Nuclear weaponry useless, prof says

Weapons pose danger on an international level

Queen’s Professor Anthony Seaboyer says the use of nuclear weapons would have negative and far-reaching effects on the global population.
Queen’s Professor Anthony Seaboyer says the use of nuclear weapons would have negative and far-reaching effects on the global population.
Photo: 
The 2010 May-long Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty Review conference is held at the UN Headquarters in New York City. The conference is expected to be attended by many political figures including Hillary Clinton and Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.
The 2010 May-long Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty Review conference is held at the UN Headquarters in New York City. The conference is expected to be attended by many political figures including Hillary Clinton and Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.
Credit: 
Supplied

Queen’s professor and nuclear proliferation expert Anthony Seaboyer returned to Kingston Friday from the 2010 Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) Review Conference at the UN Headquarters in New York City.

The May-long review conference, attended by Hillary Clinton and Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, deals with issues including treaty universality, peaceful use of nuclear energy, regional disarmament, and non-proliferation, which means limiting the spreading of nuclear weaponry.

The treaty and the NPT-Regime are reviewed every five years in this conference, he said adding that different issues are evaluated at each conference.

Seaboyer said that although the NPT is a binding treaty, there is no real mechanism that occurs when a state defies the treaty. The treaty has guided terms which party states must abide by.

These guidelines require party members that own nuclear weapons to not share their resources with another state and not attack a state which doesn’t have nuclear weapons. These parties must also have a long-term plan in trying to dispose of their nuclear weapons in the future. Parties that don’t own nuclear weapons must work towards ensuring that they don’t own them in the future.

“The conference focuses on important issues in regards to nuclear non-proliferation and the NPT-Treaty regime, such as what regulations have to be renewed, and how to deal with states outside the treaty like Israel, India and Pakistan,” he said, adding that Canada has had a very strong involvement in nuclear non-proliferation.

Seaboyer said that although Canada does not currently own any nuclear weapons, they have more people working on this issue than most European countries because Canada is strongly convinced that nuclear weapons are a danger to international peace.

“If a nuclear weapon were to be used anywhere in the world, Canada would be affected by the consequences for the people in area and the environment. This is because of the effects it would have on the ecosystems” he said. “Although Canada currently does not have any nuclear weapons, it must cooperate with its international partners to ensure that the use of nuclear weapons is prevented.” The Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty first came to effect in 1970 with the mission of limiting the spread of nuclear weapons. Currently there are 189 states that are parties to the treaty, five of which own nuclear weapons: United States, Russia, United Kingdom, France and China. The four non-parties believed to possess nuclear weapons are India, Pakistan, North Korea and Israel.

This year’s President-elect of the Conference is Ambassador Libran N. Cabactulan of Philippines. Cabactulan is the permanent Representative of the Philippines to the United Nations.

Seaboyer said currently there is no real strategic benefit to nuclear weapons as their use is highly unlikely.

“Some countries keep them for deterrence. Other countries want them to ensure the existence of their political regime,” he said, adding that this conference is a great opportunity to limit nuclear weapons because President Barack Obama has influenced how the topic is perceived and put it on top of world’s agenda.

“He truly believes these weapons need to be abolished. He has given various speeches on this, has negotiated the START-Treaty, held a successful nuclear security summit and is undoubtedly personally very convinced that nuclear weapons should be abolished as soon as possible,” he said.

When commenting, be considerate and respectful of writers and fellow commenters. Try to stay on topic. Spam and comments that are hateful or discriminatory will be deleted. Our full commenting policy can be read here.