“While we sleep, death is awake. Death keeps watch from the warehouses that store more than 23,000 nuclear warheads, like 23,000 eyes open and waiting for a moment of carelessness.”
– Former President of Costa Rica, Nobel Laureate, and GSI Advisory Board member, Oscar Arias addressing the Security Council of the United Nations.
I want to talk to you about the ongoing threat that deployed nuclear weapons pose every day to every life on the planet. One bomb in one city could easily rip the fabric of modern society. Less than one percent of the over 20,000 nuclear weapons in existence makes the annihilation of civilization by accident, design, or madness a sobering possibility. As difficult and distasteful as it is to grasp and understand this fact, we must face it.
The Cold War ended over twenty years ago, yet thousands of nuclear weapons remain armed, deployed, and ready to launch. The United States and Russia possess 95 percent of these horrific devices; the remainder are active in the arsenals of China, France, United Kingdom, Israel, India, Pakistan, and North Korea. The core policies of deterrence have not fundamentally changed and stimulate proliferation. Despite legal obligations and political rhetoric to eliminate, every country with these weapons is either modernizing or expanding their arsenals, and some are doing both.
The task is complex and challenging. That is why GSI is passionately advancing the diplomatic, legal, and intellectual foundation for disarmament, both within government and civil society. GSI’s cost-effective programs work directly with governments, policy makers, and parliamentarians.
The Global Security Institute’s high level of contact with ambassadors, Nobel Laureates, world leaders, legislators, and policy makers provides a clear view of the status and developments of the nuclear landscape. GSI is a leading voice for advocacy and education on why and how to rid the world of nuclear weapon.
In recent years, foundation support for disarmament efforts has dwindled significantly. For example, the Ford Foundation closed its Peace and Security funding department entirely and the MacArthur Foundation does not support the abolition of nuclear weapons. Consequently, the flow of funds to our organization has been reduced dangerously. The practical and theoretical call to action is obvious, clear, and strong, but we need funding to support our continued research and advocacy work.
Mutual reductions of arsenals to much lower numbers (contemplated in the newest round of negotiations with Russia), stopping the creation of more nuclear materials, and entry-into-force of the test ban treaty are essential. But, the true North of eradication must be clear on our compass. For that reason, the Global Security Institute is explicitly devoted to the universal, verifiable, and enforceable elimination of all nuclear weapons.
Please consider giving the Global Security Institute a gift that will help us succeed – if we are all successful, future generations will inherit a world made safer and saner by the actions of your hand and heart today.
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Jonathan Granoff is the President of the Global Security Institute, a representative to United Nations of the World Summits of Nobel Peace Laureates, a former Adjunct Professor of International Law at Widener University School of Law, and Senior Advisor to the Committee on National Security American Bar Association International Law Section.