Expert says non-nuclear states vital to nuclear arms control

A Norwegian nuclear weapons expert recently asserted that nations without nuclear weapons capability may be the key to eliminating nuclear arms altogether.

Sverre Lodgaard, a senior research fellow at Norway's Institute of International Affairs, notes that the developing world is taking the lead on the issue, according to TheForeigner.

"Africa and Latin America are providing the much-needed leadership to push these international efforts. In doing so, they will prevent putting public health at risk, potentially caused by using nuclear weapons," Lodgaard said, TheForeigner reports.

Lodgaard made the remarks shortly after the Humanitarian Impact of Nuclear Weapons' conference, which was held in Oslo and hosted by Norwegian Foreign Minister Espen Barth Eide. Around 130 states and UN agencies participated in the event, which was used to present findings on the environmental, developmental and health consequences of nuclear detonations.

As the conference proceeded, the attendees reported feeling a sense of shared responsibility and a need to act to prevent the intentional or unintentional use of nuclear arms. To do so, they may need to act in conjunction with the nuclear powers, according to TheForeigner.

"(The) ambition of the non-nuclear states is to approach an issue as complex as this from many different angles," Lodgaard said, TheForeigner reports. "I believe that countries like US and Russia can play a major part in bringing nuclear weapon states to the table and show them reason to cut down on their atomic armaments.

"President Obama, who is individually motivated but has not got a green signal from various government lobbies, wishes both the US and Russia to cut down on their armaments bringing them to below the 1,000 mark."