On the 2nd June 2012 thousands of campaigners throughout the world launched a global action calling on their governments to engage immediately in the process of negotiating a Nuclear Weapons Convention (NWC). Such a convention would prohibit the development, production, testing, deployment, stockpiling, transfer, threat or use of nuclear weapons. This initiative forms part of the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons (ICAN), a global campaign active in more than 60 countries.
Nuclear weapons have given humanity the power to destroy itself and severely degrade our Mother Earth’s capacity to support life and to do this within a few hours. Without the elimination of these weapons of mass destruction, which some eight states presently possess, human survival in the 21st century is severely jeopardised. According to the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI) at the start of 2012, the US, Russia, France, Israel, UK, China, Pakistan and India owned some 19,000 nuclear warheads. In a recent statement the President of the International Committee of the Red Cross said : “Nuclear weapons are unique in their destructive power, in the unspeakable human suffering they cause… and in the threat they pose to the environment, to future generations, and indeed to the survival of humanity.”
The nuclear bomb, an ultimate weapon of terror, is condemned by more than a dozen basic principles of international law. In July 1996 the International Court of Justice, unanimously held in an Advisory Opinion on the Legality of the Threat or Use of Nuclear weapons that “there exists an obligation to pursue in good faith and bring to a conclusion negociations leading to nuclear disarmament in all its aspects under strict and effective international control.” In December 2006 at the UN General Assembly, 125 governments, including nuclear armed China, India and Pakistan, called upon states to immediately fulfill their nuclear disarmament obligations leading to an early conclusion of a NWC aiming at the banning of nuclear weapons and providing for their elimination. So there is now a majority of States that want a NWC, and to-day numerous anti-war, anti-bases and peace organisations, and a large majority of citizens, including those in nuclear weapon states, are mobilising in favour of a nuclear-weapon-free future.
We call on your Ministry to actively support this international move for a NWC which can reinforce existing regional mechanism such as the Pelindaba Treaty for an Africa free of nuclear weapons, and thus help in enforcing complaints and inquiries into the UK-US illegal military occupation on Diego Garcia, where US nuclear submarines are stationed and serviced. The Mauritian government, in particular you as Minister of Foreign Affairs, should use all regional and international forums to build support for this NWC process. Giving support to a NWC would contribute in changing the balance of forces in favour of the international movement against imperialist wars, and against military bases and help to free the world of nuclear weapons and thus ensuring that the lives of its people, and future generations, are not anymore exposed to the threat of such weapons of mass destruction.