Published in French on 31 December 2016
More than 15 000 atomic bombs are constantly threatening to annihilate humankind. It is generally thought that current tensions involving that nuclear powers are strongly increasing the probability that these weapons of crimes against humanity may be actually used.
Aware of this danger, the UN General Assembly decided on 23 December 2016 to convene a conference in the spring of 2017 to negotiate to ban nuclear weapons and to eliminate them without exception. 113 nations, including North Korea, voted for this unprecedented decision; 35 voted against, including France. The so-called “Home of Human Rights” thus continues to flout humanitarian law, international law, and her own constitution. She is contributing actively to keeping the world on the brink.
In 2017 France will have a new president and a new elected majority. But will they reverse this policy, knowing that according to an IFOP poll, 74% of French citizens want France to take part in the abolition of nuclear weapons? This is highly unlikely, judging by the silence of politicians and media and by the incredible reticence of the candidates for the presidency – and the right to push the atomic button.
Only a referendum could enable us to exit from this aberrant situation. More than 100 parliamentarians hold this view. 107 so far have signed a referendum bill to this end, but 185 signatures are needed to have it referred to the Constitutional Council before the end of the parliamentary session.
That is why ACDN (Action des Citoyens pour le Désarmement Nucléaire) is calling on all French citizens to urgently contact their MPs and senators to have them co-sign the referendum bill before 22 February. The bill proposes the organizing of a referendum 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?”
That is the main if not the only hope we have of making France cooperate in safeguarding humankind. France’s parliament and people have the power to make it a reality. Now or never.