Abstract

H. Müller "Nuclear Weapon Free Zones – One way forward"

Nuclear weapons do not only threaten future generations with high costs, environmental damage, devastating warfare, fallout and permanent threat. They also need the maintenance of huge technological-military-political complexes which reproduce enemy images and threatening military doctrines, uphold the grave distrust among states that their rivals intend to annihilate them when theopportunity arises and perpetuate an international system subject to fear, threat and permanent tension. The nuclear weapon ban presents one bold initiative by non-nuclear weapon states to contribute to the abolition of the nuclear menace and to demonstrate unambiguously their rejection of the nuclear ideology. Another, time-honored approach is the establishment of nuclear weapon free zones. Already now, the southern hemisphere is covered by such zones by the sovereign policies or their member states. No such zones exists in regions where states possessing nuclear weapons are located. One of these regions is Europe. This justifies an inquiry if a nuclear weapon free zone in Europe could be initiated. The fact that only a handful of smaller states would initially participate in this project and the zone would thus be a “patchwork” is no barrier, as the example of other such zones shows. An inquiry of possible negotiation processes, the basic content of the zone, and dealing with the inevitable resistance of opponents of such a project indicates that it is a possibility that could be pursued, with the necessary political. If politicians wish to support the effects of the nuclear ban at a regional level – here is an opportunity.