We often get the question: "what can I do to help ICAN end nuclear weapons?" There isn't always a one-size-fits-all answer, because our global campaign has to adapt to the very specific local contexts. But there's a frequently underestimated way in which you can make all the difference to our campaign: raising funds. Whether it's making a donation, or inviting a friend or family member to pitch in, you will help power our work and that of our campaigners around the world. Here are five reasons to do so:
The risk of nuclear weapons use is higher than ever, according to the UN, and the Bulletin for Atomic Scientists warns that a child born today is has more-than-even odds of seeing nuclear war in their lifetime. Those are terrifying reminders that along with climate change, nuclear weapons pose a true existential threat to our planet and everyone we love on it.
The consequences of any use of nuclear weapons would be catastrophic. You don't have to take it from us, just watch this chilling explainer of what happens to a city after a nuclear detonation.
We don't have the kind of budgets that the nine nuclear-armed states do, but the success of the UN Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons (TPNW) is rattling them anyway. Since it has become clear that the TPNW is here to stay, nuclear-armed states have been increasing the pressure against the treaty both in public, and through shady behind-the-scenes practices. All of this while they shamelessly spent $72.6 billion on their nuclear arsenals last year, in the middle of a global pandemic!
Support for the TPNW is growing and our movement is getting broader and louder. We are seeing this in all kinds of ways. From the new countries joining the treaty, to the banks citing the TPNW's entry into force as a reason to exclude nuclear weapons from its investments, to cities calling on their governments to join the treaty and actively convincing other cities to do the same, to the MPs and members of congress asking why nuclear weapons budgets are so unconscionably high, when the rest of the world has banned these weapons of mass destruction. The effect is clear: the TPNW is building a norm that will change public opinion and the international community's expectations when it comes to nuclear weapons.
Individual donations help us plan for the (uncertain) future. At a time when governments are decreasing funding for civil society and the richest, most powerful countries are trying to stop us, ICAN relies on committed individuals like you to keep challenging their weapons of mass destruction. Every gift, small and large, has a special and important place in enabling us to keep pushing for the total elimination of nuclear weapons.
And we're happy to be quite specific about what those plans look like. In 2021, we're working hard to get more countries on board, strengthen the stigma around these weapons of mass destruction and get ready for the next big milestone: the first meeting of states parties, taking place in Vienna in January 2022! This first meeting of states parties will be the first time that these states come together to discuss the treaty's progress and iron out technical details and next steps. Civil society needs to be there, keeping up the pressure and pushing for the strongest possible commitments, and ICAN will be there to coordinate it. Given the pandemic, we are forced to remain flexible, but we really want to make sure that the voices of everyday people and in particular of the communities impacted by nuclear weapons use and testing are heard at this meeting. And we will do everything we can to make sure they can participate, whether online or in person. But to plan accordingly, we need to know how much financial support we can count on.