Nobel peace laureates say denuclearization is imperative for humanity

The world should come together to initiate a process for a treaty that will ban nuclear weapons, a group of Nobel Peace Prize laureates said in a recent statement.

The group of laureates, including the Dalai Lama, the International Physicians for the Prevention of Nuclear War and former South African President F.W. de Klerk, welcomed the recent shift in international discourse about denuclearization. The laureates said the continued possession of more than 17,200 nuclear weapons by nine countries and the large amounts of fissile material with proliferation risks pose an existential danger to humanity.

The laureates cited multiple recent meetings during which the imperative to ban nuclear weapons was discussed.

"The dangers that we face from nuclear weapons-and the humanitarian imperative to outlaw and eliminate them-have become a major focus of several official and unofficial gatherings of states in the past year, including preparatory meetings for the 2015 Non-Proliferation Treaty Review Conference, the meetings of the Open-Ended Working Group on nuclear disarmament, and the High-Level Meeting on Nuclear Disarmament at the U.N. General Assembly on September 26," the laureates said.

The laureates urged the states meeting about denuclearization to go one step further and start a process to create a treaty that will ban nuclear weapons. The laureates gave the initiative to ban nuclear weapons their full endorsement.

"This new humanitarian-based initiative to remove the most abhorrent weapons ever created from everyone's hands, which is now supported by a growing number of states and by civil society, offers a pathway to a nuclear-weapons-free world that is inspiring, hopeful, and practical," the laureates said.