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Monday, December 10 , 2018, 7:51 pm | Fair 52º


Archbishop Desmond Tutu Signs Santa Barbara Declaration on Nuclear Disarmament

Nuclear Age Peace Foundation picks up key endorsement for effort to reject doctrine of deterrence

South African Archbishop Desmond Tutu, a Nobel Peace laureate and member of the Nuclear Age Peace Foundation Advisory Council, has signed the Santa Barbara Declaration rejecting the doctrine of nuclear deterrence.

Archbishop Desmond Tutu
Archbishop Desmond Tutu

“Nuclear disarmament is not an option for governments to take up or ignore,” said Tutu, who visited Santa Barbara earlier this month to support the work of the Nuclear Age Peace Foundation. “It is a moral duty owed by them to their own citizens, and to humanity as a whole. We must not await another Hiroshima or Nagasaki before finally mustering the political will to banish these weapons from global arsenals.”

The Santa Barbara Declaration highlights the major problems with nuclear deterrence, including:

» Its power to protect is a dangerous fabrication

» It assumes all leaders will be rational at all times

» Threatening or using nuclear weapons is illegal and criminal

» It is deeply immoral to threaten indiscriminate death and destruction

» It diverts resources desperately needed to meet human needs

» It has no effect against nonstate extremists

» It is vulnerable to sabotage, cyber attack and human or technical error

» It encourages nuclear proliferation in other countries

The declaration ends by calling upon people everywhere “to join us in demanding that the nuclear weapon states and their allies reject nuclear deterrence and negotiate without delay a Nuclear Weapons Convention for the phased, verifiable, irreversible and transparent elimination of all nuclear weapons.”

“Most Americans and citizens of other nuclear weapon states have been misled to believe that nuclear deterrence protects them,” said David Krieger, president of the Nuclear Age Peace Foundation. “But nuclear deterrence is only a theory and it has many flaws. In fact, it is an illegal and highly immoral doctrine, threatening indiscriminate mass murder, which leaves people everywhere vulnerable to nuclear catastrophe.

“To assure our common future, we need to recognize that nuclear deterrence is a myth and demand that nuclear-armed countries negotiate the abolition of all nuclear weapons.”

— Debra Roets is development and communications director of the Nuclear Age Peace Foundation.


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