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Two Hiroshimas Every Week

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Abstract

Nuclear weapons have not been exploded in anger since August 1945. The bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki directly killed approximately 100 000 persons. Today, the effects of poverty — preventable diseases and hunger — kill 12.9 million Third World children every year. Poverty therefore kills Third World children at the rate of an Hiroshima and Nagasaki bombing every three days.1 This figure can also be expressed as reproducing the six million Jewish dead of the Holocaust every six months. Put yet another way, the world at peace is suffering a rate of child-mortality that exceeds the death-rate of the Second World War. Poverty kills nearly 70 million children over five-and-a-half years. (Compare 58 million dead in the war.) Such avoidable casualties in the struggle for development focus the western mind to reconsider just what is understood by both the terms security and environmental quality, and how the two might be linked.

Keywords

Environmental Threat Global Environmental Facility Transboundary Pollution Official Development Assistance Global Common 
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Notes

  1. 1.
    The figure of 12.9 million annual child deaths is supplied by World Resources Institute, World Resources 1992–93, (UNEP-UNDEP-Oxford University Press, 1992), p. 82. The figure of Hiroshima and Nagasaki fatalities combines the death-toll recorded up to four months after the detonations: John May, The Greenpeace Book of the Nuclear Age (London: Gollancz, 1989), pp. 74–6.Google Scholar
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    The common heritage of mankind is a concept of property recognised by the adoption of UN General Assembly resolution 2749 (XXV) of 17 December 1970. The concept was further developed within the United Nations Conference of the Law of the Sea, 1977–82. It is enshrined in the provisions of the United Nations Convention of 1982, and applies to the seabed beyond the limits of national jurisdiction. As the name implies, common heritage resources are neither the sovereign possession of one state, nor res nullius, open to all, like the high seas. The common heritage of mankind requires some collective form of administration. In the case of the law of the sea this will be the International Seabed Authority of the UN. Due to insufficient ratification these provisions of the 1982 Convention are not yet in force. See United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (United Nations, 1983), preamble, also Article 136.Google Scholar
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Copyright information

© Mark F. Imber 1994

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.University of St AndrewsUK

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