World Future Council members and RLA laureates denounce limited focus of Nuclear Security Summit

Jay Owen Global Citizen

Press Release

World Future Council members and RLA laureates denounce limited focus of Nuclear Security Summit

Stockholm/Hamburg, March 20, 2014 – In a joint statement 38 recipients of the Right Livelihood Award and members of the World Future Council are calling on world leaders at the Nuclear Security Summit to acknowledge that, for nuclear weapons, there are “no right hands”.

Next week, 58 world leaders, 5,000 delegates and 3,000 journalists will convene in The Hague for the Nuclear Security Summit (NSS) aiming to ensure that nuclear materials and technology are under safer and more secure control.

However, the signatories of this statement point out that, in the limited framework of the Summit, world leaders avoid discussing the adoption of common standards for all by focusing on only one small part of the problem – “the acquisition of nuclear weapons or fissile materials by non-State actors  – rather than on the larger and more dangerous problems of the possession of over 17,000 nuclear weapons by the nine nuclear armed States, (…) and the continued reliance by some countries on nuclear energy technologies, which fuel nuclear proliferation and create risks of further accidents like those at Chernobyl and Fukushima.”

NSS Secretary-General Renée Jones-Bos made clear the limited focus of the Summit which “is not about non-proliferation. It’s about rogue nuclear material. It’s about ensuring that such material does not fall into the wrong hands.”

The statement challenges this underlying assumption and says: “With regard to nuclear weapons, there are no right hands. The International Court of Justice in The Hague confirmed in 1996 that the threat or use of nuclear weapons is generally illegal, regardless of who would possess or use such weapons, and that there is an obligation to achieve complete nuclear disarmament. (…) Applying the law against nuclear weapons only to some people (non-State actors) but not to others (State actors) is unsustainable and runs counter to the basis of law, that it should apply equally to all.”

Alyn Ware, World Future Council Member and a recipient of the 2009 Right Livelihood Award, says: “Of course, it is an imperative to prevent the spread of nuclear materials to non-state actors. But why aren’t similar resources being dedicated to eliminating the current arsenals of nuclear weapons to ensure that nuclear weapons will never again be used by accident, miscalculation or intent?”

For the full statement and the list of signatories, please go to

For further information, please contact

Alyn Ware
Member of the World Future Council; Right Livelihood Award Laureate 2009
[email protected]
Mobile: +41 788 912 156

Rob van Riet
Coordinator World Future Council Disarmament Programme
rob.vanriet @
+44 798 32 65 979

About the Right Livelihood Award

The Right Livelihood Award was established in 1980 to honour and support those “offering practical and exemplary answers to the most urgent challenges facing us today”. It has become widely known as the ‘Alternative Nobel Prize’ and there are now 153 Laureates from 64 countries. The annual Award Ceremony takes place in the Swedish Parliament Building in December, with support by parliamentarians from all established political parties.

The Right Livelihood Award Foundation is based in Stockholm, Sweden. The prize is financed by individual donors.

World Future Council

The World Future Council brings the interests of future generations to the centre of policy-making. Its 50 eminent members from around the globe have already successfully promoted change. The Council addresses challenges to our common future and provides decision makers with effective policy solutions. The World Future Council is registered as a charitable foundation in Hamburg, Germany.

Media Contact

World Future Council
Media & Communications
Anne Reis
Mexikoring 29
22297 Hamburg

Phone: + 49 40 30 70 914-16
Mobile: + 49 174 1933 145
Fax: + 49 40 30 70 914-14

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