The human right to a nuclear free world.

Author:Maguire, Mairead Corrigan

I believe one of the most hopeful trends in the world today is the interconnectedness of the Human Family. Technology has made us interconnected, and trade and the movement of people have made us interdependent. Even in the last 10 years, the world has changed, and the next 20 years will bring changes that none of us can imagine. But we human beings can shape the world to a great extent. I am very hopeful for the future because I believe we are often capable of good choices, we are resilient even in the face of great disasters, and we are creative. The massive people's movement around the world should give us all hope. But governments must start listening and acting on what their people are saying, and particularly on such burning issues as nuclear weapons and war.

On nuclear weapons, I believe people of the world have chosen abolishment, but the governments are ignoring the wishes of their people. So, we have entered the second nuclear arms race, led by current US Administration and being followed by many other countries. If our governments don't, at this point in our history, take seriously their international obligations under the Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) to start decommissioning all nuclear weapons, there will be a serious proliferation within the next few years and we will truly be unable to abolish nuclear weapons. We will pass a frightful legacy to our children and grandchildren, a legacy of nuclear weapons and nuclear debt that will endanger them and their world. It is not only the next generation we will burden, but the cost of nuclear weapons in the past and today has robbed the materially poor of their rightful inheritance to be nurtured with basic rights of food, education and health care.

Governments are elected to take care of their citizens. But governments have not only a responsibility to nurture their own people; they have a responsibility to all of humanity. I believe this can best be done by all governments if, before taking serious policy decisions, they ask themselves, "Does this policy uphold domestic and international laws, and how will it benefit our nation's people and humanity as a whole?"

This question is particularly relevant to the current American Administration. The whole world is now being affected by American foreign policies and American culture. All around the world, American television is beamed into billions of homes, Americanizing many people's way of life. This recognition places enormous...

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