On the Escalation of the Naval Arms Race
24 July 1989
The 24th Triennial Congress of the Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom, 14-25 July, 1989 in Sydney, Australia:
The escalation of the arms race on the seas, especially in the North Atlantic, the Pacific and Indian Oceans, is extremely dangerous because of the large concentration of nuclear arms. One third of all nuclear weapons are intended for the naval force. This situation is destabilizing as the commanders of the ships in question have great autonomy to make their own, quick decisions.
The WILPF, while congratulating the US Government on the unilateral proposal to withdraw short range tactical naval nuclear weapons, urges its members to find ways and means of approaching US Government to reconsider its decision, as the only United Nations Member State refusing to negotiate to halt the arms escalation in the seas.
WILPF decides to conduct an international campaign aimed at relevant governments demanding that naval nuclear armament become the subject of arms control talks. The ultimate is:
1. to ban all nuclear weapons at sea including sea-launched cruise missiles;
2. to ban new strategic naval weapons including the US and British Trident 11, the Soviet SS-23 and the French M5;
3. complete naval nuclear disarmament including the elimination of all strategic nuclear weapons at sea.
As an initial concrete step WILPF calls on its sections to pressure all non-nuclear coastal countries to take a stand against the nuclearization of the oceans by banning nuclear armed, nuclear and nuclear propelled ships from their territorial waters.