There are currently almost 24,000 nuclear warheads in existence, with a destructive power equivalent to 400,000 times the power of the bomb dropped on Hiroshima in 1945. Nuclear arms account for a significant portion of global arms expenditure, which reached an all-time high of US $1,400,000,000,000 in 2008, an increase of 45% over the preceding decade.So said the International Trade Union Confederation (ITUC), the global voice of workers in 157 countries, in launching a worldwide campaign against nuclear weapons. The campaign, run in cooperation with “Mayors for Peace,” which groups more than 2,000 cities in 130 countries, is a lead-up to the May 2010 UN review of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT).
Guy Ryder, ITUC general secretary, expressed labor’s concern “about the prospect of further nuclear proliferation, particularly in North Asia, South Asia, and the Middle East,“ and added: “The only way to deal with this is through multilateral negotiations, and the 2010 NPT review is tremendously important in that regard.”
A petition to UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon, as well as other information, can be found on the campaign website http://www.ituc-csi.org/.