Article of Socorro Gomes: Strengthen the peoples' struggle against nuclear weapons

Sunday, March 4, 2018

Ignoring decades of the peoples’ struggle against weapons of mass destruction, the imperialist powers gathered in the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) and their major leader, the USA, do not even flinch before putting nuclear weapons in the center of their policy. There are currently almost 15,000 nuclear warheads spread around the world and the modest reduction of this arsenal does not mean less danger; our mobilization remains urgent.

Recently, on the eve of another UN Conference on Disarmament, US President Donald Trump felt it right to declare the US “nuclear posture review” to threaten the world with the use of these weapons, sowing terror and inciting an escalation of global tensions, towards a generalized war. The US has been promoting the “modernization” of its arsenal to make it easier to employ it – still with hugely destructive effects, especially given the banalization of this threat.

The World Peace Council, since its foundation, and several other popular movements and organizations have repudiated nuclear weapons. The US inaugurated the catastrophic implementation of this threat with the bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, in 1945, killing over 200,000 people in Japan – a heinous crime against humanity for which those responsible remain unaccountable.

Since then, the political forces honestly committed to peace have pledged resolute opposition to the policy of widespread menace based on the development, “modernization” and facilitated use of weapons of mass destruction, such as the nuclear weapons. Although these measures are promoted especially by the US, it is countries such as Iran, the People’s Korea and Russia that are the targets of sanctions and world condemnation for, seeing themselves under threat on a daily basis, reacting.

In 1950, the WPC launched the Stockholm Appeal, which was endorsed by hundreds of millions of people around the world. In 1979, the UN decided to hold annual Conferences on Disarmament, “as the single multilateral disarmament negotiating forum of the international community.” In 2017, we have commemorated the adoption – although by a limited group of countries that does not include the nuclear powers – of the treaty on the prohibition of these weapons. But this struggle is far from victorious.

Considering that the almost 15,000 existing nuclear warheads in the world are also based on NATO member countries in Europe and on the border with Asia (in Turkey), that dozens of them are owned by and aggressor state such as Israel and that the missiles carrying them are in ongoing development, with an ever longer range, it is not an exaggeration to say that the peoples all over the word are targets for destruction and annihilation.

Given the growing tension in various regions of the planet and of the aggressiveness of US imperialism, the scenario of generalized armed conflict is not exaggerated either.

Therefore, the peace-loving peoples strengthen their mobilization and reiterate their firmest repudiation of an international system of threats, aggression, oppression and war.

A system such as this, dominated by an imperialist power that states its ability to use its arsenal of nuclear weapons even against countries that do not own such weapons, reveals the great danger that the militarist escalation promoted by the USA, pushing to world towards a situation of generalized catastrophe.

It is up to us to intensify the struggle for the elimination of nuclear weapons and other weapons of mass destruction. To make the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons effective is a commitment of utmost importance, to guarantee this goal.

The appeal launched by the founding President of the World Peace Council in 1950, Frederic Juliot Curie, is of an imperative contemporaneity:

We demand the absolute banning of the atomic bomb, weapon of terror and mass extermination of populations. We demand the establishment of strict international control to ensure the implementation of this ban. We consider that the first Government to use the atomic weapon against any country whatsoever would be committing a crime against humanity and should be dealt with as a war criminal. We call on all men of goodwill throughout the world to sign this Appeal.

There is no other way if not to increase the efforts for unity and struggle for the elimination of nuclear weapons to build a lasting peace.

Socorro Gomes

President of the World Peace Council