URGING SUPPORT FOR A/C.1/69/L.22 DECREASING THE OPERATIONAL READINESS OF NUCLEAR WEAPONS SYSTEMS
I am writing as the editor/coordinator, back in 2005-2007, of the declaration signed by 364 NGOs and by 44 nobels that led to the sponsorship in 2007 and subsequent years by Chile, Malaysia, New Zealand, Nigeria and Switzerland of the resolution on the Operational Readiness of Nuclear Weapon Systems. This resolution will once more be before the General Assembly in the next few days.
The operational readiness resolution has played a unique role in putting the issues of accidental nuclear war and the reliability of nuclear command and control systems into the limelight. While operational readiness plays a part in a number of other resolutions, notably Reducing Nuclear Dangers sponsored by India, and in the NAM nuclear disarmament resolution as well as United Action (L36), no other resolution has been able to draw the attention of the relevant nuclear weapons states especially the US and Russia, as has Operational readiness.
In the current context, with big-power rivalries once more taking center stage in both NE Asia and the Ukraine, and with a deal of speculation that this might indeed spiral out of control with potentially catastrophic consequences, the possibilities of catastrophic miscalculation by decision makers acting in decision time-frames of minutes or seconds is all too real, and the need for the measures envisaged in Operational Readiness (as well as Reducing Nuclear Dangers) is all too real.
With all my heart, though not physically present at First Committee this year, I urge delegates to support Operational Readiness of Nuclear Weapon Systems.
(People for Nuclear Disarmament and Human Survival project)