United Nations marks the first International Day for the Total Elimination of Nuclear Weapons on September 26
Friday, September 26 is the first International Day for the Total Elimination of Nuclear Weapons called by the United Nations.
There are an estimated 17,000 nuclear weapons in the world today. Although their number has been reduced from almost 70,000 during the Cold War, momentum for their total elimination has stalled.
Today, the remaining weapons continue to pose a threat through deliberate use, accident or human error.
There are growing concerns worldwide over the catastrophic humanitarian consequences of the use of even a single nuclear weapon, let alone a regional or global nuclear war.
In 2013, the International Committee of the Red Cross stated there is no effective international capacity to assist the victims of nuclear weapons. The ICRC supports the elimination of these weapons.
While there is no military defence against a nuclear weapon, countries that possess them persist in the belief that possessing them will deter a nuclear attack. Canada, through its membership in NATO, claims that the supreme guarantee of our safety is provided by nuclear weapons.
This belief works against substantive efforts to eliminate these weapons.
As a member of a nuclear alliance, Canada has an opportunity to provide leadership towards a world free of nuclear weapons. There are states within NATO, such as Norway, that have put substantive diplomatic effort towards the elimination of these weapons. Canada has not.
“Nuclear disarmament is one of the greatest legacies we can pass on to future generations.”
Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon
For more information, please see http://www.un.org/en/events/nuclearweaponelimination/
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