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South Coast Nuclear Disarmament Group Involved In International Negotiations Underway At U.N.

(U.S. Air Force Photo)
ICBM test launched from Vandenberg Air Force Base

It’s an event being overshadowed by the almost hourly new headlines coming out of Washington, D.C. What’s being called a groundbreaking new global political effort to ban nuclear weapons is underway at the United Nations, and a South Coast peace advocacy group is playing a role in the talks.

Rick Wayman is with the Santa Barbara-based Nuclear Age Peace Foundation. Wayman is the Foundation’s Director of Programs, and is part of a team representing the foundation at talks in New York City. More than 120 countries are involved in the effort, but it’s facing an uphill battle, because while many nations are interested in the concept, a key group isn’t. That group includes the nations which actually have nuclear weapons, including the U.S., Britain, Russia, and China. They are boycotting the talks. The Obama and Trump Administration opposed the talks.

This week, the U.S. Ambassador to the U.N., Nikki Haley, says it’s a worthy goal but not realistic at this time.

But, Wayman says the talks are a starting point. The Nuclear Age Peace Foundation official says what’s happening this week is a breakthrough. The foundation’s involvement included presenting an event in New York intended to educate global delegates to the talks about current U.S. policy on its nuclear program.  The U.S. is currently involved in a massive effort to update its nuclear weapons, as well as weapons delivery systems.

This is just one of the latest efforts by the more than three decade old organization to advocate for a peaceful, nuclear weapons filled world. David Krieger is President of the Nuclear Age Peace Foundation. He says while a nuclear weapons free world might be a difficult goal to reach, the stakes are too high not to try to make it happen.

The negotiations will continue through this week in New York, with the goal of developing draft language for a treat. The talks will then consider this summer, with the goal of coming up with an actual document for consideration by every nation across the globe.