In March and June of 2017, the majority of the world’s nations will meet in the United Nations to negotiate a legally binding treaty to ban and prohibit nuclear weapons. The aim of the prohibition treaty is to strengthen the Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) and ensure that the nuclear weapon states (NWS) follow through on their commitments to negotiate the complete elimination of their nuclear arsenals. While a prohibition treaty has the support of the vast majority of non-nuclear weapons states (NNWS) who mandated the negotiations, most NWS and some who fall under their umbrellas will be boycotting the negotiations.
Peace and Planet views these negotiations as a positive step toward the complete elimination of Nuclear Weapons. By developing both a framework and timeline for comprehensive disarmament, the prohibition treaty can put pressure on the P5 (U.S., Russia, China, U.K. and France) to fulfill their pledges under Article VI of the NPT to pursue good faith negotiations to eliminate their nuclear arsenals. These negotiations come at a critical time, as many of the NWS are undergoing massive and costly nuclear weapons upgrades that clearly belie their commitments to nuclear disarmament and increase the dangers of nuclear war. In addition to generating international pressure, the treaty, which will require ratification by signatory states, will renew public debate on the dangers of nuclear weapons and increase anti-nuclear consciousness.
As Ban Ki-Moon has consistently reminded us, governments alone are unlikely to abolish nuclear weapons. A successful campaign will require an international People’s Power Movement that maintains broad public support. Moreover, this effort will not succeed if it suffers from single issue tunnel vision. Peace and Planet recognizes that the UN Nuclear Weapons Ban and Prohibition Treaty constitutes a significant and powerful force that also serves the broader struggle for universal peace and justice. We therefore urge our members and allies to join us in supporting the UN negotiations and our activities in New York from 27-31 of March and from 15 of June 7 July.