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Civil Society Wants Deeds, Not Words, on Nuclear Disarmament: The G7 Should Listen

The Civil 7 (C7) is a non-governmental organization that brings together thousands of highly-skilled individuals from around the world who work to improve government responses to global environmental, economic, and social problems. The C7 held its annual summit in Tokyo last week to discuss its current recommendations and to present them to emissaries of the Group of 7 (G7) nations—Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the United Kingdom, and the United States, which will be holding their annual summit in Hiroshima next month.  

For the first time in the history of the C7, it also presented recommendations on nuclear disarmament. I participated in the newly formed C7 Nuclear Disarmament Working Group and spoke about the need for it at the summit in Tokyo. The G7 decision to meet in Hiroshima this year acknowledges growing international concern about the growing risk of nuclear war and the costs of the new nuclear arms race. When US President Barack Obama visited Hiroshima in 2016, he considered, but then decided against, announcing specific steps to reduce the risk of nuclear use. The G7 has given no indication it is willing to halt the arms race that’s developed in the wake of Obama’s failure to act. 

Symbolism is important but it can be misleading. Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida claims credit for getting the powerful group of seven wealthy nations to Hiroshima to make a public statement supporting the ultimate elimination of nuclear weapons. But his government encourages the United States to develop new tactical nuclear weapons and to deploy them in East Asia. President Biden supports expensive and unnecessary upgrades to the US nuclear arsenal. The United Kingdom plans to increase its nuclear stockpile by forty percent and France is building a new generation of nuclear-armed ballistic missile submarines. Germany and Italy recently received upgraded US tactical nuclear weapons and both support US and NATO threats to use them first. 

The C7 recommended the G7 “unequivocally condemn any and all threats to use nuclear weapons and disavow all options to resort to nuclear weapons in conflict.” The G7 already agreed in its 2022 communique that “a nuclear war cannot be won and must never be fought.” Nevertheless, as noted in the 2023 C7 communique, the three nuclear armed members of the G7 are currently spending over $100,000 a minute preparing for such a war. 

The C7 also recommended the G7 “begin urgent negotiations to achieve the complete elimination, of nuclear weapons before 2045,” the year of the 100th anniversary of the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki…………………………………… more



April 20, 2023 - Posted by | 2 WORLD, weapons and war

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