Sweden is facing a choice of path: go ahead and continue to push for disarmament or passively watch when the nuclear threat increases, writes Jaime Gomez from the Feminist Initiative. Photo: Ralf Schlesener (CC BY 2.0).

Debate

Sweden must sign the UN Convention on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons

A major nuclear war would make our planet uninhabitable for humans. Despite this, Sweden and the EU have not wanted to ratify the UN Convention on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons. We must realize that disarmament is the only way to peace and human security, writes Jaime Gomez from the Feminist Initiative.

On 7 July 2017, 122 countries in the UN adopted a legally binding agreement banning nuclear weapons. Most of the NATO countries and the major nuclear weapons countries Russia, the United States, France, the United Kingdom and China were outside the agreement.

Many civil society organizations, not least the women's and peace movements, have pushed for the issue of a ban on nuclear weapons around the world. A feminist foreign policy has a vision of a world without violence, which by peaceful means can prevent and resolve conflicts. The international community has a crucial role to play in realizing this vision. A feminist foreign policy interacts with peace and security policy, and puts human security before territorial security.

Sweden is facing a choice of path

In the autumn of 2017, the government appointed an inquiry into the consequences for Sweden if we sign the UN agreement. Lars-Erik Lundin, the government's special investigator, wrote in his report that the convention on a ban on nuclear weapons is "unclear" and must be "developed". He comes to the following conclusion: "Sweden should neither accede to nor sign the convention in its current form". The investigation has now been out for consultation. Several heavy consultative bodies do not agree with the conclusion. In addition, just over four out of five Swedes want Sweden to sign the convention.

Sweden is facing a choice of path: go ahead and continue to push for disarmament or passively watch as the nuclear threat increases. In the face of a nuclear disaster, we are powerless. In addition to an immediate humanitarian crisis, there will be a climate collapse with crop failure and mass starvation. A major nuclear war would make our planet uninhabitable for humans for the foreseeable future. We can not allow that!

Sweden's foreign policy cannot be governed by the United States

It is remarkable how the Swedish Armed Forces' response to the referral acknowledges that nuclear issues are integrated into all activities at several different levels in NATO and with the great powers. They point out that military cooperation with nuclear powers will be "negatively affected if Sweden accedes to the convention".

It would be a disaster for Sweden if our foreign policy was decided in the corridors of the US Department of Defense. We can not shape our foreign policy based on US military interests. We should shape our foreign policy based on the conviction that only disarmament can create the conditions for peace. In this context, the ban on nuclear weapons should be a priority. Within the EU, there are two nuclear powers and therefore the signing of the convention banning nuclear weapons is a topical issue there as well.

It is worrying that the Armed Forces agrees with the inquiry's assessment that "the implementation of the convention and national compliance is an uncertainty." Nuclear weapons themselves are a global security threat because they are weapons of mass destruction. The Convention is an excellent tool for reducing this threat and realizing the vision of a world without nuclear weapons.

The Feminist Initiative calls on all democratic parties in the Riksdag and civil society organizations to act so that Sweden fulfills its obligations and ratifies the nuclear weapons agreement.

The Feminist Initiative will continue to push for a total elimination of the approximately 15,000 nuclear weapons that pose a threat to humanity. The world does not need nuclear weapons, the world needs disarmament, peace and human security.

This is a debate article. The author is responsible for analysis and opinions in the text.

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