Nuclear weapons are not here to stay. Through coordinated and sustained effort on the part of governments, NGOs and broader civil society at the international, regional and local level, we will achieve a world free of nuclear weapons.
500 Greenpeace volunteers create a human peace sign in the Esplanade Tracodéro in Paris to commemorate the bombing of the Rainbow Warrior.
More and more people are waking up to the fact that nuclear weapons do not discriminate between civilians and military personnel; they cause environmental devastation and genetic damage that affects future generations. For these and other reasons the threat or use of nuclear weapons was declared illegal by the International Court of Justice in 1996. The World Court also found that there was a solemn obligation to start - and bring to a conclusion - negotiations that would result in nuclear disarmament.
International cooperation to stop the spread of weapons of mass destruction has a proven track record. The use of both chemical and biological weapons has been outlawed and the Chemical Weapons Convention (1992) and the Biological Weapons Convention (1975) oversee their elimination. Countries like Argentina, Brazil, Germany, Japan, South Africa and South Korea have forsaken their nuclear ambitions. And Belarus, Kazakhstan and Ukraine inherited nuclear weapons after the break-up of the Soviet Union, but rejected them, choosing instead a new identity as independent non-nuclear weapon states.
Greenpeace is working for a world free of nuclear weapons, with each region of the world a nuclear free zone. Region by region these zones will rid entire parts of the world of nuclear weapons and shrink the geographical space in which they can play a role. These zones of safety and security also build cooperation and trust amongst peoples and nations. More than 50% of the world is already in nuclear weapons free zones; we need to support those we have and build more.
We are also working to support and build upon international disarmament frameworks such as the NPT. Almost all countries in the world are members of this Treaty and it remains the only legally binding commitment we have from the five declared nuclear weapons states to disarm.