The advancement of technology has lead to many nations possesing some form of nuclear weapon of sorts. In fact, before Covid became the hardest hitter, nuclear power was one the main reason for the doomsday clock approaching so close to midnight. As long as nuclear weapons remain in existence, it is inevitable that they will someday be used, whether by design, accident or miscalculation. The only guarantee of the non-use of nuclear weapons is their complete abolition.
Currently, treaties and policies such as the the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons (TPNW) by the United Nations are the best and seemingly solution to this problem. Even then, not all countries agree to nuclear disarmament and some even go against the policies they had previously agreed upon.
An alternative to simply pen and paper?
While policies and treaties are a good step forward, do you think it is possible to come up with other ingenious and unique ideas that could possibly help with nuclear disarmament?
For example, interestingly enough, Psychedelics, specifically the psychedelic drug MDMA (popularly known as Ecstasy) "were claimed to be given to to Soviet scientists and military personnel set to negotiate with US President Ronald Reagan in 1985, thereby injecting empathy and cross-cultural understanding into the nuclear peace process." By using drugs to evoke a certain state or emotion, it might be possible to literally reduce tensions between national figures. However, that being said, some would definitely argue that it is not wise to allow politictians to make such imperative decisions on such "baseless" and emotive state.
While reading the article, I realized that perhaps what we should do is to make the people pushing the buttons realise the severity of their actions. Responsibility, transparency and empathy can help convince leaders that nuclear weapons bring more harm than good. Therefore, I came up with the following solution.
Often times, these treaties and policies have dialogue sessions as a platform to discuss the terms and conditions of it. However, victims of nuclear disasters and relevant activist should be given the platform to share their stories and consequences suffered as a result of these weapons before the signing of each treaties. Politicians can take this opportunity to hear from not only people under them but others worldwide who have truly experienced and understood the severity of this issue. Often, there are many activist and campaigners who want to be heard and I believe that by allowing their voices to be heard, better solutions might even present itself. Kind of what we are doing on this platform as a brainstorming session! Violent protest are also less likely to occur if the poeple feel like they are being heard. More importantly, these sessions are to remind those signing the papers the importance of nuclear disarmament and its true impact on the world.
Instead of using drugs to evoke an emotion, perhaps we can use the basic and most human level of empathy as a way to convince the higher ups of an alternative. Such sharing or debate session can be done either in person or online if it is more convienient.
Another idea that could work would be to tax or impose sanctions on those countries that refuse to demilitarize. While this is similar to other policies and treaties, I would argue it is much more effective as there are now direct consequences to those who refuse to take action. Those who refuse should pay the price instead.