The Role of Nuclear Disarmament

Nuclear weapons are an intractable problem that feeds on itself. The existence of these horrific weapons tells the nuclear weapons states (NWS) that we live in an immoral us-vs-them world and they take the lesson that in such a world it would be folly to disarm. At the same time, if we step back and take the larger perspective we see that we have global problems that require international trust and cooperation to be resolved. That’s what the world did when all the nations together adopted the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). That was great! But we must add nuclear disarmament to the list if we are to succeed.


The nuclear disarmament movement and the movement for SDG success by 2030 will greatly benefit by working together as partners at the city level globally.

Alyn Ware is the influential Global Coordinator of Parliamentarians for Nuclear Non-Proliferation and Disarmament (PNND). His take on the importance of nuclear disarmament for achieving the UN SDGs is right on. Here is an excerpt from his Move the Nuclear Weapons Money:


“The achievement of the SDGs and the implementation of the COP 21 will depend on political will and the allocation of sufficient resources. Progress on nuclear disarmament would assist in achieving these goals in four key ways:

1. Through the re-allocation of financial, scientific, intellectual, political and personnel resources from nuclear weapons to SDG implementation;

2. Reducing tensions and conflicts currently perpetuated by nuclear threat postures, and the increased cooperation that would occur from joint verification of nuclear disarmament agreements, would enhance the cooperation and trust required for SDG implementation;

3. Ending the production and testing of nuclear weapons which create catastrophic impacts on the environment for current and future generations;

4. Preventing the use of nuclear weapons in an armed conflict, which would cause even greater human and environmental consequences, and would likely trigger a global nuclear holocaust from which there would be zero chance of achieving the SDGs.”

And the other way around, work on the SDGs can be leveraged to promote disarmament, leading to success on all the UN Goals. A global coalition at the city and provincial levels to implement all the UN Goals can create that sense of human unity we need to transcend the national boundaries. Such a global movement can succeed if we integrate support for the nations (and religions) into the process of building a global consciousness. Creative use of the internet with its BOTH-AND capabilities will give us the tools we need.