A Petition by the Nuclear Disarmament Board of International Peace Studies’ Students at Soka University, Japan
- We strongly condemn any decision to test nuclear weapons and demand the United Nations and its member states to STOP nuclear testing and discussions surrounding it, with immediate effect, and abide by the “Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty” (CTBT).
- We urge the students worldwide to come together against nuclear testing and support the ratification of the “Treaty on the prohibition of nuclear weapons” (TPNW) from their respective countries.
“What would you like the world leaders to do with the $73 billion that nuclear-armed states spent on their arsenal last year? Perhaps to eradicate poverty, provide employment opportunities, quality education, clean energy, and equal rights for all.
Shouldn’t the testing be to accelerate the development of the COVID-19 vaccine? To save lives? Or to recuperate from a collapsing world economy?
In our past, the tremendous damage from nuclear disasters has cost people their lives and has threatened to damage society for ages to come. The next nuclear war will not only cause death but threaten the ‘extinction of death itself.’
We cannot fathom the destructive consequences that will follow. Thus, it is critical that members of the United Nations, especially the Security Council, enforces the message of “NO nuclear testing.”
- Nuclear Disarmament Board of International Peace Studies’ Students at Soka University, Japan.
Question: Who Are We?
We are students of International Peace Studies at Soka University, Japan who have formed the “Nuclear Disarmament Board” to raise our voices against Nuclear Weapons. We are of the view that Nuclear Weapons are dangerous, destabilizing, indiscriminate, and potentially catastrophic.
Question: Why are we doing this?
We recognize that nuclear weapons anywhere are a threat to life everywhere. Today’s nuclear weapons are hundreds of times more powerful than those of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Right now there are 13,355 nuclear weapons in the hands of nine nations, about 2000 of these weapons are on high alert which means some of them can be launched within 15 minutes on command. Our future hangs on the precipice by the nuclear-armed states.
COVID 19 pandemic has submerged the world, and the global economy while the security situation is deteriorating. At this crucial time, any conversation of testing a nuclear weapon is completely unfounded and misplaced. Therefore, we stand against it.
Question: How can you contribute?
Like us, through this petition, you can make your voice (through signature) count. This petition is only as strong as each individual who is acknowledging this petition and their unwavering vision of a nuclear-weapon-free society. Additionally, we will continue our steps towards the ratification of TPNW and count on your support.
Question: What ramifications does “just talking about” Nuclear Testing have?
It signals the world that the countries intend to develop new warheads and potentially new weapons systems to deliver these warheads. In response, it will lead to other nations to expand their arsenals as well. Even if the alleged talks of testing are ambiguous or doubtful, they create a domino effect intensifying perception of a potential threat and a sense of insecurity in the world.
Question: What is the impact on the security situation in the world if a test happens?
- It is a catastrophic regression in all discussions towards nuclear nonproliferation. Currently, 37 countries have ratified (and 81 countries have signed) the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons (TPNW). With 50 countries’ ratification/accession, TPNW will come into force*.
- One country conducting a test will break the testing moratorium, which will increase the chances of other countries testing their respective weapons. Also, the moratorium and ‘The Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty (CTBT)’, has restricted the induction of new warhead types and bans all nuclear explosions for both civilian and military purposes, in all environments. Though the treaty has not come into force yet, still UN Security Council resolution 2310 explicitly states that “a nuclear-weapon test explosion or any other nuclear explosion would defeat the object and purpose of the CTBT”;
- There are countries that have not perfected the weapon but it will give them an open license to test unperfected weapons.
Question: What are the effects of Nuclear Testing?
It leads to ionizing radiation, which kills or sickens those exposed, contaminates the environment, and has long-term health consequences, including cancer and genetic damage. Their widespread use in atmospheric testing has caused grave long-term consequences. Physicians project that some 2.4 million people worldwide will eventually die from cancers due to atmospheric nuclear tests conducted between 1945 and 1980.
Radioactivity generated by nuclear exposure. Radiation can lead to cancers and it might hereditary disorder. people can be exposed when they eat meat and milk from animals grazing on contaminated vegetation. Further information can be found here.
Question: How valid are the arguments of nuclear ‘deterrence’? Has the presence of Nuclear Weapons really prevented the Third World War
Nuclear weapons have become a symbol of power under the guise of deterrence. There is no confirmed testimony that the presence of nuclear weapons has prevented future wars and improved the security situation. On the contrary, the world came dangerously close to annihilation at the time of the Cold War between the two nuclear-armed superpowers. Further, nuclear weapons failed to deter the 9/11 attack on the US and various other violent conflicts happening around the world.
The theory of nuclear deterrence requires that the threat of use of nuclear weapons be credible. For this reason, over one thousand nuclear weapons were deployed on high alert in 2017. We must question whether a first strike is enough to justify a retaliation while knowing that further attacks will destroy both sides, eventually spreading to the whole world. Mutually assured destruction is counterproductive to the protection of society.
Meanwhile, conflicts can escalate rapidly and unpredictably resulting in insecure actors feeling vulnerable and be inclined to pre-attack and strike first, resulting in a failure of deterrence. Deterrence theory ignores the fact that leaders may behave in ways that are irrational, vengeful, and even self-destructive. Similarly, it ignores the fact that insufficient or faulty information may be used to make a decision. We should ask the world leaders, is this the only way to maintain peace and order in the world? Can living under a constant threat allow a flourishing life?
Thus, having nuclear weapons ready for immediate use is an inherently defeatist idea. Nuclear weapons in these conditions are ticking time bombs from which we must remove the trigger.