Nuclear Weapons Ban Treaty to Enter into Force

October 25th, 2020 - by Back from the Brink: The Call to Prevent Nuclear War

Dear nuclear abolitionist,

We would like to share some very exciting news from International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons (ICAN): 

Congratulations everyone! WE banned the Bomb! Please take a little time to celebrate and enjoy this overwhelming success.

In peace, John LaForge, Kelly Lundeen and Christine Manwiller for Nukewatch

New UN Treaty Prohibits Nuclear Weapons!

(October 24, 2020) —The big moment is finally here: the UN Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons (TPNW) just reached the 50 ratifications needed for entry into force! Just now, Honduras ratified the treaty bringing about a historic milestone. In 90 days the TPNW will enter into force and become binding international law!

We congratulate and thank each and every one of you who stood with us to help make this moment happen. This is an incredible moment for our movement and we are so unbelievably proud of what we’ve all achieved together.

With the treaty now ready to enter into force, everything will change, but our work is not done. We are going to need to get even louder to make sure the treaty lives up to its full potential. In countries that have not joined (like the US), it is up to us to make sure that companies, governments and people know that nuclear weapons are illegal and that they need to stand on the right side of history. Watch for updates from Nukewatch about how you can participate!

We want to thank you and celebrate this special moment with you and begin the countdown for entry into force. Thank you for everything you do,

Beatrice Fihn, Executive Director, International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons (ICAN)

Back from the Brink celebrates this historic milestone in the global movement to abolish nuclear weapons and prevent nuclear war. 

Back from the Brink: The Call to Prevent Nuclear War

(October 24, 2020) — Today, the nation of Honduras ratified the U.N. Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons (TPNW), which along with ratifications yesterday by Jamaica and Nauru, brings the total number of ratifications to 50. The Treaty–which is modeled on existing treaties that ban inhumane weapons of war including biological and chemical weapons, land mines, and cluster munitions–stipulates that it will enter into force 90 days after the 50th nation ratifies it. At long last, nuclear weapons will be declared illegal!

The TPNW makes it illegal under international law to “develop, test, produce, manufacture, otherwise acquire, possess, or stockpile nuclear weapons or other nuclear explosive devices.”

The Treaty also contains provisions aimed at rectifying past injustices, requiring state parties to provide environmental remediation and assistance to victims of nuclear weapons use and testing. It was adopted by 122 nations in July 2017 and to date has been signed by leaders of 84 countries, with more expected to sign and ratify over time.

The TPNW does not directly impact nations that are not yet party to it, including the nine countries that possess nuclear weapons, but its strong moral force will change global norms and ultimately, behaviors. For example, financial institutions will face increased calls to divest from nuclear weapons now that they are prohibited by international law. Many have already done so. As the Treaty enters into force, nuclear weapons will be further stigmatized.

It’s important to acknowledge that the TPNW was made possible in large part by the tireless efforts of the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons (ICAN) with over 400 Partner Organizations in 103 countries, and civil society.

Campaigners had to tune out powerful naysayers, stay focused on their goals, and persevere until they made the TPNW a reality.

Back from the Brink congratulates ICAN, its Partner Organizations, campaigners, and everyone who worked to make this day possible.

It is no surprise that the United States government opposes the TPNW and is planning to replace its entire nuclear arsenal with enhanced weapons. But this is where Back from the Brink — and YOU — come in. Like ICAN, Back from the Brink depends on the active participation of organizations and individuals organizing locally in their communities. 

Together, we’ve brought resolutions before over 50 municipal and state governments, requiring representatives to listen to their constituents testify about the danger of nuclear weapons and common sense policy solutions and then decide where they stand. And, more than two-thirds of the resolutions adopted explicitly express support for the TPNW.

Town by town, city by city, Back from the Brink is demonstrating that Americans are not complacent about nuclear weapons. If enough people get involved in this campaign, we too can build a movement in the United States that policymakers cannot ignore.

Our country is facing multiple crises that lay bare extraordinary economic and racial disparities and the folly of our financial priorities. It’s up to us to engage policymakers and the public in a candid discussion about nuclear weapons spending and alternative investments we could make in healthcare, economic stimulus programs, police and criminal justice reform, solutions to the climate crisis, education, and many other pressing community needs.

We can do it. Today, what once seemed impossible is not only possible, it is reality — in 90 days, nuclear weapons will be illegal under international law. 

Let us be inspired by this tremendous accomplishment and persevere with renewed hope. Each and every local Back from the Brink effort makes a difference and brings us closer to our goal of a world without nuclear weapons. Please check out our Advocacy Tools to start organizing in your community, and if you need help or have questions, don’t hesitate to reach out to us at
Back from the Brink organizers

With 49 Ratifications, We Are Close to Activating the Treaty for the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons

The Nuclear Rogue Nations.

Alfonso Navarra / Demanding Disarmists

MILAN, Italy (October 23, 2020) — With 50 ratifications, perhaps tonight, the United Nations Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons (TPNW) reaches a crucial milestone: the entry into force as a recognized instrument of international legislation (technically, however, we still have to wait 90 days)!

Entry into force means that all countries that have ratified the treaty will be bound by it. It will then be necessary to support the other negotiating paths that lead to the effective elimination of these devices that weigh like a sword of Damocles on the survival of Humanity.

It is wrong and reprehensible that the United States is now pressing the signatory countries to formally withdraw their support. ICAN, International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons, the network of grassroots organizations that promotes and pushes the initiative (awarded the 2017 Nobel Peace Prize), says that the growing nervousness that the Trump administration shows has a precise meaning: Nuclear states are really starting to fear that nuclear weapons will soon be banned under international law.

In Italy, the demanding Disarmists, together with WILPF Italia, ICAN members, in a press conference, entitled “Misused Technology (AI, 5G) increases the risk of nuclear war by mistake!” Held in the Senate (Nassirya room) on 25 September 2020, with the collaboration of Senator Loredana De Petris, proposed to launch the Petrov committees in Italy: remembering the hero, who avoided the outbreak of a nuclear war due to false computer alarms on September 26, 1983, by naming streets, libraries, gardens, monuments, thus raising public awareness on the nuclear risk.

We believe it is necessary to ban “deterrence,” to escape from NATO nuclear sharing (no B-61-12 in Ghedi and Aviano, no F-35s), to convert the arsenals into hospitals and social and environmental expenses (6 billion in weapons we must allocate to nonviolent defense, green welfare, international cooperation against hunger and poverty), investing in peace as a model of society.

Italy must also ratify the TPNW and support it in all international fora, starting with the European ones.

The press conference at the Italian Senate can be viewed at the following link:

Participation in the Petrov Committees initiative can be given online: