ACTION ALERT: A New Year of Hope and Action for Nuclear Abolition!
Basel Peace Office
SWITZERLAND (January 1. 2021) — The Basel Peace Office wishes everyone a happy new year, one filled of promise for peace, disarmament, nuclear abolition and building back better from the pandemic.
2021 opens with three key events in January that provide hope and new possibilities for nuclear disarmament:
• The inauguration of a new US President on January 20 (see Here’s what to expect from Biden on top nuclear weapons issues),
• The entry-into-force of the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons on January 22, and
Take Action: Click here for action ideas to support these events. In particular we encourage you to support nuclear abolition by endorsing Protect People and the Planet: Appeal for a Nuclear-Weapon-Free World, which will be presented to the UN on January 25.
The appeal has already been endorsed by over 300 civil society leaders including mayors, parliamentarians, former military leaders, youth, religious leaders, former government and UN officials, academics and leaders of civil society organisations.
We invite you to join some exciting webinar events in January that are building global cooperation between different constituencies on these issues, including:
• January 19: Inter-generational dialogue and the PACEY Plus Youth Award;
• January 27: Parliamentarians, peace and disarmament in cyber-space.
The Nuclear Ban Treaty and UN Resolution 1 (1)
Basel Peace Office
(January 1, 2021) — On January 22, 2021, the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons (TPNW) will enter-into-force, making it illegal for States Parties to develop, test, produce, manufacture, acquire, possess, use or threaten to use nuclear weapons. This is an important measure to support the achievement of a nuclear-weapon-free world.
The nuclear armed and allied states have not joined the Treaty, and as such will not be bound by it. However, they are bound by customary international law requiring nuclear disarmament, the development of which dates back to the very first resolution of the UN General Assembly.
UNGA Res 1 (I), which was adopted by consensus, established a commission of the UN Security Council to ensure the elimination from national armaments of atomic weapons and all other major weapons adaptable to mass destruction.
This goal of nuclear abolition is included as an obligation of States Parties to the Non-Proliferation Treaty in Article 6 of the NPT, and was affirmed as a universal obligation by the International Court of Justice in 1996.
Entry-into-force of the TPNW on January 22 and the 75th anniversary of the UNGA resolution on January 24, 2021, provide opportunities to remind the nuclear armed and allied states of their nuclear disarmament obligation, and for all of us to promote nuclear abolition. Click here for action suggestions.
The preceding programs and initiatives represent the work of the Basel Peace Office and its partner organisations: Abolition 2000, Global Security Institute, Middle Powers Initiative, Parliamentarians for Nuclear Nonproliferation and Disarmament, Swiss Physicians for Social Responsibility (Swiss IPPNW), Swiss Lawyers for Nuclear Disarmament (SAFNA), UNFOLD ZERO and the World Future Council.
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Beyond Nuclear is a signatory to this global appeal. You can endorse it too.
The nuclear weapons possessed by nine countries threaten us all. Any use of these weapons by accident, miscalculation or malicious intent, would have catastrophic human, economic and environmental consequences. The use of just a small fraction of the 14,000 nuclear weapons in the world’s stockpiles could end civilization as we know it.
In addition, the $100 billion spent annually on nuclear weapons is sorely needed for environmental, economic and human needs, including addressing the COVID-19 pandemic, protecting the climate and implementing the Sustainable Development Goals.
We, the undersigned, call on our cities, parliaments and governments to:
- Affirm that nuclear war cannot be won and must never be fought, and therefore the nuclear armed States should stand down their nuclear forces and affirm policies never to initiate a nuclear war (no-first-use policies);
- Commit to the elimination of nuclear weapons by 2045, the 100th anniversary of the United Nations;
- Cut nuclear weapons budgets (if they are a nuclear-weapon State), end investments in the nuclear weapons industry (all governments), and redirect these investments and budgets to support the United Nations, COVID-19 management and recovery, drastic reductions in carbon emissions to protect the climate, and financing the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals.
Basel Peace Office, Seminar fur Soziologie, Petersgraben 27, Basel 4051, Switzerland