That’s the whole paradox. A year and a half ago, the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons (TIAN), now ratified by 62 states, entered into force. One would think that the lessons of Hiroshima had finally been learned. It’s nothing. The atomic weapon is more threatening than ever. Vladimir Putin has hinted, as in 2014, that he could use it in the context of the war in Ukraine. The other nuclear powers warn that they would not remain unresponsive to such an attack.
In 2010, ICRC President Jakob Kellenberger made the imperative of nuclear disarmament very clear, noting that in this area, the rights of states must be given to the interests of humanity. No weapon will take away the absurdity of the destruction caused by wars. But the nuclear weapon is the culmination of deadly impulses that question the meaning of humanity. Or, as Sartre would have said, about existential malaise.
So far, another treaty, the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT), which has been in force since 1970, has had a recognized effectiveness, although it has failed to curb the savage development of such weapons by Israel, Pakistan, India and North Korea. With the imminent threat of the collapse of Iran’s nuclear deal, Tehran could join these four nuclear “outlaws.”
For Switzerland, the NPT is rightly a fundamental treaty that has prevented 20 states with atomic weapons today. It is understandable that the Federal Council is holding on to it. The TIAN has so far not changed the behavior of the nuclear powers. Not only have they failed to meet their disarmament obligations under Article 6 of the NPT, but they have also modernized and expanded their arsenals.
The realistic approach taken by the Federal Council is based on the effectiveness of deterrence and the enduring status quo between nuclear powers. However, immobility in the face of such a threat is not acceptable. Only timely civil courage will remove the nuclear sword of Damocles that hangs over the planet. In 1991, François Mitterrand, who had joined the NPT late, announced the suspension of nuclear testing. His call was followed by Moscow, Beijing and Washington. The TIAN, which is setting a new standard by banning the atomic weapon for the first time, is a welcome sting in this regard.
Today we are in an accident, a false alert, a misinterpretation of the nuclear apocalypse. We have no right to play that way with humanity. corpse hibakushas of Hiroshima keep hammering him: the nuclear bomb is hell on earth.
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