I know the shock of Brexit and the U.S presidential election debacle (Brexit was a bigger shock to me than the latter) left many of us thinking; WHY?! But nonetheless I still think, overall, 2016 was a pretty good year both for me as an individual, and globally we made some great gains, let's not just write-off this entire year.
Personally, I grew in my knowledge of the world, gained a different perspective on different issues and embarked on a new role at work that was both challenging, exciting, and gave me a wealth of experience in Project Management and Communications that I would not have gained anywhere else.
More importantly, on the 27th October 2016 the UN adopted a resolution to outlaw nuclear weapons. To me this is one of the most monumental resolutions of our day. The negotiations for this will begin in 2017; this means the path is set for change.
The millennium saw countries like Norway, Mexico and Austria all call for a ban on nuclear weapons which no doubt paved the way for this year's monumental resolution.
I know you are probably thinking that the election of many right-wing leaders in the world, least of all the U.S., may set the tide in the opposite direction. But I'm encouraged that the new U.S. President, seems flexible (for lack of a better word) when it comes to shifting positions. If there is anyone who has the ability to change opinions on serious policy positions it's the current administration and that makes me hopeful (and it should do to you too!).
Achieving a ban on nuclear weapon is not as hard as it sounds, as I've outlaid before; making nuclear weapons illegal would be the best start to this. This would make it illegal for any country to attain nuclear weapons by the buying, selling or transfer of them, with economic sanctions (or a harshening of sanctions) if a country goes against this.
This would freeze the number of countries gaining nuclear weapons, even if temporarily.
Next, countries with substantial nuclear weapons arsenals like the UK would need to take the lead. Regaining leadership in this area would mean the UK starting to be more vocal in condemning the testing and developing of nuclear weapons and putting forward plans for each country to dismantle their arsenals. This destruction of nuclear weapons' stockpiles would create an industry in itself and increase the number of jobs.
So before we write off 2016 let's have a look at some of the things that DID progress this year, I'm sure we have all had things go well, let's focus on those and how to develop them further next year. If nothing else, we are one step closer to a nuclear free world, protecting the earth from nuclear accidents and getting rid of this indiscriminate weapon.