Published in French on 28 September 2016
In Geneva on 19 August 2016 the “Open-Ended Working Group” created by the UN “for advancing multilateral negotiations on nuclear disarmament” recommended to the UN General Assembly that it convene in 2017 “a conference open to all states with the participation and contribution of international organizations and civil society, to negotiate a legally binding judicial instrument to ban nuclear weapons and result in their total elimination.” Never since 1945 has there been such a thing.
Encouraged by NGOs, this position can be explained by the exasperation of the non-nuclear states, long confronted by the blocking and bad faith of the five nuclear-armed states (USA, UK, China, France, Russia) who have signed the Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) but have for decades flouted its Article VI which obliges them to eliminate all their nuclear weapons.
Resistance by the P5
These five Principal Gangsters (there are four others, not inside the NPT: Israel, India, Pakistan, North Korea) have a paradoxical habit of invoking the NPT so as to flout it all the more. They say that thanks to its “three pillars” (non-proliferation, access to “peaceful” nuclear technology, and disarmament) the treaty is enough to resolve all problems… and that there’s no point in conceiving another one. They boycotted the Geneva Working Group, where their deputies (the states under the US “nuclear umbrella”) defended a policy of "step by step", which meant in reality “status quo no movement”.
When the General Assembly opened in New York in mid-September, they met to say that everyone ought to trust them and hold to the NPT and wait patiently till the next NPT Review Conference in 2020. France, generous as ever, offered to host once again a meeting of the P5 in 2017. Its object being mainly to finalize a glossary of terms!
In fact, the Big Five are playing for time but experiencing one big fear: if a nuclear ban treaty were to emerge, even without them, they would be seen as what they are - criminals taking humanity hostage. The Republic of Austria, in favour of a ban treaty, is not wasting time: it is tabling a resolution to call the conference desired by the Geneva Working Group.
The French people need to have a say
France’s citizens can have their say through a “shared-initiative” referendum. Since 2008 it has been possible to get a referendum if 20% of parliament (185 MPs or senators out of 925) sign a bill supported later by 10% of registered voters. In March 2016 twelve MPs circulated a referendum bill on this question:
« Do you want France to negotiate and ratify with all the States concerned a treaty to ban and completely eliminate nuclear weapons, under mutual and international control that is strict and effective? »
In June it had 38 signatures; in July 75. More have signed since parliament reconvened. And according to an IFOP poll (for ACDN October 2015) three out of four voters (27 % certainly, 47 % probably) are ready to support a referendum bill on that precise question. The same proportion (74%) would answer the question with a Yes. All we have to do is join our efforts together!
Stop the Nuclear Crime !
A World without nuclear weapons is both essential and possible, says Pope Francis. Admittedly the obstacles are large. But to ban nuclear weapons by a totally new treaty will be banning the worst of crimes, while escaping from the nuclear propaganda of the NPT and IAEA which, under the cover of limiting proliferation, support the proliferation of nuclear power-plants without eliminating the weapons! Thus a new treaty will open the way to a general denuclearization of the planet, both military and non-military. It will at last place the nuclear question as a major issue in the next French elections and affirm the right of the people to reject these weapons, to close these plants, in short to refuse to be the victims of crimes against humanity… and accomplices in their preparation.
To support the referendum campaign, please write to:
31 Rue du Cormier 17100 Saintes