Lubbers, van Agt – Who’s next?

Former Prime Minister Van Agt confirmed on a radio programme Dit is Dag Wednesday that there are indeed nuclear weapons at Volkel.

This is the second former Prime Minster of the Netherlands to confirm the presence of nuclear weapons in the country in less than a week. The news is having a global impact, with stories appearing on BBC and the Canadian press among others.

What is the next step? More former heads of state confirming a public secret? Or, will these smart and brave men use this excellent opportunity to also call for a world free of these arcane weapons?

The Netherlands has the opportunity to demonstrate global leadership and hold true to its values as a democratic state based on the rule of law. The Dutch can call for negotiations on a treaty banning nuclear weapons- outlawing the only weapon of mass destruction not globally prohibited. The Dutch can seize this moment of transparency to be accountable to the will of the public (87% of whom would prefer to see the Netherlands nuclear weapons free), and build towards an international legal prohibition on these indiscriminate, inhumane weapons of terror.

Of course, more officials confirming the public secret won’t hurt either.