The Co-Conveners of the Euro-Atlantic Security Leadership Group (EASLG) released the following statement:
We welcome the leadership shown by the leaders of The People’s Republic of China, the French Republic, the Russian Federation, the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, and the United States of America in their January 3, 2022 Joint Statement on Preventing Nuclear War and Avoiding Arms Races.
We are encouraged by the statement’s clear affirmation of the principle that “a nuclear war cannot be won and must never be fought.” This principle is fundamental to ensuring predictability and reducing the risk of armed conflicts and the threat of nuclear war. It is especially important as new technologies reduce decision time for leaders. Such a principle is also at the core of the Treaty on the Non- Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT) whose Preamble recognizes “the devastation that would be visited upon all mankind by a nuclear war and the consequent need to make every effort to avert the danger of such a war and to take measures to safeguard the security of peoples”.
We strongly support the leaders’ commitment to preserving and complying with existing commitments, including the NPT’s Article VI obligation “to pursue negotiations in good faith on effective measures relating to cessation of the nuclear arms race at an early date and to nuclear disarmament, and on a treaty on general and complete disarmament under strict and effective international control.”
We welcome the leaders’ unequivocal commitment to pursue constructive dialogue, in particular during what is a delicate and dangerous moment in global security, and hope to see it continue and advance. For too long, the risk of an accident, mistake, or miscalculation leading to broader conflict, including nuclear use, has loomed over all of us. Meetings and processes between leaders and governments to address urgent political and security issues are now underway. Diplomacy and dialogue centered on specific steps to reduce the risk of nuclear use (such as those contained in our June 2021 Euro-Atlantic Security Leadership Group statement on “Advancing Strategic Stability in the Euro-Atlantic Region: 2021 and Beyond”) is a way to ensure current disputes on core issues are negotiated, and not fought.
We stand ready to support these efforts by leaders to move the world in a safer and more hopeful direction.
Euro-Atlantic Security Leadership Group (EASLG) Co-Conveners
Lord Des Browne
Vice Chair, Nuclear Threat Initiative; Chair of the Board of Trustees and Directors of the European Leadership Network; and former Secretary of State for Defence, United Kingdom
Ambassador (Botschafter) Professor Wolfgang Ischinger
Chairman (Vorsitzender), Munich Security Conference Foundation, Germany
Professor Igor Ivanov
President of the Russian International Affairs Council (RIAC); and former Minister of Foreign Affairs, Russia
Ernest J. Moniz
Co-Chair and CEO, Nuclear Threat Initiative; and former U.S. Secretary of Energy, United States
Co-Chair, Nuclear Threat Initiative; and former U.S. Senator, United States
Read the full statement here.
The opinions articulated above represent the views of the signatories and do not necessarily reflect the position of the European Leadership Network or any of its members. The ELN’s aim is to encourage debates that will help develop Europe’s capacity to address the pressing foreign, defence, and security policy challenges of our time.
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