P5 steps up…or was that down…or sideways…
The P5 gathered in London this month to reaffirm that they need to be seen reaffirming from time to time their affirmation that a world without nuclear weapons is a topic of discussion to which they take an affirmative approach.
Meeting on February 4 and 5, the US, Russia, the UK, France, and China “reaffirmed that a step-by-step approach to nuclear disarmament that promotes international stability, peace and undiminished and increased security for all remains the only realistic and practical route to achieving a world without nuclear weapons.”
The big news coming out of this fifth meeting among the Ps about their unequivocal intention to allow the rest of the world to live free of the danger of nuclear annihilation at some convenient but unspecified future date is that they had “constructive and productive discussions” about “developing…mutual confidence and transparency” and “about the importance of engaging in frank and constructive dialogue” about “all factors that could affect global strategic stability.”
There was no time, really, to get into side issues such as those distracting conferences and statements about how nuclear weapons threaten the entire world with an impending humanitarian catastrophe beyond any hope of repair, but rest assured that the P5 has a “shared understanding about the severe consequences of nuclear weapon use and underlined their resolve to prevent such an occurrence from happening.” What a relief. Call it the P5 Pledge.
In the meantime, excitement is building about the forthcoming Glossary of Key Nuclear Terms. Even before the first edition has hit the stands, we’re promised revisions and updates “as appropriate in due course.”
I guess we’re supposed to take this seriously. Somehow, I can’t rise above sarcasm. If you want to give it a try, the joint statement is here.
Or, you can just enjoy the M. C. Escher drawing that Alice Slater sent around as a perfect illustration of the P5 step-by-step process. In this case, a picture is worth 1,642 words.