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George Bush leads the US toward a policy of unilateral, pre-emptive counterproliferation warfighting strategy.

Abolish nuclear weapons

The Cold War may be over, but this does not mean nuclear weapons have disappeared. Far from it: There are over 30,000 nuclear weapons in the world, with more than a thousand of them ready to launch at a moment's notice, 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

Over 400 reactors in warships and nuclear submarines are still circlingthe globe. Some are rotting away on the bottom of the ocean or in adistant port somewhere in Russia. Accidents such as the Russiansubmarine, the Kursk, tragically sinking in the Barents Sea can happenevery day, anywhere.

Over 2,000 nuclear weapons tests have left a legacy of global andregional contamination. People living near the test sites have sufferedfrom cancers, stillbirths, miscarriages and other health effects -- and are still suffering today. Manyhad to leave their hometown or island as it became too contaminated tolive there.

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The nuclear threat has quite literally scaled down in the last twodecades. While the prospect of an all out exchange of arsenals betweenRussia and the US has receded, the 15 kilotons of destructionthat obliterated Hiroshima could today be accomplished with a lunch-boxsized bomb. George Bush talks openly of developing new "more useable"nuclear weapons. Even more alarmingly, the administration continues toseek approval for a programme geared toward designing more robust, more'usable' nuclear weapons.

The prospects of a nuclear weapon actuallybeing used are perhaps greater today than during the cold war.

Today, the number of countries involved in active weapons programsis increasing. A growing number of countries are lining up to join thenuclear club, increasing the chance that a nuclear catastrophe willhappen somewhere on the planet. 

George Bush's war on Weapons of Mass Descruction had its firstconcrete result when the number of countries in the world with declarednuclear weapons increased to 8 from 7, when North Korea announced thatit had built "enough nuclear weapons to deter a US attack."

Nuclear brinkmanship is inevitable in a climate of nuclearhypocrisy. Only when all countries pursue nuclear disarmament in goodfaith can we begin putting the nuclear genie back in the bottle bybanning the use and manufacture of the nuclear materials at the heart of the bomb.

The only thing that will stop the threat is the voice of the second superpower: world opinion.

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The police were present in force at the Earth

Image | 31 August, 2002 at 1:00

The police were present in force at the Earth Summit. Many commented that the segregation of the people from the politicians induced a sense of being 'locked out' of the decisions that will shape their future.

The Landless Peoples' Movement converges

Image | 31 August, 2002 at 1:00

The Landless Peoples' Movement converges on the Earth summit to demand land, food and jobs.

The difference is the spirit

Feature story | 31 August, 2002 at 0:00

Within the halls of Sandton, non-governmental organisations and press have been effectively excluded from all deliberations of the Earth Summit's now as they work late into the night. The mood is dark, as we watch commitment after commitment...

The youth delegation in Johannesburg.

Image | 30 August, 2002 at 1:00

The youth delegation in Johannesburg.

Youth delegation at the Earth Summit

Image | 30 August, 2002 at 1:00

The youth delegation at the Earth Summit, wearing 'Choose Positive Energy' t-shirts.

The youth delegation was present at the opening

Image | 30 August, 2002 at 1:00

The youth delegation was present at the opening of the Solar Chill project in Johannesburg at the Earth Summit.

Jonathan Margolis

Image | 30 August, 2002 at 1:00

Jonathan Margolis, from the United States delegation to the Earth Summit being questioned by a member of our youth delegation. The entire youth delegation sat in the front row - their t-shirts spelled out the message 'Renewable', one letter each...

Noah Scher

Image | 30 August, 2002 at 1:00

Noah Scher. I am here at the World Summit on Sustainable Development to push for a Plan of Action that includes concrete goals and binding commitments. I also hope to monitor the U.S. Delegation and get word of their ridiculous obstructionist...

Andrea Avolio

Image | 30 August, 2002 at 1:00

Andrea Avolio. I came to WSSD to raise the voice of the youth within the international community. Recognizing the unique role of youth as the future proprietors of the earth, I feel that it is essential that representatives of governments,...

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