The light of Jerusalem was shining in Geneva. Do we want to see it? Time for a vision: It's time to bring missing states - North Korea, Israel, Pakistan and India - to the NPT, to move on together.
Geneva, Switzerland. April 23rd till May 4th 2018. First week: sunshine and clear view of the mountains. Second week: rain and sunshine, clouds around mountains. United Nations, Preparatory Committee for the 2020 Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty Review Conference (NPT PrepCom 2018). As part of a wonderful delegation of the Friedenswerkstatt Mutlangen, a German Non-Governmental Organization (NGO). For an overview of the PrepCom see Reaching Critical Will's excellent information platform and its NPT News in Review.
Creating a reality
It's time to bring all relevant states, North Korea, Israel, Pakistan and India, to the NPT and to move on together.
I am very disappointed to hear that a conference on establishing a nuclear free zone in the Middle East did not take place in 2017. I remember, that this was proposed last year in Vienna. I have hope to see such a conference happening early in 2019 in Geneva. We all should support Russian delegates in organizing it. I observed delegates of the United States and the Russian Federation working together, especially women, giving me hope. We are beautiful human beings: Where is our shared will to meet and to talk, till we have worked out a solution? Yes, it is about nuclear weapons, it is not easy; and I don't care. I assume that no state will ever have the intension to use these weapons. The weapon is used as a threat and people feel it. It creates fear and distrust. I had a long conversation with a woman from the Lebanese delegation about the aspect of perceived threat. A Jewish State will never be able to justify the use of nuclear weapons within its deepest roots written in the Bible. The Republic of Iran cannot unite our Islamic world by wishing to destroy the Jewish state of Israel. Help uniting the world, without defining an enemy. Saudi Arabia does not need to enrich uranium for peaceful uses. There is enough enriched uranium for peaceful use in the world for centuries to come. It's time to speak honestly. God is listening, too. We all know. We have two years to make the zone happening. Let's work together, loyally and trustfully.
I got exited and very optimistic seeing the nuclear safeguard and verification mechanisms under the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT) growing and working. A diplomat next to me was saying, that we maybe will see verification mechanisms (as you can see on the side-event's website) to be needed in North Korea soon. The Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) is an example that the International Atomic Energy Agency's (IAEA) verification mechanisms are in place. The Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty (CTBT) is functioning around the world. A critical mass of actors support a Fissile Material Cut-off Treaty. The Additional Protocol makes sense. The Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons (TPNW) is emphasizing the humanitarian consequences of the use of nuclear weapons and is heard in the world. We could hear more female and young diplomats raising the voice for their country's needs. Mixed teams work better together. 50 years after the NPT was born, the building of nuclear non-proliferation, disarmament, and safeguard is build, it is amazing, it is real. Civil society actors around the world, such as the abolition2000 group, are committed to work together to help and support a global zero. For a useful overview of our full basket of options see the summary by the Parliamentarians for Nuclear Non-Proliferation and Disarmament (PNND). People with good hearts have been continuously working on this issue around the world; and are committed to keep working on it.
In the decades after World War II the international community has build an institutional framework to safeguard and verify nuclear disarmament. The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) is build. Cooperation with national institutions works. This is great. We as human beings have found an institutional way to guard the danger of nuclear destruction for our generation and probably also for future generations.
Following a step-by-step approach we now can start creating the political will to establish nuclear free zones on our continents and in our regions. We do this process step-by-step, all together.
The next step is the Middle East. No country in the region needs nuclear options to threaten its enemies. This is old. It is not honest and not following the truth. The idea to build its own national missile program is also very boring. All the noise and blaming who is violating the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty (INF) in Europe should wake us up. This not the future and not a perspective and heritage to give our young generations. This weapon systems are 70 years old. Even if we keep modifying them endlessly, this is really not the future. Are deterring weapon systems needed on earth at all? Why not finding ways to cooperate, instead of using our human capacities to threaten each other? God the merciful does not allow for this intension of threat anymore. Do we really want to act beyond God's will? We should have established a nuclear free zone in the Middle East by 2020.
Envision a reality
It's time for visions and rigorous implementation.
Here the vision. Step two is a nuclear free zone between Pakistan and India in 2025. Step three is a nuclear free zone in Europe, Asia and North America in 2030. It is not so very complicated. The world has continents, these continents can have political unions and can be nuclear free zones. For some continents the nuclear free zones will help to build political unions, for others, such as Europe, the unions will help to establish nuclear free zones. Both processes can be mutually reinforcing creating win-win situation, constructive dialogue and mutual respect around the world. We need supra-national unions anyways to institutionalize coordination mechanisms for the social consequences of climate change. We can be done by 2030. We start with the first step of a nuclear free zone in the Middle East till 2020. Don't let your mind find reasons to disagree. Trust my words for a month and share this vision with your colleagues during this month. Trust my words the next month again. Create an infinite regress. Challenge what I say but also work towards what I say.
A nuclear free Middle East is impossible. Impossible is not the answer anymore as I learned in Washington D.C., when walking by a Marine Corps memorial: "The difficult we do at once, the impossible takes a bit longer."
Israel does not need a strategy of nuclear ambiguity anymore. What Israel and the Jewish nation needs is recognition. It already is the super power in terms of human capital, creativity, and innovation in the region, if not in the world. Israel needs to be respected with a language of recognition. I think Israel would allow for unlimited verification of their nuclear program if Iran will do so. Will the world and the Middle East be ready to speak the words to welcome Israel as a friend and neighbor and partner to the NPT? This is the question we should talk about. Offering a language of recognition in order to reach disarmament. Allah does not want to destroy Israel. The Mahdi of the 21st century wants to unite the whole world, respecting the faith of all our forefathers. He will be looking ahead to the shared problems of future generations. Uniting our world and solving our problems is only possible with Israel.
Nuclear topics do not allow for compromises. And still they have a very emotional component.
Renegotiating the JCPOA with Iran is a chance. If you go in any nuclear negotiations you cannot move in with the idea of finding a compromise. The dangerous nature of the atom does not allow for a sunshine clause and a 'maybe in the future' argument. A new agreement with Iran, based on the terms put out by the US administration on May 21st 2018, will allow Israel to join the NPT in 2020. Then, Iran's demand of Israel's denuclearization would become reality. Also, Saudi Arabia would not need to enrich uranium anymore, meeting Israel's wish. Enemies could become partner and wars will end. God would smile. We need to find the language of care and understanding.
Disarming is painful for people who have the dream for their country to become a nuclear power. We need to find ways for new dreams that are more powerful as the dream of dominance and deterrence. We can start telling the story that our unfulfilled dreams are part of a larger dream. From a spiritual point of view it could be the Messianic era of shared togetherness of all people on earth. From a political point of view we could tell us the story of a united world, where we are able to organize distribution of goods, rights and services in a just and respectful way.
We can solve nuclear disarmament, because it is a social process. We can organize social process if we want to. Even if they are unlikely, social processes follow a probabilistic nature and can happen today or in the infinite future. If we want they can happen today: "The impossible takes a little bit longer." All we need are words and language and a strong will. The Manhattan Project, the creation of the nuclear bomb, is one example for what we are able to do, if we want to and if we do it together. We can do our job today. We know the goal. Don't ask for permission to continue, continue.
Be the United Nations
One last thought before we continue working. We should look back in history to the time before the bomb and World War II. Looking back to Franklin D. and Eleanor Roosevelt, the President and the First Lady of the United States from 1933 till 1945. After the war, Eleanor Roosevelt became the first Chair of the UN Commission on Human Rights (1946–1952). There are two busts of the couple in the back entrance area of the Assembly Hall. How can they inspire us today?
I remember walking the Roosevelt memorial in Washington D.C. on a bright August day in 2016. I read on a stone: "The structure of world peace cannot be the work of one man, one party, or one nation... It must be a peace which rests on the cooperative efforts of the whole world." Becoming one human nation. Overcoming the idea of war - study war no more. A world with universally shared human rights. Do we have enough political processes on a supra-national level to govern questions of global dimensions today?
Is what we have enough? I believe that the need for nuclear disarmament talks indirectly points towards too much noise at the United Nations Security Council. This is a harsh critic on this wonderful round of voices. We should not hesitate to think to reform the Security Council. I don't know enough about the United Nation's political bodies to present an answer. But I sense, that the strategy of nuclear deterrence and the concept of strategic stability based on nuclear deterrence is needed, because we do not have established enough strong and binding political process in the United Nations that can replace the idea of threat and nuclear deterrence. Deterrence still serves its duty of holding peace and preventing us from starting a new world war. It is a pity and shows how limited we think we are. It is still more powerful to threaten each other with destruction of the world, than to trust in the ability to negotiate stability again and again. The most important bodies of the United Nations should be a symbol of peace and an example for trust, hope, and friendship in our world. They should be creating the space for global cooperation.
"Unless the peace that follows recognizes that the whole world is one neighborhood and does justice to the whole human race, the germs of another world war will remain as a constant threat to mankind." I kept reading, walking the Roosevelt memorial. How does the UN Security Council look like in a time of complete nuclear disarmament? Where is the power of our voices than coming from? What power will then be holding peace without the power of our nuclear arsenals? What is the power of truth? Are human rights the answer? We cannot ignore universal human rights and the dignity of a single human being on earth. No Security Council is above the simple principle of shared dignity. We know where this rules come from and we know that we as humans are not able to change universality with force. We are not in the past anymore, the past of 20th century's battlefields. Our councils should not be uses as battlefields. They should be a place of love, honesty and trust instead of power and dominance. Welcome to the present. We are one world. Let's talk together, let's find solutions and, by God's wish, let's cooperate : ) We are one world. We cannot change it anymore.
Let's sit together and forgive each other why we meet. God want's us to walk the Avenue of Peace, l'Avenue de la Paix.