Environmental Security and Sustainability

2012 Aug 06th

Nuclear-free world is a must to prevent repeat of Hiroshima and Fukushima tragedies

A redoubling of effort and political will is needed to rid the world of nuclear weapons, and today’s 67th anniversary of the Hiroshima atomic bomb blast reminds us about the need to end this dangerous obsession, according to Green Cross International President Alexander Likhotal.

“This poignant day, which symbolizes the horror of ethically-unchecked technological progress, serves as a clear reminder to Japan and not only that Fukushima was “the writing on the wall” of the need to embark on a road to safe and renewable sources of energy.”
 
“If we had invested as much effort in sustainable development as we did in developing deadly atomic weapons and dangerous nuclear power, we would have already lived in a ‘future we want,’ one that is secure and sustainable for everyone,” argues Mr. Likhotal.
 
“There is an increasing number of nations today who are speaking out against the dangers of nuclear weapons. At the same time, many still support the use of nuclear power as a means of generating electricity. They believe, perhaps correctly, that the threat from nuclear arms is greater and more imminent, and further, that there is no connection between nuclear power and nuclear weapons. The facts, however, seem to point to a different conclusion.”
 
Later this month, politicians and political leaders from around the world will meet in Kazakhstan to discuss steps needed to rid the world of nuclear weapons. The 27-29 August conference, titled the 2012 Astana-Semipalatinsk Forum: From a nuclear test ban to a nuclear-weapons-free world, is being hosted by President Nursultan Nazarbayev of Kazakhstan.
 
Over the past 20 years, the goal of eliminating nuclear weapons has been resigned to the back burner and it will take a true political breakthrough and a major intellectual effort to achieve success in this endeavor. This goal must be dealt with as a universal political, economic, moral and environmental threat and not just a security challenge.
 
Green Cross International (GCI), founded by Nobel Peace Prize laureate Mikhail Gorbachev in 1993, is an independent non-profit and nongovernmental organization working to address the inter-connected global challenges of security, poverty eradication and environmental degradation through a combination of advocacy and local projects. GCI is headquartered in Geneva and has a growing network of national organizations in over 30 countries.

 
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