promoting nuclear disarmament initiatives. One of the most comprehensive was the program for nuclear disarmament which was presented by Egypt to the Conference on Disarmament in (Appendix X). The program included a time-bound framework for various disarmament steps culminating in the complete abolition and elimination of nuclear weapons by 2020.
Canberra Commission on the Elimination of NuclearWeapons
The Australian government established the Canberra Commission in 1995 to study the question of nuclear disarmament to determine whether it was desirable and feasible. The Commission, which included 17 distinguished experts on nuclear weapons including General Lee Butler (former Head of US Strategic Command), Robert McNamara (US Secretary of Defense during the 1962 Cuban missile crisis), Field Marshall Lord Carver (UK Chief of Defence Staff 1973-76), and former French Prime Minister Michel Rocard.
The Commission concluded that “The risks of retaining nuclear arsenals far outweigh any possible benefit imputed to nuclear deterrence,” and that “The end of the Cold War has created a
new climate for international action to eliminate nuclear weapons, a new opportunity. It must be exploited quickly or it will be lost."
Middle Powers Initiative
In March 1998, a coalition of international NGOs formed the Middle Powers Initiative with the aim to encourage influential non-nuclear States to engage more actively with the nuclear-weapon States in order to move them toward complete nuclear disarmament. MPI organises delegations to key countries and consultations for diplomats on key nuclear disarmament issues.
New Agenda Group
In June 1998, the foreign ministers of Aotearoa-New Zealand, Brazil, Egypt, Ireland, Mexico, Slovenia, South Africa and Sweden released a joint declaration entitled Towards a Nuclear-Weapon-Free World: The Need for a New Agenda (Appendix XI). It called for renewed international efforts towards nuclear disarmament and outlined a program to achieve this.
The New Agenda countries actively promoted the agenda in international fora, and were very influential in forging a successful outcome to the 2000 NPT Review Conference.
Model Nuclear Weapons Convention
In light of the call by the United Nations General Assembly for negotiations leading to the conclusion of a nuclear weapons convention (NWC), an international consortium of lawyers, scientists and disarmament experts led by the Lawyers' Committee on Nuclear Policy, in 1997 drafted a Model Nuclear Weapons Convention. The Model NWC was circulated in the six UN languages by the United Nations in 1997 (UN Document A/C.1/52/7) and has been the focus of a number of parliamentary resolutions, and diplomatic and scientific roundtables since then. The MNWC and feedback are contained in Security and Survival: The Case for a Nuclear Weapons Convention, IPPNW 1999.
At the 1995 NPT Review and Extension Conference, a coalition of international NGOs released a statement (Appendix XII) calling for the implementation of NPT obligations through the commencing of negotiations on a nuclear weapons convention. This led to the establishment of Abolition 2000, an international network of over 2000 organisations supporting such a call.
Generals and Admirals Statement
In December 1996, 60 retired generals and admirals from 17 countries released a statement warning about the threat of nuclear weapons and calling for nuclear disarmament (Appendix XIII). The statement was drafted by General Lee Butler, former Head of the United States Strategic Command.
Civil Leaders Statements
On August 6, 1998, a group of civil society leaders, including former US President Jimmy Carter, former President of the USSR Mikhail Gorbachev, former President of Costa Rica Oscar Arias Sanchez, and former nuclear bomb designer Joseph Rotblat, released a statement calling for the abolition of nuclear weapons (Appendix XIV). A similar statement by American civil and business leaders was released in October 2000 (Appendix XV).