Platform Amendment - Disarmament

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DISARMAMENT PLATFORM PROPOSAL (underlined=new;struckout=deleted, relative to current platform plank)

SPONSOR:  Platform Standing Group


SUBJECT:   Disarmament in the Peace & Nonviolence Section of the GPCA Platform. Personal and global responsibility and nonviolence are the involved 10 Key Values of the GP.

Background and Purpose.

Green values emphasize the sanctity of life and the peaceful resolution of conflicts. Disarmament isn't just a desirable end result of these goals, it is also an important step toward attaining them.

Even though the cold war ended over a  decades ago, our level of armament still grossly exceeds any reasonable estimate of what we need for national defense. These weapons' destructive capacity, if they were used, would guarantee an unimaginably horrific toll in human life and environmental damage that would affect many generations to come. When the USSR dissolved as a single sovereign entity, the rationaleization justifying these weapons of mass destruction became obsolete. To date, we have conducted over 1,054 nuclear weapons tests. This is more than the other six known nuclear- capable nations combined. 

The continuing propensity for war, and the huge international arms market, has resulted in increased global conflicts. While such conflict decreased through the early 1990s, to a low of 20 conflicts in 1997, a sharp increase in recent years now shows had 38 such conflicts in progress at the beginning of 2002. Many of these are caused by the collapse of nation states to where they cannot provide for the basic needs of their citizens. The resulting emigration of desperate people to neighboring states causes ethnic, social and religious conflicts, as well as strain on the resources of those neighbors. All of this perpetuates a general instability that easily leads to armed conflict. 

Our continuing reliance on military solutions is reflected in the number of international agreements our government has refused to sign or failed to ratify. This not only includes agreements designed to reduce weapons, but also those aimed at improving the general human conditions. The list of unsigned or unratified agreements includes: Convention on the Prohibition of Anti-Personnel Mines; Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty; Strategic Arms Limitation Treaty II; Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty II; Kyoto Accord; Convention on the Rights of Children; Convention on the Elimination of Discrimination Against Women; the Treaty of Basel; and the Covenant on Economic, Social, and Cultural Rights. The current Administration has also announced its intentions to withdraw from the Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty. 

The Green Party advocates progress towards disarmament by the following means:

  • Make a realistic assessment of our national defense needs. We must stop the research, development, testing and deployment of offensive weapons - especially nuclear, chemical and biological weapons. We must halt the international exchange of nuclear technologies and materials. 
  • Immediately ban international arms sales, and enact a unilateral reduction in our current armaments stockpiles. 
  • Set up a multi-level international peace-keeping force consisting of citizen groups as well as the U.N. Initiate international cooperation in the resolution of conflicts to prevent them from escalating into warfare. 
  • Escalate talks with the former USSR republics to account for, and eliminate, their stockpiles of weapons - especially weapons grade plutonium. We call on the world community to assist in alternative job programs for weapons designers so they aren't tempted to sell weapons materials. 
  • Put our efforts into preventing conflicts and promoting stability by joining the rest of the world in signing, ratifying and enforcing the various international agreements that address these issues. 
  • Achieve nuclear abolition by enforcing the Nuclear Non Proliferation Treaty. Article VI of this treaty mandates the elimination of nuclear weapons through a treaty on "general and complete disarmament... under international control." Ensure U.S. compliance. 
  • Encourage local communities and governments to establish legally binding nuclear-free zones. 
  • Stop the production of nuclear material for all uses except those that are known to  be essential to prolong and save human lives directly, for example, irradiating cancers.  We need to halt all uses of nuclear materials to generate electricity to minimize risk to the planet and to minimize ionizing radiation exposure.  [See Nuclear Contamination]

COMMITTEE DECISION .  The platform was revised to complement the resolution to close California nuclear power reactors passed at the Berkeley General Assembly on  April 30 2011.  Revisions appeared in 2011 on September 2; October 13 2011.

RESOURCES:  This is a revision of an existing GPCA platform plank.