Joint Media Release from ACDN & IDN
25 January 2023.
In 1947, when the Cold War was beginning, the atomic scientists of the University of Chicago created the Doomsday Clock, a fictional clock on which "midnight" symbolises the end of the world - the outcome that nuclear weapons could provoke. At the time they placed the long hand at 7 minutes to midnight. Since then, its position has fluctuated with shifts in international relations - moving between 2 minutes (1953) and 17 minutes (1991, the end of the Cold War).
In January 2020, the scientists (including 14 Nobel laureates) estimated that we were at no more than 100 seconds from Doomsday, because of "the inability of the world’s leaders to counter the imminent threats of nuclear war and climate change."
Now, on 24 January 2023, those in charge of the Bulletin of Atomic Scientists have re-set the Clock - to the time that matches the war in Ukraine. In their view, we are only 90 seconds away from the end of the world.
In other words, we are at the edge of the abyss. Will the leaders of the nuclear-armed states, in particular those of France, finally realise the need for nuclear disarmament? Nothing but multilateral nuclear disarmament, gradual, and controlled - achieved by negotiation - will enable us to put the clock back and thus avert a catastrophe which otherwise would be irremediable.
It is urgent that the world’s people take their destiny into their hands. Urgent that the parliamentarians take a firm grasp of this question. At a time when seven out of ten French citizens want the total elimination of nuclear weapons, we call upon all parliamentarians to let the people they represent have their say - and we call upon the citizens to require it. Our survival depends in part on each one of us.