Global Zero (campaign)

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Global Zero is an international non-partisan group of 300 world leaders dedicated to achieving the elimination of nuclear weapons.[1] The initiative, launched in December 2008, promotes a phased withdrawal and verification for the destruction of all devices held by official and unofficial members of the nuclear club. The Global Zero campaign works toward building an international consensus and a sustained global movement of leaders and citizens for the elimination of nuclear weapons.

Goals include the initiation of United States-Russia bilateral negotiations for reductions to 1,000 total warheads each and commitments from the other key nuclear weapons countries to participate in multilateral negotiations for phased reductions of nuclear arsenals. Global Zero works to expand the diplomatic dialogue with key governments and continue to develop policy proposals on the critical issues related to the elimination of nuclear weapons.

Action plan[edit]

The Global Zero plan[2] for the phased, verified elimination of all nuclear weapons is a four-phased strategy to reach a global zero accord over 14 years (2010–2023) and to complete the dismantlement of all remaining nuclear warheads over the following seven years (2024–2030).

Phase 1 (2010–2013) Following conclusion of a START replacement accord, negotiate a bilateral accord for the United States and Russia to reduce to 1,000 total warheads each.

Phase 2 (2014–2018) In a multilateral framework, the U.S. and Russia reach agreement to reduce to 500 total warheads each (to be implemented by 2021) as long as all other nuclear weapons countries agree to freeze their stockpiles until 2018, followed by proportional reductions until 2021. Establish a comprehensive verification and enforcement system, and strengthen safeguards on the civilian nuclear fuel cycle to prevent diversion of materials to build weapons.

Phase 3 (2019–2023) Negotiate a global zero accord, signed by all nuclear capable countries, for the phased, verified, proportional reduction of all nuclear arsenals to zero total warheads by 2030.

Phase 4 (2024–2030) Complete the phased, verified, proportional reduction of all nuclear arsenals to zero total warheads by 2030 and continue the verification and enforcement system.

In releasing the plan, the Commission noted that over the past twenty years (1989–2009), the United States and Russia retired and destroyed twice as many nuclear warheads (40,000+) as this action plan proposes (20,000+) over the next twenty years (2009–2030).


Global Zero was launched in Paris in December 2008 by more than 100 political, civic, and military leaders. There, they announced a framework plan for the elimination of nuclear weapons, starting with deep reductions to the U.S. and Russian arsenals.[3] Global Zero gave letters signed by more than 90 Global Zero leaders to President of the United States Barack Obama and President of the Russian Federation Dmitry Medvedev, urging them to commit to the elimination of nuclear weapons. Global Zero Commissioners Senator Chuck Hagel and Ambassador Richard Burt met with President Medvedev in Moscow and discussed the agenda.

On April 1, 2009 the two presidents met in London and issued a historic joint statement committing their “two countries to achieving a nuclear free world” and three days later in a speech in Prague, President Obama declared his intention to “seek to include all nuclear weapons states in this endeavor.”[4] On the day of the meeting, the Times (of London) published an op-ed authored by six Global Zero leaders.[5] Negotiations began between the two countries for a New START nuclear arms reduction treaty.

Prior to the July 6–8, 2009 Obama-Medvedev Summit, the international Global Zero Commission of 23 political and military leaders released a comprehensive, end-to-end plan for the elimination of nuclear weapons over the next 20 years. At their Summit, Presidents Obama and Medvedev announced a framework agreement for new reductions to U.S. and Russian arsenals[6]– a critical first step toward multilateral negotiations for the elimination of all nuclear weapons as called for in the Global Zero Action Plan (GZAP).

At the 35th G8 summit in July 2009, world leaders announced their support of the Obama-Medvedev commitment to eliminate all nuclear weapons and called on all countries to “undertake further steps in nuclear disarmament.”[7] Global Zero leaders believe the international consensus for the elimination of nuclear weapons is reaching a critical mass,[3] especially given the declarations of political leaders during the special U.N. Security Council session on proliferation and disarmament convened by President Obama (September 24, 2009).[4] President Obama received the 2009 Nobel Peace Prize in acknowledgment to his efforts for nuclear disarmament.[8]

During 2010, the initiative has continued with the Global Zero Summit (February 2–4, 2010), signing of the New START treaty (April 8, 2010), the Nuclear Security Summit (April 12–13, 2010) and the Non Proliferation Treaty Review Conference (May 3–28, 2010).

Former Heads of State[edit]

Signatories include former Heads of State (or Heads of Government) from several countries:

Country Position Name
Australia Prime Minister Malcolm Fraser
Brazil President Fernando H. Cardoso
Chile President Ricardo Lagos
Costa Rica President José María Figueres
Czechoslovakia President Václav Havel
Ireland President Mary Robinson
Italy Prime Minister Massimo D'Alema
Japan Prime Minister Yasuo Fukuda
Latvia Prime Minister Valdis Birkavs
Mexico President Vicente Fox
Mexico President Ernesto Zedillo
Netherlands Prime Minister Wim Kok
Netherlands Prime Minister Ruud Lubbers
Norway Prime Minister Gro Harlem Brundtland
Philippines President Fidel Ramos
Portugal Prime Minister Mário Soares
South Africa President Frederik Willem de Klerk
Soviet Union General Secretary Mikhail Gorbachev
Spain Prime Minister José María Aznar
Spain Prime Minister Felipe González
United States President Jimmy Carter
West Germany Chancellor Helmut Schmidt

Notable signatories[edit]

Signatories include members of the academic, diplomatic, military, and political establishment expert in arms control policy as well as prominent figures in religion, business, the media and non-governmental organizations.

Name Country Profession
James Arbuthnot UK Politician
Keiichiro Asao Japan Politician
Timothy Garton Ash UK Academic
Jacques Attali France Economist
Lloyd Axworthy Canada Politician
Sartaj Aziz Pakistan Diplomat
José María Aznar Spain Politician
Kanti Bajpai India Academic
Hugh Beach UK Military
Margaret Beckett UK Politician
Rob Bell US Religious
Lawrence Bender US Media
Sandy Berger US Diplomat
Alexander Bessmertnykh Russia Diplomat
Ela Bhatt India NGO
Ian Biggs Australia Diplomat
Carl Bildt Sweden Politician
Valdis Birkavs Latvia Politician
Robert Blackwill US Diplomat
Bruce Blair US Academic
Hans Blix Sweden Diplomat
Nalia Bolus US NGO
Lakhdar Brahimi Algeria NGO
Richard Branson UK Business
Matt Brown US Politician
Des Browne UK Politician
Gro Harlem Brundtland Norway Politician
Richard R. Burt US Diplomat
Zbigniew Brzezinski US Diplomat
Richard Butler Australia Diplomat
Francesco Calogero Italy Scientist
Menzies Campbell UK Politician
Fernando H. Cardoso Brazil Politician
Frank Carlucci US Diplomat
Jimmy Carter US Politician
Raymond Chambers US Finance
Naresh Chandra India Diplomat
Chung Kun-Mo South Korea Scientist
Joseph Cirincione US NGO
Richard Cizik US Religious
Stephen Colbert US Media
Massimo D'Alema Italy Politician
Ivo H. Daalder US Diplomat
Romeo Dallaire Canada Military
Frederik Willem de Klerk South Africa Politician
Kemal Derviş Turkey Economist
Jayantha Dhanapala Sri Lanka Diplomat
Michael Douglas US Media
Yuri Dubinin Russia Diplomat
Mahmud Ali Durrani Pakistan Military
Lawrence Eagleburger US Diplomat
Rolf Ekéus Sweden Diplomat
Mohamed ElBaradei Egypt Diplomat
Gareth Evans Australia Politician
Muhammad Amin Fahim Pakistan Politician
José María Figueres Costa Rica Politician
Vicente Fox Mexico Politician
Malcolm Fraser Australia Politician
Lawrence Freedman UK Academic
Yasuo Fukuda Japan Politician
Jake Garn US Politician
Hans-Dietrich Genscher Germany Diplomat
Bates Gill US Academic
Felipe González Spain Politician
Mikhail Gorbachev Russia Politician
Chuck Hagel US Politician
Lee H. Hamilton US Politician
David Hannay UK Diplomat
Gary Hart US Politician
Václav Havel Czech Republic Politician
Yoshimasa Hayashi Japan Politician
Stanley Hoffmann France Academic
Pervez Hoodbhoy Pakistan Scientist
Charles Horner US Military
Douglas Hurd UK Diplomat
Wolfgang Ischinger Germany Diplomat
Igor Ivanov Russia Politician
Peter Jankowitsch Austria Diplomat
Max Kampelman US Diplomat
Sergei Karaganov Russia Academic
Jehangir Karamat Pakistan Military
Khurshid Mahmud Kasuri Pakistan Diplomat
Yoriko Kawaguchi Japan Politician
Naoki Kazama Japan Politician
Peter Kellner UK Media
Bob Kerrey US Politician
Shaharyar Khan Pakistan Diplomat
Alan Khazei US NGO
Steve Killelea Australia Business
Wim Kok Netherlands Politician
Lawrence Korb US Academic
Ricardo Lagos Chile Politician
Anthony Lake US Diplomat
Ruud Lubbers Netherlands Politician
Vladimir Lukin Russia Politician
Kishore Mahbubani Singapore Diplomat
Mikhail Margelov Russia Politician
Jamsheed Marker Pakistan Diplomat
Talat Masood Pakistan Military
Jack Matlock US Diplomat
Robert McFarlane US Military
Merrill McPeak US Military
Brajesh Mishra India Diplomat
C. Raja Mohan India Academic
Walter Mondale US Politician
Amr Moussa Egypt Diplomat
Satish Nambiar India Military
Klaus Naumann Germany Military
Queen Noor Jordan NGO
Sari Nusseibeh Palestine Academic
Edwin O’Brien US Religious
David Owen UK Politician
Ana Palacio Spain Diplomat
Gopalaswami Parthasarathy India Diplomat
Peng Guangqian China Military
Thomas R. Pickering US Diplomat
Vladimir Posner Russia Media
William Potter US Academic
Vasantha Raghavan India Military
Sherry Rehman Pakistan Politician
Fidel Ramos Philippines Politician
Alain Richard France Politician
Malcolm Rifkind UK Politician
Mary Robinson Ireland Politician
Michel Rocard France Politician
Douglas Roche Canada Politician
Sergey Rogov Russia Academic
Adam Daniel Rotfeld Poland Diplomat
Roald Sagdeev Russia Scientist
Jonathan Schell US Academic
Helmut Schmidt Germany Politician
Jack Sheehan US Military
Martin Sherwin US Academic
Jennifer Allen Simons Canada Educator
Jaswant Singh India Politician
Jeffrey Skoll Canada Business
Mário Soares Portugal Politician
Javier Solana Spain Diplomat
Jon Soltz US Military
Song Min-soon South Korea Diplomat
K. Subrahmanyam India Academic
Toshiyuki Takano Japan Diplomat
Strobe Talbott US Diplomat
John Thornton US Finance
Desmond Tutu South Africa Religious
Shashindra Pal Tyagi India Military
Ehsan ul Haq Pakistan Military
Hans van den Broek Netherlands Diplomat
Frank von Hippel US Academic
Eckart von Klaeden Germany Politician
Evgeny Velikhov Russia Scientist
Margot Wallström Sweden Politician
Wang Jisi China Academic
Shirley Williams UK Politician
Yan Xuetong China Academic
Muhammad Yunus Bangladesh Economist
Uta Zapf Germany Politician
Ernesto Zedillo Mexico Politician
Philip Zelikow US Diplomat
Gen. Anthony Zinni US Military

Public opinion[edit]

Building public opinion supportive of the elimination of nuclear weapons is part of the goal of the Global Zero campaign. These include encouraging media worldwide to make the elimination of nuclear weapons a leading global policy issue, to launch a global student campaign, and to expand the online citizen membership and the cadre of leaders.

A poll conducted in 2008 in 21 countries found that 76% of over 19,000 people surveyed favored the verified elimination of nuclear weapons.[9]

On April 7, 2009, signatory Queen Noor of Jordan gave a mock-knighthood to Stephen Colbert in exchange for his pledge to spread awareness of the program to the Colbert Nation.


American economist and arms control strategist Thomas Schelling argues that Global Zero advocates do not explicitly address the question of why we should expect a world without nuclear weapons to be safer than one with some nuclear weapons. "That drastic reductions make sense, and that some measure to reduce alert status do, too, may require no extensive analysis. But considering how much intellectual effort in the past half century went into the study of the 'stability' of a nuclear deterrence world, it ought to be worthwhile to examine contingencies in a nuclear free world to verify that it is superior to a world with (some) nuclear weapons."[10] Schelling argues that prospects for significant reductions in nuclear arms between Russia and the United States are good and should contribute to "nuclear quiescence."[11] Concern over Iran, North Korea, and non-state actors is justified, but complete nuclear disarmament of Russia, the United States, China, France and the United Kingdom is tangential to those prospects, Schelling argues.[11] "Except for some 'rogue' threats, there is little that could disturb the quiet nuclear relations among the recognized nuclear nations. This nuclear quiet should not be traded away for a world in which a brief race to reacquire nuclear weapons could become every former nuclear state's overriding preoccupation."[11]

See also[edit]


  1. ^
  2. ^ "Getting to Zero". Global Zero. 2010-12-10. Retrieved 2011-03-02. 
  3. ^ a b "Group seeks nuclear weapons ban". BBC News. December 10, 2008. 
  4. ^ a b Biddle, Jo (2009-09-23). "AFP: World leaders vow to seek nuclear-free world". Retrieved 2011-03-02. 
  5. ^ "Scrapping nuclear arms is now realpolitik". The Times (London). April 1, 2009. 
  6. ^ "Barack Obama: US President And Russia's Medvedev Agree To Cut Stockpiles Of Nuclear Weapons | World News | Sky News". Retrieved 2011-03-02. 
  7. ^ "NTI: Global Security Newswire - Obama Plans Nuclear Security Summit". Global Security Newswire. 2009-07-09. Retrieved 2011-03-02. 
  8. ^ Erlanger, Steven (October 10, 2009). "Surprise Nobel for Obama Stirs Praise and Doubts". The New York Times. 
  9. ^ "Publics around the World Favor International Agreement To Eliminate All Nuclear Weapons". 2008-12-09. 
  10. ^ Schelling, Thomas C. (Fall 2009). "A world without nuclear weapons?". Dædalus. Volume 138 (Issue 4): 125. doi:10.1162/daed.2009.138.4.124. Retrieved 14 August 2013. 
  11. ^ a b c Schelling, Thomas C. (Fall 2009). "A world without nuclear weapons?". Dædalus. Volume 138 (Issue 4): 129. doi:10.1162/daed.2009.138.4.124. Retrieved 14 August 2013. 

External links[edit]