Nuclear war is an increasing threat in our already beleaguered, fragile world. There is a new Volkswagen ad featuring an electric van and the words, “Drive like there’s a tomorrow.” That really gave me the shivers. They probably meant something about electric vehicles becoming increasingly necessary, but for a split second, I thought they meant that maybe there won’t be a “tomorrow.”
What nuclear activists who have been working to free the world from nuclear weapons for many years really need is more people in the movement. When youthful activists take up the cause and develop the passion to solve this threat once and for all, it will be a magnet to attract more people of all ages. Don’t we all have a moral responsibility to rid the world of nuclear weapons? People the world over are becoming more and more aware of the lethal endgame of these weapons.
However, what we’ve got, according to The Guardian Weekly, is a U.S. State Department tasked with negotiating and implementing nuclear disarmament treaties that has lost more than 70% of its staff over the past two years, as the Trump administration moves toward a world without arms control for the first time in nearly half a century. The Office of Strategic Stability and Deterrence Affairs, “normally a repository of expertise and institutional knowledge that does the heavy lifting of arms control, has been whittled down from 14 staffers at the start of the Trump administration to four.”
On the other hand, we also have a very comprehensive nuclear ban treaty. The International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons (ICAN) is a coalition of nongovernmental organizations in 100 countries promoting adherence to and implementation of the United Nations nuclear weapons ban treaty. This landmark global agreement was adopted in New York on July 7, 2017. Once it is ratified by 50 countries, it becomes international law. Currently, 22 countries have ratified the treaty. Unfortunately, no nuclear weapon countries have signed on. Yet. That’s our job! And we need everyone on board.
The Rocky Mountain Peace and Justice Center’s “Peace Train” runs every Friday in the Colorado Daily.