With this article, the World Solidarity Forum starts its campaign running through the month of October 2017 to raise awareness about the danger of a nuclear conflict. Our goal is not just to expose the humanitarian and environmental tragedy that it would cause but also flag the areas in the world where the danger is most present and what actions can be taken to prevent it, particularly from the EU side.
Since the Cold War, the presence of nuclear weapons has dramatically changed the relationships between countries. In case of tensions and disputes, States in the world who have a nuclear arsenal know they can use these weapons as a deterrent, while at the same time hoping to never have to use them in reality. This is a very precarious balance as it brought about an arms race, where a number of countries have gained access to military nuclear technology to level the play field with those who already have them. This creates a permanent state of threat between rivalling countries. It would be enough for one of these threats to be enacted upon once for a nuclear holocaust to happen.
The escalation of nuclear armament has put the world on an edge, as this new dimension added higher stakes and deeper division in regions of the world where tensions had been brewing for some time. The most evident example right now is the mounting conflict between the USA and North Korea, but it would be a mistake to think this is an isolated case. Other global players entangled in crisis, like India and Pakistan over the region of Kashmir, or the display of powers connected to the crisis in Ukraine, can lend to the deployment of nuclear weapons.
This danger is represented well by the Doomsday Clock, which gives an immediate idea of how close we are to midnight, ie. a nuclear holocaust that could wipe away the human race if not life on Earth.
It is vital the citizens and the international community find ways to limit this risk, working towards minimising if not eliminating all together the chance of a nuclear war. A global power that struggles for human rights and peace, like the European Union, can really make a difference if it puts its efforts in promoting peaceful conflict resolution coupled with nuclear disarmament and non-proliferation.
In the coming weeks we will explore what the EU has done to achieve and what more can be done by the international community. We will also discuss a couple of the hottest regions in the world that experts deem at real risk of nuclear conflict. Moreover we will host a debate in Brussels on the topic with academics, activists and policy-makers. Stay tuned for more!