The international community has widely acknowledged threats that nuclear weapons pose to humanity and the planet, yet U.S. lawmakers have resisted ratifying a crucial treaty, attorney Edward A. Aguilar said during a visit to the law school on Oct. 27.
The founding executive director of the Project for Nuclear Awareness, Aguilar discussed "The Illegality of Nuclear Weapons" at the invitation of the law school's International Law Society.
Aguilar discussed findings by the International Court of Justice that nuclear weapons cannot be contained and have the potential to destroy all of civilization. The ICJ, also known as The World Court, found that nuclear weapons are irreconcilable with the laws of war, Aguilar said.
There is strong international support for the New Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty, which President Obama has endorsed.
Yet the measure faces opposition in the U.S. Senate, Aguilar said, urging the students to press lawmakers to endorse the treaty, which would require civilian nuclear industries to undergo inspections.
"It's going to be people in your generation who are going to have to finalize this," Aguilar said, noting the policy changes move at a glacial pace. "Your children and grandchildren will not have to face the threat of this destruction."