AIMS of the NONLETHAL SECURITY FOR PEACE CAMPAIGN:
The overall purpose of the Nonlethal Security for Peace Campaign (NLSPC) is to reduce the damage of war, specifically to:
- Reduce death and injury in warfare by promoting the use of non-damaging technology in conflict resolution
- Influence peace-keeping agencies (such as the UN) to move progressively from lethal to non-lethal weaponry
- Subsequently influence defence forces in nations around the world to make the same transformation to non-lethal defence
- Over the course of time, change world culture from lethal to non-lethal conflict resolution, with the result that the nuclear weapons that threaten our species will finally be eliminated
- By removing lethality from conflict resolution, help to lower the overall level of violence in society, promoting a more peaceful and just world.
COMMENT 5 April 2018 – Good news from New Zealand
In contrast to so much current news, it’s very encouraging that New Zealand’s new Prime Minister, Jacinda Ardern, is reviving the portfolio of Minister for Disarmament and Arms Control. Perhaps we can see just a glimmer of sanity returning to the world.
COMMENT 26 February 2018 – Eastern Ghouta despair
Against great odds, less than a day ago the UN Security Council voted unanimously for a cease fire in Syria. Within hours the cease fire has been flouted, bombs have rained down on the Damascus suburb of Eastern Ghouta and more children have been killed and injured. Despite all its supposed authority, the Security Council appears powerless.
World politics and human behaviour seem unlikely to change any time soon, but we can change the technology. A scenario hard to imagine, but if Assad’s bombs and the rebel bullets had somehow not been lethal, the children might be terrified, but they would still be alive.
COMMENT 3 February 2018 – US Nuclear Posture
The USA has just released its nuclear posture. As expected, it is disturbing. As reported by the International Campaign for the Abolition of Nuclear Weapons (ICAN):
“The Trump administration wants to increase its nuclear arsenal, develop more ‘usable’ weapons, and expand the situations they can be used in, even for non-nuclear retaliation.”
Non-lethal policies are needed more than ever.
COMMENT 31 January 2018 – Australian plan to ramp up arms exports
The Australian Government has just released a proposal to promote the export of armaments. It plans a $3.8 billion loan scheme to help Australian arms companies to market their products.
Defence against a serious enemy is legitimate but making money from the export of armaments is often questionable. Governments assert that they only export to ‘friends’. But frequently there is little control down the line. Australia already tries to market arms to countries with dubious human rights records.
It might be different if the ‘armaments’ comprised effective non-lethal technologies designed to provide security without death or injury. An export industry producing nonlethal security devices could be worth supporting
COMMENT 21 November 2017
Robot weapons are now being developed which can wage war independently of any human control. So far, lethal drones have been piloted by human operators who make the final decision on whether and when to attack. Lethal autonomous weapons systems can operate without human authorisation.
Many artificial intelligence researchers believe that this development is highly dangerous and are campaigning against it. Following recent talks in Geneva a United Nations panel has now agreed to consider controls on such weapons.
This is welcome news, but ideally we should be campaigning against all lethal drones – autonomous or piloted.
COMMENT 15 November 2017
Remembrance Day took place as usual on 11th November. It marks the end of hostilities in the First World War which occurred on 11th November 1918 (next year will of course be the Centenary of this event).
Nowadays, the day is often marked by military parades and probably regarded by some of the military as an opportunity for recruitment rather than as a day of mourning.
Some 18 million – combatants and civilians – were killed in World War One. In World War 2 the toll rose to over 60 million – with a much higher proportion being civilians.
We should not celebrate war on Remembrance Day. Rather we should remember all those killed by the fearsome lethal tools of war and resolve to maintain peace and justice on the planet employing only nonlethal technology where necessary.
COMMENT 14 October 2017
The recognition of ICAN – the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons – by the Nobel Peace Prize Committee prompts the thought that the NLSPC represents the beginning of an international campaign to abolish all lethal weapons (leaving aside sporting guns).
Such a campaign could be named ICAL. Not surprisingly ‘ICAL’ is already in use for ‘International Customs and Logistics’ and ‘Imaging and Chemical Analysis Laboratory’ (and no doubt there are more) so perhaps we’d need to think again.
Acronyms aside, the long-term aim of the NLSPC is indeed to abolish lethal weapons around the world.
IMPORTANT NEWS 8 October 2017
ICAN Awarded the Nobel Peace Prize
ICAN, the International Campaign for the Abolition of Nuclear Weapons, has just been awarded the 2017 Nobel Peace Prize.
Nuclear weapons are of course the ultimate lethal weapon. Eliminating nuclear weapons is therefore the most important goal of the Nonlethal Security for Peace Campaign.
Many congratulations to ICAN!
ICAN is now an international organisation but like the NLSPC it started in Australia. At present the Australian government does not have a great record in supporting the elimination of nuclear weapons, or indeed in observing human rights in its treatment of refugees.
Let’s hope that the 2017 Nobel Prize will stimulate the Australian government to make some improvements in this area.
COMMENT 5 October 2017
Australia’s gun laws have up to now been highly regarded, but a report commissioned by Gun Control Australia has found that the laws,which were introduced in 1996 after the Port Arthur massacre, have been progressively watered down by state governments under pressure from lobbyists.
By an unhappy but important coincidence, the study was released in the immediate aftermath of the Las Vegas shootings.
The report Firearm Legislation in Australia 21 Years After the National Firearms Agreement shows that a variety of controls have been relaxed in different States across the country.
The community has allowed special interest groups to erode its protection from the effects of this lethal technology.
COMMENT 3 October 2017
The shooting in Las Vegas – 58 dead and 500 hundred injured at the time of writing – is yet another stupid stupid tragedy. With current US gun laws unfortunately it won’t be the last.
The main focus of the NLS for Peace Campaign is on lethal weapons in the international arena but nonlethal security between nations would undoubtedly influence domestic gun laws – perhaps even in the USA.
On the international front we are currently facing threats by North Korea to launch nuclear missiles. The potential damage from a nuclear weapon is immeasurably greater than that from an automatic rifle (or even the machine gun which may have been used by gunman Stephen Paddock *) – but the purpose of the technology – to kill people – is the same.
- (since this comment was posted it’s emerged that the gunman used a ‘bump st0ck’ to convert his semi-automatic weapons to automatic firing.)
COMMENT 25 January 2017
Donald Trump has now taken up his role as President of the United States. There means that there is now great uncertainty about international security. If we had a world which was not awash with lethal weapons and security was maintained non-lethally, there would still be uncertainty but we’d all feel a lot safer.
For a current summary of the aims of the campaign, see this recent article in New Democracy Supporting Peace by Reducing the Damage of War.
THE SHETLAND TO SCILLY – NEW TECHNOLOGY FOR PEACE JOURNEY
In 2016 the Coordinator of the Nonlethal Security for Peace Campaign, Andrew Greig, journeyed the length of Great Britain the Shetland Islands to the Scilly Isles promoting ‘New Technologies for Peace’. He travelled by bicycle from John o’Groats to Penzance symbolising another change taking place across the world, that of energy technology – away from power generation from fossil fuel to new sustainable technologies.
EARLIER COMMENTS FROM 2016
COMMENT 27 March 2016
ACTION ON GLOBAL MILITARY SPENDING
4 – 18 April will be a time of Action on Global Military Spending. Annual military spending now apparently exceeds $1.75 trillion. That’s $US 1,750,000,000,000. Much of this money focuses on machines and methods which kill and injure people.
Obviously we need resources to protect nations from unwarranted aggression and maintain international law but they should be directed at technology which does not cause death and injury. There’s no shortage of money. It’s just being spent in the wrong way.
COMMENT 15 February 2016
A few days ago, scientists proved without doubt that gravitational waves do exist. They were predicted by Einstein over one hundred years ago as an outcome of the theory of relativity. The discovery will open up vast new areas of cosmology.
The instruments used to detect the gravitational waves are quite breathtaking in their ingenuity and precision. Theoretically they could measure the movement in space of the sun by the breadth of a single human hair.
We humans have this amazing technical skill and yet we still equip our police officers with handguns, not to mention the bombs and bullets employed by armies around the world. That’s also breathtaking when you think about.
COMMENT 9 February 2016
The city of Aleppo in Syria is coming under increasingly heavy attack by pro Assad regime forces. More hospitals have been reported as destroyed by aerial bombardment. Increased Russian airstrikes are said to be a factor. But for a moment, let’s not try to say who’s to blame. Extremist groups, the great powers and the Assad government are all involved. The UN is working hard but so far seems unable to halt the conflict. The reality is that in 2016, hospitals are being destroyed and thousands of people killed or mutilated in a conflict that is ultimately how about who will govern a nation – manage its taxes, its schools, its trade – indeed even about who, if anyone, collects the garbage. These are all important matters but in the year 2016 disagreements about them should not result in the death and injury of hundreds of thousands of citizens. Do we really have to drop explosives on hospitals to resolve such issues?
Sure, we need to physically restrain aggressors – be they ‘terrorists’ or ‘regimes’ until the matters are resolved, but the current technology we employ of bomb and bullet is barbarous and outdated. We can do better.
COMMENT 13 January 2016
Last week North Korea appeared to have detonated its fourth nuclear test. The rogue nation seems unlikely to have a large nuclear arsenal but we are reminded that just a single nuclear bomb – let alone a full scale nuclear war – would cause immense radiation damage. The threat of nuclear war has by no means gone away,
The adoption of nonlethal security across the world would ‘lower the temperature’ of potential conflict and ease the path to total nuclear disarmament. We should not delay in a world where even one nation still conducts nuclear tests.
TECHNOLOGY IN WAR
2015 is the Year of Committing to Nonlethal Technology in War.
Lethal weapons – like fossil fuels – are becoming obsolete. Weapons cause huge grief and quite often they don’t resolve conflict.‘Clean green’ nonlethal technology will ensure peace across the world without killing people. Just as we’re changing from burning coal and oil to sustainable ways of generating energy we can start to move from bullets and bombs to devices which keep us safe but don’t kill. During 2015 we must start making the move to a new nonlethal technology of war.
1915 – the Centenary of Gallipoli – also saw the start of World War One’s industrial scale slaughter by rifles, machine guns and artillery: over 100,000 dead at the 2nd Battle of Ypres, over 420,000 at the Battle of Loos and nearly 120,000 at Gallipoli, including some 8,000 Australians.
In the century since then the weapons of war have become ever more deadly. There is less ‘major’ warfare at present, but the ongoing lethal conflict in the Middle East puts us at risk of a nuclear war, triggered by terrorists or failed states.
In this Centenary Year, we need a commitment by nations around the world to begin the serious development of nonlethal technologies which can protect us from aggression and ensure peace and justice without death and injury.
(See Media Release http://www.tamingwar.com/media-releases)
RECENT: For an excellent readable summary of nuclear disarmament up to the present see: Filling the Legal Gap on Nuclear Weapons by Daryl Le Cornu, President of the World Citizens Association of Australia
TWO GOALS of the NONLETHAL SECURITY FOR PEACE CAMPAIGN
One day, except as curios, guns designed for killing people will be illegal
(Sporting guns – for responsible shooters – will be OK)
Explosives will only be used in mining, engineering and fireworks.
From controlarms.org :
‘every minute one person dies from armed violence, 16 people become refugees and 15 new weapons are created’
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