Nuclear Darkness
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A Treaty to Eliminate Nuclear Weapons

From ICAN (the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons, see ican Nuclear Weapons Convention )

The case for a Nuclear Weapons Convention
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A Nuclear Weapons Convention (NWC) is a proposed treaty to ban nuclear weapons and ensure their elimination. Countries are legally required to negotiate such a treaty, and experts have already produced a draft text. They argue that an NWC is more likely to succeed than a series of fragmented and inconsistent approaches to nuclear disarmament.

The draft treaty is modeled on similar conventions outlawing chemical weapons, biological weapons and anti-personnel landmines. It would complement rather than undermine existing nuclear weapons treaties, such as the Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) and the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty (CTBT). It is feasible, necessary and long overdue.

What would it do?

The NWC would prohibit the development, testing, production, stockpiling, transfer, use and threat of use of nuclear weapons, as well as the production of fissile material suitable for making them (either highly enriched uranium or separated plutonium). It would require all nuclear-armed countries to destroy their nuclear weapons in stages (see below), the last stage being to place all fissile material under international control to prevent nuclear weapons ever being made again.

How would it be verified?

The NWC would establish an agency to ensure that countries comply with the terms of the treaty. This body would receive progress reports from nuclear-armed states, conduct inspections of weapons facilities, acquire data via satellite photography and remote sensors, and monitor the production and transfer of materials suitable for making nuclear weapons.

How would it happen?

  1. Remove nuclear weapons from high-alert, quick launch status
  2. Remove nuclear weapons from deployment
  3. Remove the warheads from their delivery vehicles
  4. Disable the warheads by removing the explosive “pits”
  5. Place the fissile material under international control through a mechanism agreed by the States Parties to the treaty.
Download

Securing Our Survival (SOS): The Case for a Nuclear Weapons Convention from the ICAN website. (the principle authors of the book are Mervn Datan, Felicity Hill, Jurgen Scheffran and Alyn Ware). 

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Important steps towards the adoption of a NWC
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  1. Letter submitted to the 2007 NPT Prep Com by Costa Rica and Malaysia on the rationale for submitting the Model Nuclear Weapons Convention to the NPT, with the Model Nuclear Weapons Convention attached - NPT/CONF.2010/PC.I/WP.17
  2. Intervention by Costa Rica to the 2007 NPT Prep Com on promotion of a NWC and the use of the Model NWC.
  3. Letter submitted to the United Nations Secretary General by Costa Rica and Malaysia on the rationale for submitting the Model Nuclear Weapons Convention to the United Nations General Assembly - with the Model Nuclear Weapons Convention attached - UN Doc A/62/650
  4. UN General Assembly Resolution GA/63/49 on Follow-up to the advisory opinion of the International Court of Justice on the Legality of the Threat or Use of Nuclear Weapons, introduced by Malaysia and which calls for implementation of the disarmament obligation affirmed unanimously by the ICJ through multilateral negotiations leading to the conclusion of a Nuclear Weapons Convention;
  5. Introduction by Malaysia of UN Resolution GA 62/39 on Follow-up to the advisory opinion of the International Court of Justice on the Legality of the Threat or Use of Nuclear Weapons, explaining the relationship of the NWC approach to non-proliferation measures, and also the link between unilateral, bilateral and multilateral approaches to disarmament;
  6. Working paper to the NPT on Follow-up to the Advisory Opinion of the International Court of Justice on the Legality of the Threat or Use of Nuclear Weapons: Legal, technical and political elements required for the establishment and maintenance of a nuclear weapon-free world. NPT/CONF.2005/WP.41
  7. UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon's landmark speech entitled Contagious doctrine of deterrence has made non-proliferation more difficult, in which he called on governments to fulfil their nuclear disarmament obligations through negotiating a package of instruments or a comprehensive nuclear weapons convention.
  8. Parliamentary declaration in support of the Nuclear Weapons Convention.
  9. Abolition 2000 statement - endorsed by over 2000 organisations - calling for a Nuclear Weapons Convention
  10. Statement by John Loretz of the IPPNW at the UN, Oct 2008, summarizing the state of the NPT, the actions of the Nuclear Weapons States, and the need for a Nuclear Weapons Convention, to the First Committee (NGO Statement)