Africa's contribution to the humanitarian approach of nuclear weapons disarmament : Pelindaba Treaty
This thesis attempts to assess the role Africa has played to further the humanitarian approach to nuclear weapons disarmament. Particular focus is on the Pelindaba Treaty and whether it has been able to strengthen the call for disarmament based on the humanitarian approach. The findings of this research are that the Pelindaba treaty did contribute indirectly to the strengthening of the humanitarian initiative of nuclear weapons disarmament because the Treaty serves as an important contribution towards the achievement of a world without nuclear weapons, which is the key objective of the humanitarian initiative of nuclear weapons disarmament. In addition, the Pelindaba Treaty has also contributed in strengthening the call for overall nuclear disarmament. This is the case as 53 states signed the treaty to rid the continent of nuclear weapons and any direct threats associated with those weapons. In so doing, it has contributed greatly to disarmament efforts. A nuclear weapons free zone across the continent is a powerful statement about the desire for a nuclear free world. It has provided African states with a foundation for engaging in the humanitarian initiative, as it led to some standardisation of statements/positions. Also, since the inception of the humanitarian approach to disarmament, African states have contributed greatly to the initiative. In terms of numbers, in the three conferences on the humanitarian impact of nuclear weapons use that have taken place between 2013 and 2014 (in Oslo, Nayarit and Vienna), it was witnessed that the number of participating African states increased from 34 in the first meeting to 45 in the last meeting. This alone indicates the determination and commitment by these African states to the initiative. Conclusively, this research determined that the Pelindaba Treaty and efforts of African states in general have contributed towards strengthening the call for not only the humanitarian initiative to nuclear weapons disarmament but also to disarmament overall.