In a dangerous world, we need to seek COMMON SECURITY

The Campaign for Peace, Disarmament and Common Security (CPDCS) advocates for peace and nuclear disarmament within a framework of common security among nations. People and populations can only feel safe when their counterparts also feel safe.

Security can't be achieved against a nation's rival, but only with it

Security can't be achieved against a
nation's rival, but only with it

Security can't be achieved against a nation's rival, but only with it

Confronting a Dangerous World

In the early 1980s, at the height of the spiraling and extremely dangerous US-Soviet nuclear confrontation and arms race, Swedish Prime Minister, Olof Palme, convened the Independent Commission on Disarmament and Security Issues. It brought together senior figures from the United States, the Soviet Union, and Europe, including advisors to their governments and former senior officials. In its 1983 report, Common Security: a Blueprint for Survival, the Commission reminded the world that no nation can be safe when its actions lead its rivals to feel threatened.

To prevent a catastrophic war, the Commission recognized the need to engage in diplomacy that both identified the security fears that drove nations’ preparations for nuclear war and addressed them with win-win solutions. Recognizing that there are “no winners in a nuclear war”, it stressed that “A doctrine of common security must replace the present expedient of deterrence through armaments. International peace must rest on a commitment to joint survival rather than the threat of mutual destruction. It announced its support for “the goal of general and complete disarmament.”

That report and its common security paradigm served as a foundation for negotiation for the 1987 Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty, which functionally ended the Cold War two years before the fall of the Berlin Wall. That Treaty prevented deployment in Europe of Russia’s SS-20, and U.S. Pershing II, and nuclear armed cruise missiles which threatened not only the people of Europe, but human survival itself.

      In 2021 and 2022, as great power confrontations again posed existential threats to human survival, non-governmental organizations updated the call for common security diplomacy to prevent catastrophe and to provide a foundation for a sustainable, if not perfect, peaceful international system. Led by the Palme Center, the International Peace Bureau, and the International Trade Union, and backed by a commission of present and former government and U.N. officials, scholars, and human rights advocates from China, Russia, the United States, and the Global South they produced a successor report, Common Security 2022: For Our Shared Future. Drawing on the Palme Report, it reiterated that “global peace and security are created jointly – that when your counterpart is not secure, you will not be secure either,” and pointed to Common Security’s potential to “bring us  back from the brink.”