G7 Leaders' Statement on Nuclear Disarmament a Good Start, More Action Needed

Statement by Laura Grego, Global Security Program, Union of Concerned Scientists

Published May 19, 2023

The G7 leaders released a statement, “Hiroshima Vision on Nuclear Disarmament,” that expressed a commitment to a world without nuclear weapons.

Below is a statement by Laura Grego, research director and senior scientist with the Global Security Program at the Union of Concerned Scientists.

“I am encouraged that the G7 leaders honored the significance of where they met and recognized the immediate need to recommit to a world without nuclear weapons. I appreciate that the leaders outlined some specific obligations. They forswore nuclear weapons testing and expressed urgency about bringing the Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty into force as well as getting back to work on a treaty banning the production of fissile material for nuclear weapons.

“Ratification of the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty and a binding international agreement on fissile materials are the best possible response to concerns about China’s nuclear weapons program. Preventing new nuclear explosive testing will limit China’s ability to develop new nuclear warhead designs and put a verifiable cap on the number of nuclear warheads China can produce.

“I’m glad to see the vision includes making sure nuclear arsenals continue to decline. The United States must follow through on this pledge given that it now is preparing to replace its entire nuclear arsenal at enormous expense, upwards of two trillion dollars.

“Laying out an ambitious vision is a great first step, but more concrete commitments are urgently needed. G7 leaders and nuclear-armed states now must make this vision a reality with specific goals and timelines. Nuclear disarmament should be on every single G7 meeting agenda going forward.

“It was important for the delegation to visit the Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum and meet with hibakusha. In the future, I hope these leaders engage more deeply with the hibakusha’s message and also acknowledge others harmed by the world’s nuclear legacy. Many still suffer devastating health effects from the testing, use and production of nuclear weapons, including people in the United States and Marshall Islands who were harmed by U.S. nuclear weapons testing and mining and are still fighting to be compensated.”

For information about how the Civil Society 7, or “C7,” which represents positions from the international civil society, worked to influence the G7’s nuclear weapons pledges, see the blog “Behind the G7 is the C7, which has a Message for the Hiroshima Summit,” by Gregory Kulacki, UCS’ China project manager.