February, 2003: Greenpeace 'weapons inspector' outside the U.S. embassy in Spain.
UN Weapons Inspectors and citizen weapons inspectors are welcome
to use our map to check up on just where those elusive Weapons of
Mass Destruction have been hiding.
All information about these locations has been drawn from public
sources, so we didn't have to worry about invading any countries,
incurring civilian casualties, paying costly bounties for inside
information or mess around with torture or illegal detention.
And here's the best part: if the US and the UK want to dismantle
some WMDs, they don't need to go on costly excursions to foreign
countries. We found plenty in their own backyards.
For the next two weeks, the parties to the Nuclear
Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) will be meeting in Geneva. Under the
terms of that 1970 accord, the world's non-nuclear weapons states
agreed to stay that way. In exchange, the countries that fessed up
to owning nuclear weapons at the time agreed to get rid of
We hope the delegates to the NPT will have a quick look at the
map to easily identify the "bad guys" who haven't been disarming as
they promised. (Clue: there are a lot of little
radiation symbols in France, the US, China, Russia, and the
After a careful review of available data, you too can confirm
the blindingly obvious: none of the NPT's Nuclear Five have done
very well in scaling back their nuclear arsenals. They've failed
utterly to eliminate them. If the nuclear powers are seriously
concerned about the WMDs of India, Pakistan, Israel, and Korea,
they ought to look to the example they set.
Now call us old fashioned, but we believe that a key lesson of
the Iraq crisis is that international laws and treaties to prevent
proliferation must be strengthened, not weakened. All of us who
marched against the Iraq war want to see the North Korean crisis
and future proliferation problems solved by negotiation, not
pre-emptive military strikes. "In the long run, the most effective
means to halt proliferation is the rule of law applied universally
and even-handedly to all states, not unilateral gunboat diplomacy,"
says William Peden, of Greenpeace International's disarmament
The NPT declares disarmament the international norm - 182 of its
187 members have pledged never to acquire nuclear weapons. But some
of those states, such as Brazil, are becoming increasingly
aggravated with the failure of the Nuclear Five to live up to their
part of the bargain. North Korea recently left the treaty regime
and has declared itself to be a nuclear power.
activists dressed as missiles appeared at the missions of the
nuclear weapons states in Geneva as the meeting began to demand
"inspectors" symbolically dismantle the cardboard arsenals.
Greenpeace also issued a
deck of cards with the pictures of the known nuclear "bad guys"
to provide guidance to the NPT delegates about who needed to
Here's what we want to see out of this round of the NPT:
- North Korea should abandon the pursuit of nuclear weapons and
rejoin the NPT.
- States should reject the use of military force to resolve
proliferation concerns, and uphold the value of multilateral legal
- States should reject the "first strike" use of nuclear weapons,
and agree legally binding security assurances.
- All nuclear weapon states should commit to the goal of
eliminating their illegal nuclear arsenals and halting the
development of new nuclear weapons or the "refurbishment" of
- States should agree an emergency mechanism to deal more swiftly
and effectively with future crises such as North Korea's withdrawal
from the NPT.
- The promotion of "dual use" nuclear technology, particularly
reprocessing and enrichment technologies, which is permitted under
the NPT, should be stopped and a comprehensive ban on the
production and use of all fissile material agreed.
If there are nuclear weapons of mass destruction in Iraq, we hope
the right people find them. But we're not exactly sure who the
right people would be, given their mission ought to be something
the US and UK are not very good at: dismantling them.
For more information about the NPT prepatory meeting, you can read a detailed briefing here.