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NUCLEAR WEAPON STATES, AUSTRALIA, JAPAN, MUST DROP OPPOSITION AND JOIN THE BAN TREATY

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 Â 25 OCT 2020

NUCLEAR BAN TREATY ENTRY INTO FORCE

PEOPLE FOR NUCLEAR DISARMAMENT

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

HUMAN SURVIVAL PROJECT

https://www.facebook.com/Human-Survival-Project-388802504634024/?eid=ARBd7tzrEiQoMiI0STkL3gbhtCfz4DHWfsvAUpVO4g0vzOSi5Z2V-W2OnNhHGY_UGPTDCVSJTtiVBqgS

NUCLEAR WEAPON STATES, AUSTRALIA, JAPAN, MUST DROP OPPOSITION AND JOIN THE BAN TREATY

CONGRATULATIONS TO SETSUKO, TIM WRIGHT, BEATRICE, ALL AT ICAN

As the 50th Government (Honduras) deposits its instrument of ratification of the Treaty for the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons, (TPNW) commonly known as the 'Ban Treaty' with the UN, an automatic clock will tick for 90 days and then the Ban Treaty will enter into force.

Amongst those governments who sign it, the Treaty will make the possession or use of nuclear weapons illegal. Nuclear weapons will join chemical and biological weapons amongst weapons considered too terrible and too indiscriminate to use.

Nuclear weapon states argue that the TPNW sets up no new obligations for them and that they are not bound by it. In a narrow formal sense this is true. However the entry into force of the Treaty and hopefully its universalisation, isolate the nuclear weapon states and make clear the worlds repudiation of nuclear weapons. There is simply no way that this can be without significance and even legal significance no matter the strict formalities.

The US government recently circulated a letter urging governments that have signed the Ban Treaty to withdraw from it. The 50th ratification is a welcome indication that what must be massive backroom pressure by the US and other nuclear weapon states is not working. The letter underlines however, just how alarmed the nuclear weapon states are at the prospect of entry into force.

The nuclear weapon states (official and unofficial), regard nuclear weapons as essential for their security. They are dead wrong. Everyone, without exception, especially those with the most massive nuclear arsenals, will be less likely to be abruptly incinerated if nuclear weapons disappear, as the TPNW intends. Instead of fighting the TPNW (Ban Treaty), the nuclear weapons states (official and unofficial) should sign it, ratify it, urge others to do likewise, and eliminate their nuclear arsenals yesterday.

The answer to a nuclear threat is not another nuclear threat. That way we all get to be toast.

The TPNW is by no means the only thing that must be done to diminish the likelihood of civilization disappearing in less than two hours after someone in STRATCOM or Kosvinsky Mountain, Delhi, Islamabad, or Beijing has the ultimate bad day. A comprehensive set of nuclear risk reduction measures including de-alerting, no-first-use, and mil-to-mil communication needs to be instituted so that lethal errors are less likely. A preliminary step to making an accidental apocalypse less likely would be a reaffirmation of the 1986 Reagan-Gorbachev declaration that 'Nuclear War Cannot be won and must never be fought'

However the safest nuclear weapon is one that doesn't exist.

The Ban Treaty helps us to get there. It may not be the whole solution, but it is a vital step on the way to a nuclear weapon-free world.

The 50th ratification by Honduras is the worlds answer to those who say that the Ban Treaty somehow undermines the NPT (it reinforces it rather than undermines it) or degrades verification (this claim is ridiculous. Governments are free and encouraged to adopt the highest verification standards.).

The governments of Australia and Japan should do what their electorates want them to do and sign and ratify the treaty.

So too should the official and unofficial nuclear weapon states – the US, Russia, China, France, the UK, India, Pakistan, Israel and the DPRK.

Tim Wright, Setsuko, Beatrice, all at ICAN, and a very large number of people in many other organizations round the world have worked for years to bring about this outcome. It is a fitting riposte to the US letter urging governments to withdraw,and truly worthy of Setsuko's tears of joy. Those (in many organisations) who've worked for this over the years are heroes.

 

John Hallam

Nuclear Disarmament Campaigner

People for Nuclear Disarmament

Human Survival Project

Convenor, Abolition 2000 Nuclear Risk Reduction Working Group

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