Humanization of Arms Control Paving the Way for a World free of Nuclear Weapons

New Publication by Daniel Rietiker

With endorsement by William J. Perry, US Secretary of Defense (1994-1997), and foreword by Olzhas Suleimeov, Kazakh poet, and leader of the “Nevada-Semipalatisnk” movement, thanks to which the former USSR pronounced a moratorium ono nuclear testing.

Despite clear legal rules and political commitments, no significant progress has been made in nuclear disarmament for two decades. New ideas and strategies are therefore necessary. The author explores an alternative approach to arms control focusing on the human dimension rather than on States’ security: “humanization” of arms control!

The book explores the preparatory work on arms control treaties and in particular the role of civil society. It analyzes the positive experiences of the movements against chemical weapons, anti-personnel mines, and cluster munitions, as well as the recent conclusion of the Arms Control Treaty. The author examines the question of whether civil society will be able to replicate the success strategies that have been used, in particular, in the field of anti-personnel mines (Ottawa Convention) and cluster munitions (Oslo Convention) in the nuclear weapons field.

The book also explains the effects of weapons, especially nuclear weapons, on human beings, the environment, and global development, thereby focusing on vulnerable groups, such as indigenous peoples, women, and children. It takes a broad approach to human rights, including economic, social, and cultural rights. The author concludes that the use of nuclear weapons is illegal under international humanitarian and human rights law and, moreover, constitutes international crimes under the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court.

In his general conclusions, the author makes concrete proposals for the progress toward a world without nuclear weapons.

Endorsement by William J. Perry:

Dr. Rietiker observes the lack of progress these past few decades in nuclear arms control, and traces it to the security-based model we have used to evaluate nuclear weapons. He also observes the progress made in other weapons control fields, by using a humanitarian-based model. Particularly important are the total bans on the use of anti-personnel mines and cluster munitions for humanitarian reasons. Certainly any use of nuclear weapons would create a profound humanitarian disaster. Thus Dr. Rietiker makes a detailed and impressive case for the outlaw of nuclear weapons for humanitarian reasons. This book presents factual background on the humanitarian disaster that would be caused by any use of nuclear weapons, and makes the legal case for outlawing nuclear weapons as has been made for those other weapons. Legal scholars as well as arms control specialists will find this book to be a valuable resource.” —William J. Perry, US Secretary of Defense (1994-1997), author of “My Journal at the Nuclear Brink”


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