Letter: Support nuclear disarmament

Published 9:52 am Tuesday, March 7, 2017

Across the world, there is a strong desire for a global nuclear weapons ban, and United Nations negotiations will begin this month to secure a treaty to ban nuclear weapons, following a vote at the UN General Assembly. Also at many conferences worldwide this subject is going to be examined, studied and acted upon.

Nuclear weapons are the only weapons of mass destruction not yet prohibited by an international treaty, even though they have the greatest destructive capacity of all weapons. Today there are approximately 15,000 nuclear weapons in the world, owned by the United States and Russia, the United Kingdom, France, China, India, Pakistan, Israel and possibly North Korea. Many of the nuclear weapons have hundreds of times more explosive power than the atomic bomb dropped on Hiroshima in 1945, which completely destroyed the city and killed around 140,000 people.

Not only do nuclear weapons kill indiscriminately, but the radioactive fallout from their detonation means that their effects know no geographical boundaries. Immediate survivors in the vicinity of any nuclear exchange face devastating long-term ill effects or death. Research by the International Red Cross estimates that a billion people around the world could face starvation as a result of nuclear war.

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As long as there are nuclear weapons in the world, there is always the danger they will be used, whether by accident or intention. As the only country in the world to have used nuclear weapons, do we not have an obligation to support and work for nuclear disarmament?

Polly Mann

Women Against Military Madness