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By Joseph Rotblat

In September 1999, scientists and students from world wide, thinking about decreasing the chance of armed clash and looking cooperative recommendations to worldwide difficulties, met below the auspices of the Pugwash meetings, the Nobel-Prize-winning association. The complaints take care of a huge variety of concerns, together with: a nuclear-weapon-free international; rising defense threats; improvement; setting; and foreign governance.

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Another measure could be the de-alerting of strategic forces, followed by an observable separation of warheads from their delivery vehicles. Yet another measure could be the "delegitimization" of nuclear weapons by banning their use (or first use) against any state or, at least, against any non-nuclear-weapon state. Co-operative development of means of verification by the nuclear powers and, possibly, by other states, as well as greater openness could help build international confidence in nuclear disarmament.

The developing countries have, on average, low emissions per capita because the poorer part of their population consumes energy at a very low level, far below that of the industrialized countries (while recognizing that developed country lifestyles are imitated by the richest segments of the population in the developing world). A flexibility mechanism, the Clean Development Mechanism (CDM), has been put forward to allow the industrialized countries to meet part of their reduction commitments by investing in projects in the developing countries, where reductions can be achieved at a lower cost.

This issue raises some important equity concerns; for instance, the CDM negotiation has reflected a bias towards the interests of the industrial countries for low cost-abatement opportunities, to the detriment of the development priorities of the developing countries. Therefore, we recommend that this mechanism be controlled so as to ensure and promote the improvement of the living conditions of the poorer part of the population in these countries. Industrial initiatives, in addition to national and international legislation, could prove beneficial as well.

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