Nobel Peace Laureates Challenge Doctrine of Unilateral Militarism

Report of the Third World Summit of Nobel Peace Laureates
GSI Report
October 19-20, 2002

From October 19-20, 2002, the City of Rome hosted the 3rd World Summit of Nobel Peace Laureates.

Jonathan Granoff, President of the Global Security Institute, and Senator Douglas Roche, Chairman of the Middle Powers Initiative (a program of GSI) represented the International Peace Bureau, a Nobel Laureate organization. During the conference, Granoff and Roche convened and co-chaired an “Extraordinary Session” of Nobel Peace Laureates to discuss concrete responses that could be taken against the emerging doctrine characterized as Unilateral Militarism.

Nobel Laureates took up the issue of an impending war in Iraq, challenges posed by unilateral militarism to the United Nations system, with particular emphasis on the Bush Administration’s policies regarding nuclear weapons. Nobel laureates were especially concerned by doctrines relating to testing and building new nuclear weapons, their integration into conventional war-fighting doctrines, and threats of preemption.

New Advisors for GSI

Nobel Peace Laureates Rigoberta Menchú Tum and Sir Joseph Rotblat accepted invitations to be active members of GSI’s Advisory Board.

Joseph Rotblat is a physicist who won the Nobel Peace Prize in 1995 for his work to eliminate the dangers posed by nuclear weapons, a life-long campaign since his withdrawal from the Manhattan Project. During the summit, Rotblat publicly credited GSI’s Middle Powers Initiative with helping to achieve an important clarification in terms of international law:

“Under the terms of the NPT, the 183 non-nuclear countries have undertaken not to acquire nuclear weapons, and the five overt nuclear states have undertaken to get rid of theirs. There was some ambiguity in the formulation of the relevant Article VI of the NPT, which provided the hawks with an excuse for the retention of nuclear weapons until general and complete disarmament had been achieved. But — under pressure from the New Agenda Coalition and the Middle Powers Initiative (of which Senator Douglas Roche is Chairman) — this ambiguity was removed two years ago in a statement issued after the 2000 NPT Review Conference.”

Rome Nobel Statement

In their final statement twenty Nobel Peace Laureates and representatives of Nobel Peace Prize-winning organizations stated that “Nuclear weapons are immoral and their use is illegal. It is imperative to achieve the total abolition of nuclear weapons and other weapons of mass destruction.”

The statement has been sent as a communiqué under a covering letter from conference-organizer Mikhail Gorbachev to the leaders of the G-8 countries, the United Nations, the Pope, and the President of Iraq. GSI staff Urs Cipolat and Zack Allen assisted with the finalization and multi-language translation of the Nobel statement.

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