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 25 October 2020 – Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons Ratified
The Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons has just been ratified by fifty nations This means that it will enter into force in January 2021, making nuclear weapons illegal under international law for all time. As with the 1999 Mine Ban Treaty, it will need time to take effect, but quite soon it will be recognised as a huge advance in the promotion of world peace.
ICAN, the International Campaign for the Abolition of Nuclear Weapons, was born in Australia. ICAN was awarded the 2017 Nobel Peace Prize for developing the Treaty. This honour was, at the time, ignored by the Australian Government and Australia still has not signed the Treaty. Surveys show that the vast majority of Australians support the Treaty. At least they can now celebrate the occasion while waiting for their government to catch up.
COMMENT 15 May 2020 – Coronavirus Rethink
Soon after the last comment (posted 15 January 2020), coronavirus emerged as a serious issue across the world. Nations have had varying degrees of success in coping with the pandemic. Some, like the USA and the UK have experienced high death rates compared to other nations and are still suffering. Other nations have managed to control the pandemic much more effectively.
What seems to be clear is that infection rates are reduced and lives saved by taking a rational scientific approach to the problem. Nations like New Zealand brought in strict control measures early. These included closing national borders, locking down the movement of people and bringing in social distancing. Another crucial element was a high level of testing, to identify carriers and track the spread of the virus.
The pandemic has had major effects on the economies of nations and has caused a significant rethink about we conduct our lives.
Looking at nonlethal security and world conflict, the lesson is that to save lives we need to take a scientific rational approach to the issue of international conflict. We need to invest in major research on how to eliminate lethal weapons technology (ie conventional warfare) from dealings between nations. Clear thinking and rational action can prevent lethal warfare, saving untold loss of life and suffering, while resolving differences between nations.
COMMENT 15 January 2020 – stupendous submarine splurge
Australia has just delayed for nine months the design of a new $80 billion submarine fleet. If built, the twelve subs will cost well over $6 billion each, with a further total of $145 billion to run and update the vessels. Because of the march of technology (such as marine drones) the yet-to-be built submarines are probably already obsolete. It’s sad that humans should even contemplate spending such vast sums on a few pieces of machinery designed purely to sink ships and kill people. The fact that they’re already technological dinosaurs only adds insult.
Yes, Australia needs protection against aggression and invasion, but death and damage should be minimised. $80 billion (or, of course, the full total of $225 billion) could fund a vast amount of useful research and development in technologies which protect nations against aggression but don’t kill.
COMMENT 3 January 2020 – Let’s Have a great 2020!
2019 was a discouraging year, with right wing extremists influencing a number of national governments. Armed conflict continued around the world and cooperative action on climate change was disappointing
But we have cause for optimism. Younger people have been galvanised into demonstrating for new approaches to world problems. ICAN, the International Campaign for the Abolition of Nuclear Weapons, continues to make progress. The UN Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons has now been signed by 80 nations. 34 nations have also ratified their signature. When the number of ratified signatures reaches 50, the Treaty will become international law. We can expect that there will be a number of new ratifications during 2020, bringing us closer to the enforcement of the treaty. The evidence is that international laws, such as the one that prohibits landmines, have a powerful effect on the world community. Nuclear armaments are the ultimate lethal weapons. Banning them would be a major step in the elimination of all lethal weapons.
A Happy and Peaceful New Year to all!
COMMENT 28 December 2019 – US establishes a Space Force
On December 19th 2019 the US Congress authorised the creation of the United States Space Force, in many ways the first of its kind in the world. Other nations have military groups concerned with war in space – China has its People’s Liberation Army Strategic Support Force and Russia has its Russian Aerospace Forces, but the US Space Force is the first major new armed service in the US for over half a century. Its designated role is space warfare (in ‘the world’s newest war-fighting domain’) with 16,000 individuals currently assigned to it.
This is a major step in the militarisation of space, a sphere which many people had hoped would stay in the ownership of all humanity and remain neutral and peaceful. But the major powers have shown no recent intention of halting the development of ever more lethal military technology. Warfare in space provides tasty new opportunities for arms manufacturers.
There is another possibility. Humans could decide that space remains a nonlethal zone. There could be ‘space forces’ but they would exist as police forces, preventing or halting international conflict, particularly lethal conflict. They would employ technology for such tasks but it would be nonlethal. If we really want to we can make sure that Space – our Space – remains safe and peaceful.
COMMENT 20 December 2019 – Bush fires and world security
As we approach Christmas 2019 Australia is burning. Several years of drought and higher average temperatures have set off scores of bush fires along the east coast of Australia. A record number of houses have been destroyed. The Australian bush fires symbolise some of the current risks to world security. Undoubtedly, they are partly a result of climate change. They also demonstrate significant failings in the current federal government, as well as in the State government of NSW. Our politicians have resisted action on climate change and despite a number of warnings, made very inadequate preparations for controlling the fires and for saving property and livestock. So far, fortunately, relatively few people have died in the fires, but that may just have been good luck.
On the world stage, regional conflicts are not unlike bush fires. Armed conflicts can arise and spread very quickly. As with bush fires, the risk of conflict can also be predicted. New technologies could be much better employed to prevent – and where necessary, control – bush fire to reduce its damage.
Humans have the skills to develop new nonlethal technologies to reduce and even eliminate the damage of international conflict. As with bush fire, we just need the will to invest in those technologies and then to start employing them.
2020 could be the year that we start some serious action on reducing the damage of both bush fires and world conflict.
RECENT NEWS – 28 September 2019
BRITISH DEFENCE CHIEF CALLS FOR MORE NON-LETHAL OPTIONS
The head of UK Defence, Sir Nick Carter recently said that British forces need more “non-lethal” options. General Carter warned that the world is a less stable place than at any time in his 42-year career. The pace of change is “more profound than anything humanity has experienced outside of the two world wars,” he said. Speaking to an international audience at a Defence and Security event in London, the Chief of the Defence Staff said the British military needed to develop more non-lethal options to give politicians greater options in future conflicts.
COMMENT 13 August 2019 – Guns guns
There have been more mass shootings in the USA in the last week or so. Despite demands from communities around the nation, American governments will still not regulate the sale of assault rifles let alone handguns. Perhaps we can achieve nonlethal security between nations before US citizens regulate domestic weapons. That would be interesting. Domestic gun violence is tragic, but killing in war is much more serious.
COMMENT 7 June 2019 – D-day without death
Our last comment was on the anniversary of the end of World War One. It is now the anniversary of the D-day landing in Normandy. Not much changed in lethal warfare between the World Wars and there has been little change in attitude to the concept of lethal warfare since D-day. The only exception is a fear of nuclear war because it could eradicate the human race. Despite this the nuclear-armed nations are not rushing to reduce their weapon stocks, let alone to get rid of them.
The need for D-day cannot be disputed and neither can the courage of the fighters on both sides, but we must not forget what immense slaughter and pain took place to contain and overcome the ambitions of a few power-mad (and indeed insane) world leaders. Unfortunately, from time to time, such people will continue to gain power. We have the ability to contain and overcome the damage they wreak using technology which does not kill or injure people around world. There was much death on D-day. In the future there may be D-days where we overcome tyrants but it should be with nonlethal technology – without death.
COMMENT 11 November 2018 – the end of the war that did not end all wars
It’s exactly one hundred years since the end of World War One – the war that was supposed to ‘end all wars’. Humankind has made huge progress in that time, but we have not changed the way that we handle conflict between nations. We can build spacecraft that roam the solar system and bring us pictures of the surface of far planets. You’d think that it would not be a huge task to design technology that kept people safe from aggression without death and damage. And yet, year by year. we still spend vast amounts of money developing ever more deadly machines for ‘defending’ ourselves from enemies
Let’s hope that one hundred years from now we’ll be able to celebrate a world where we can resist aggression and maintain our liberty using technology that does not kill or injure.
COMMENT 16 June 2018 – Maybe…
Trump and Kim Jong-Un have met and talked. Just possibly denuclearisation will proceed. Maybe…
COMMENT 28 April 2018 – Good sense comes to Korea?
It’s impossible to judge what will finally emerge from today’s remarkable summit meeting between the South Korean President, Moon Jae-In and North Korean President, Kim Jong-Un. If the quick removal of nuclear weapons from the Korean peninsular is achieved then this will have been a truly landmark occasion. Even if the removal does not happen immediately, at least we’ll have been granted a glimpse of what could happen. Lethal warfare is not inevitable.
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.
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.
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.
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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