Legacy of the Cold War

Less danger through weapons.


Disarmament projects always take place in a very complex environment and can only succeed if all the associated problems are solved. Decisive factors include a lack of funding, the fear of the local population for their own health and the environment as well as structural economic and social changes.


The primary objective of the Legacy of Cold War programme is to promote the safe and environmental-friendly elimination of nuclear and chemical weapons, biological pathogens and the restoration of former military installations. The programme also advocates the full implementation of arms control and disarmament treaties.


Weapons of Mass Destruction Free Zone


The environmental organisation deals with the effects of the military use of nuclear materials on the environment and health, and is committed to a global withdrawal from nuclear energy. Among others, round table discussions are carried out to further develop the treaty on non-proliferation of nuclear weapons, focusing on Weapons of Mass Destruction Free Zones (WMDFZ).


Demolition of Chemical Weapons


Since the Chemical Weapons Convention entered into force in 1997, the disarmament programme has supported the demolition of chemical weapons through continuous mediation and information, scientific research in regions where chemical weapons are stored as well as through social projects to benefit those affected. Of the 72,531 tonnes of chemical weapons stored in arsenals, 67’753 tonnes were destroyed by the end of 2016. These are all promising signs that the chemical weapons disarmament process is well on track.


For some time now, Green Cross Switzerland has been researching measures on how to retrieve and dispose of the approximate 300,000 tonnes of chemical weapons dumped in the Baltic and North Seas as well as the Mediterranean Sea. A study was carried out in Vieques (Puerto Rico) to learn more about the health impact of submerged chemical weapons and conventional munition.


Biological Weapons Safety


In order to protect the population from biological weapons and epidemics, a pilot project aims to improve the legal requirements in relation to the handling of infectious and radioactive waste from laboratories. Freelance weapons experts are hired for this project to apply their expertise for peaceful purposes. Furthermore, aspiring scientists are trained in biological weapons safety to contain further foreseeable risks.

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