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Civil Society and Disarmament 2016

Civil Society Engagement in Disarmament Processes - The Case for a Nuclear Weapons Ban

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The nascent movement to enact a nuclear ban treaty has reframed the problem of nuclear weapons from defense strategies to the issues of humanitarian and environmental consequences. This volume of Civil Society Engagement in Disarmament Processes presents a case for the nuclear ban treaty as a vital first step in nuclear weapons’ ultimate abolition.

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Banning the bomb: From 1950s activism to the general assembly via greenham common

The 1950s slogan “Ban the Bomb” was given new purpose on 27 October 2016 when 123 United Nations Member States voted in the First Committee for draft resolution “L.41” on “Taking forward multilateral nuclear disarmament negotiations”, thereby agreeing to start negotiations in 2017 on “a legally binding treaty to prohibit nuclear weapons, leading towards their total elimination”. More than 71 years since two atomic bombs destroyed the cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki in 1945, the world stands on the threshold of banning nuclear weapons. Drawing lessons from history, this chapter looks at early efforts to ban nuclear testing, the networked humanitarian campaigning in the 1980s that brought about the 1987 Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty, with particular emphasis on the Greenham Common Women’s Peace Camp, and the growing international campaign to ban nuclear weapons (2010 to the present).

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