Celebrate and Sign the Treaty for the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons

January 21st, 2023 - by Joseph Gerson / Campaign for Peace, Disarmament and Common Security

January 22 Marks the Second Anniversary of
The Treaty for the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons

Joseph Gerson / Campaign for Peace, Disarmament and Common Security

(January 20, 2023) — Sunday marks the second anniversary of the entry into force of the Treaty for the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons. The Treaty was negotiated by non-nuclear weapons in response to the nuclear weapons states refusal to honor their Article VI Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty commitment to engage in good faith negotiations for the abolition of their nuclear arsenals.

Designed to move the world toward the complete abolition of nuclear weapons, nations which have ratified the TPNW have committed not to develop, test, produce, acquire, possess, stockpile, use or threaten to use nuclear weapons. The Treaty has now been signed by 91 countries and ratified by 68 and is an important force in global efforts to prevent nuclear cataclysm.

The unhappy truth is that despite the TPNW the catastrophic danger of nuclear war is actually increasing. Consider the “modernization” of the nuclear powers strategic arsenals and delivery systems (US spending nearly $2 trillion for this), Ukraine War nuclear saber rattling, first strike commitments of all parties to the increasing tensions in and around Korea, confrontations over Taiwan and the East and South China Seas, and the collapse of the Iran nuclear deal.

Today the most important work to advance the TPNW lies the legislatures and civil society of the nuclear powers’ allies, countries like Australia, Japan, the Netherlands and Belarus. Were any of them to break ranks with their nuclear masters and sign onto the TPNW, it could begin to unravel nuclearism’s fabric.

What Can We Do in the United States?
With there being no chance of Washington signing the TPNW anytime soon, Physicians for Social Responsibility, and other organizations and activists across the US are pressing our Back from the Brink campaign. In the tradition of the grassroots Nuclear Weapons Freeze campaign which helped to end the Cold War, we urge you to:

  • Act to win the endorsement of organizations you are associated with for Back from the Brink.
  • Work with others to win endorsements from your city council and state legislature.

426 organizations, 329 elected officials, 66 municipalities and countries, and 7 state legislative bodies have already signed on.

Join us in:

  • Actively pursuing a verifiable agreement among nuclear-armed states to eliminate their nuclear arsenals
  • Renouncing the option of using nuclear weapons first
  • Ending the sole, unchecked authority of any US President to launch a nuclear attack
  • Taking US nuclear weapons off hair-trigger alert
  • Cancelling the plan to replace the entire US nuclear arsenal with enhanced weapons.
    For nuclear disarmament and a nuclear weapons-free world.

    Sign the Nuclear Ban Treaty
    Ralph Hutchison / The Nuclear Ban Treaty Collaborative

    (January 18, 2023) — Plans are being made around the country for celebrating the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons this weekend, the second anniversary of its entry into force.

    We got a lot of good information, media tips, and resource ideas on our January 10 zoom. If you weren’t able to join us, or if you just want to refresh your memory, the recording is available here. You’ll need this passcode: vXf2bDy#.

    If you are still finalizing your plans, you can find all kinds of resources, including ideas for group and individual actions, on our resource page. Go to nuclearbantreaty.org and click on the Resources button. Don’t be daunted by the number of resources, you can narrow your search by using the Filters and looking for Signs, Banners, or whatever you need.

    Here are three things you can do this week to maximize the impact of your action:

    1. Post your event on the Nuclear Ban Treaty Collaborative Facebook group page and on the website atnuclearbantreaty.org. This will enable others to find you.
    2. Contact the media early, and remind them on the day of your event. There is a media releasetemplate here—you can fill in the blanks or adapt it in any way that works for you.
    3. Invite others to join you! The Ban Treaty anniversary is a great organizing moment—inviting others to join you (even if they can’t) is a way to spread the word about the Treaty few people have ever heard of. Celebrating the Treaty can be both fun and meaningful for people who join you for the first time. So be bold and invite!

    AND here is the one REALLY IMPORTANT thing we are asking you to do after your event. Please tell us about it. Sharing your event will enable us to demonstrate the depth and breadth of support for the Treaty with the national media. It will also be a morale booster for everyone else who sees it. So —

    1. Post a picture and/or report on the web site:nuclearbantreaty.org, or
    2. Post your report on the Nuclear Ban Treaty Collaborative Facebook page, or
    3. Best option: Do both!

    Last week, TIME magazine did a wonderful peace on Beatrice Fihn’s retirement, and she used the occasion to educate TIME readers about the TPNW. This is the perfect moment to follow up with TIME by telling them how many actions and events happened on the anniversary weekend.

    So take a few minutes, please, please, please, to share your report!

    Ralph Hutchison, on behalf of the Days of Action Working Group of the Nuclear Ban Treaty Collaborative