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INSTEAD OF OPPOSING THE BAN TREATY, THE US SHOULD SIGN IT

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 22 OCT 2020

PEOPLE FOR NUCLEAR DISARMAMENT

HUMAN SURVIVAL PROJECT

http://www.pndnsw.org.au/

 

INSTEAD OF OPPOSING THE BAN TREATY, THE US SHOULD SIGN IT

 

Instead of opposing the Treaty for the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons, (TPNW), often referred to as the 'Ban Treaty', the US would be well advised to sign it and eliminate its nuclear arsenal completely. Ideally it should do that yesterday.

 

The US also should implement commonsense measures to reduce the risk of nuclear war, without which we all risk becoming toast.

 

http://www.abolition2000.org/en/working-groups/nuclear-risk-reduction/

 

That instead the US is urging nations that have signed at ratified it to withdraw is astonishing and reprehensible. It is ill advised, even from the narrow viewpoint of US security.

 

The Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty, of which the US is a signatory, caries in its article VI a clear obligation for nuclear weapon states to eliminate their nuclear arsenals as of approximately thirty years ago: It is emphatically not a licence for them to cling to those arsenals indefinitely as they now do. Far from undermining the provisions of the NPT, the TPNW reinforces its nuclear disarmament obligations – obligations that are binding on all nations including in particular the Nuclear Weapons States.(official and otherwise)

 

In urging TPNW signatories to un-sign the TPNW, the US not only shows that it is desperate to prevent the entry into force of the Ban Treaty, but may actually be in violation of its article VI NPT obligations, as it takes a step directly opposed to nuclear disarmament.

 

The Ban Treaty (TPNW) is now just three ratifications away from entry into force.

 

EIF could be 'any day'.

 

ICAN is to be congratulated for its nobel-winning effort to bring the TPNW into existence, and for their determined lobbying for ratifications and signatures.

 

The Nuclear Weapon States keep on saying that the TPNW means nothing, and that they are not bound by its prohibition on nuclear weapons. They insist that it does nothing to establish a common law norm that puts nuclear weapons outside the pale of civilised weaponry.

 

The letter urging un-signing shows the opposite – they the US at least, is mortally afraid of the moral and political force of the Ban Treaty, and of the precedent it sets. They are afraid that no matter what defiant statements they may make, the TPNW DOES in fact strengthen norms, formal or otherwise, that nuclear weapons are unacceptable.

 

The Governments of the world, including the Governments of nuclear weapons states would be much better advised to follow the advice of the letter from 56 former senior NATO officials circulated recently, that urges signature and ratification.

 

With the Doomsday Clock at an unprecedented 100 seconds to midnight, closer to doomsday that we've ever been, the case for the complete elimination of nuclear weapons is clearcut. The Ban Treaty, while it is not the only measure that needs to be taken, does indeed make nuclear weapons clearly unacceptable to the global community. If we fail to eliminate nuclear weapons we risk nuclear weapons eliminating us.

 

Including especially the nuclear weapons states.

 

Instead of campaigning against the TPNW the US ought to join it.

 

John Hallam

Nuclear Disarmament Campaigner,

People for Nuclear Disarmament

Human Survival Project

http://www.pndnsw.org.au/

Convenor, Abolition 2000 Nuclear Risk Reduction Working Group

http://www.abolition2000.org/en/working-groups/nuclear-risk-reduction/

 

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