nagasaki and call upon our fellow citizens, politicians and governments to support a European nuclear- weapon-free zone as a matter of urgency.” Lucas Wirl in the name of the initiating organization.
The citizens’ appeal calls on all European governments to:
- end the modernization of all nuclear weapons.
- end nuclear sharing.
- sign and ratify the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons (TPNW).
More details, possibility to sign and support for the appeal are at www.nukefreeeurope.eu