A statement issued by Mrs Theodora Williams Anti, FOSDA Project Officer and copied to the Ghana News Agency, on the occasion of the International Day for the Total Elimination of Nuclear Weapons last Saturday, September 26, recounted that the Day was established by the UN General Assembly to place nuclear disarmament at the top of the global agenda and begin working towards a nuclear weapon-free world.
It said: “As Heads of State gather in New York next week at the General Assembly, there are more than 15,000 nuclear weapons possessed by just nine countries.
“Several thousands of them remain on high-trigger alert, ready to unleash a humanitarian catastrophe within minutes.”
According to the statement, despite commitments, nuclear weapon states have done little to reduce their arsenals, putting the whole world in danger.
The statement said “rather than dismantling their weapons, nuclear weapon states were pouring billions of dollars each year into modernizing these barbaric warheads; adding, “notwithstanding the billions spent, the number of security failures at nuclear bases is not diminishing.”
It observed that despite the huge risks of accidents and the catastrophic consequences that would follow any use, the possession of nuclear weapons had become inexplicably normalized.
It said: “They are the only weapons of mass destruction not prohibited under international law. It is time for nuclear weapons to be put on the same footing as other weapons of mass destruction – prohibited.”
The statement, however, expressed hope on the scenario as more than 115 states have endorsed the Humanitarian Pledge, which commits them to work towards a new international instrument prohibiting nuclear weapons.
It applauded Ghana for signing onto this pledge, “showing vision and leadership,” and urged the government to turn this commitment into action, by embracing “this historic opportunity, and start negotiating a treaty banning nuclear weapons.”