Global Zero, launched in December 2008, is an international movement working for the phased, verified elimination of all nuclear weapons worldwide.
According to their website, “Global Zero members believe that the only way to eliminate the nuclear threat—including proliferation and nuclear terrorism—is to stop the spread of nuclear weapons, secure all nuclear materials and eliminate all nuclear weapons: global zero.”
Perhaps you already know about Global Zero. I didn’t until I read the June 16 issue of The Economist. When I learned about what the movement is trying to do, I soon signed on. I encourage others to do the same.
Global Zero’s London “summit” ended yesterday. Yesterday was also the first screenings (in the U.K.) of the new Global Zero film, “Countdown to Zero,” produced by the same Academy Award winning people who did “An Inconvenient Truth.”
At the “2010 Paris Summit,” keynote speaker Secretary George Shultz declared that the growing political support for our shared goal means that we are “entitled to hope and believe that this is an idea whose time has come.”
According to Plowshares Fund (based on the most reliable reports available and updated last month), there are now up to 6,900 operational nuclear weapons in the world today. And note this: 6,650 (96%) of those are possessed by Russia and the United States. (It is not known how many such weapons Israel, Pakistan, India, and North Korea have.)
There are currently five nations who have nuclear weapons and who have agreed to the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT). In order of their acquisition of nuclear weapons, these are the United States, Russia, the United Kingdom, France, and China.
There are four other countries who have, or probably have, nuclear weapons but have not signed the NPT: India, Israel, Pakistan, and North Korea.
The two main nations suspected of being actively engaged in developing nuclear weapons are Iran and Syria. That is scary. But I don’t know if it is any scarier than Israel, Pakistan, and North Korea having nuclear weapons. And, it must be remembered, the U.S. is the only country that has ever used nuclear weapons on a human population.
Last year there was a move to reduce the number of U.S. and Russian nuclear weapons with the signing of the new START (Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty) agreement. It was signed in April 2010 and went into effect in February of this year.
That was a significant step in the right direction. Global Zero wants to continue that movement, in four phases, until there is complete elimination of nuclear weapons by 2030.
If I should die at the same age my father did, that would be in 2030. For the sake of my grandchildren (and all the children of the world), I hope and pray that I will live to see the world eradicated of nuclear weapons by then (although I might not be ready to die quite yet!).
There is still very much that must be done in order for the goal to be reached, but Global Zero is working hard to that end. I hope you will join me in saying, Three cheers for Global Zero!