How Young People Are Trying to Stop Nuclear Weapons Testing

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Sarah Bidgood and Susan le Jeune d’Allegeerschecque
January 1, 2018

The following is an excerpt from an op/ed originally published in Teen Vogue.

The atomic age dawned more than 70 years ago, but there is no sense in which the nuclear weapons debate is yesterday’s news. From North Korea’s nuclear program to the ground-breaking Iran Deal, the nuclear arms issue is at the heart of the biggest threats facing the planet and the ways in which governments respond. Anyone under 26 was born after the end of the Cold War, but our youth has inherited the 15,000 nuclear warheads which are its most concrete legacy. And unlike the 70s and 80s, when nuclear policy drove one of the biggest protest movements of the time, it might seem that the opportunities to exert influence today are limited.

The Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty Organization (CTBTO) provides a way for the next generation to make their voices heard. The group is the guardian of a 1996 agreement of the same name that bans all nuclear testing. Because of the role that testing plays in the development and improvement of nuclear weapons, the treaty is crucial to limiting their spread. It has not yet entered into force because it has not been ratified by eight countries, including the United States. This means that even though the treaty is already supported by a global monitoring system of more than 300 facilities that can detect nuclear explosions anywhere in the world, the door remains open for countries that have not ratified it to test without legal consequences (as we have seen in North Korea).

Continue reading at Teen Vogue.

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