How many countries have nuclear weapons and how many are there? How destructive are today’s nuclear weapons? Do nuclear weapons help to keep the peace? What is the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons? Why does this treaty matter if none of the countries with nuclear weapons have joined? Why should one country give up its nuclear weapons if other countries still have them? Why should countries that don’t have nuclear weapons care about this treaty? Can a NATO state join the TPNW?
As long as one country has nuclear weapons, will it be dangerous for others to give theirs up?
A ban on nuclear weapons will send a clear signal that all nuclear weapons are unacceptable. The work to stigmatize, ban and eliminate nuclear weapons is the best defence against the use of nuclear weapons.
As long as nuclear weapons are seen as important and legitimate, it will encourage proliferation and maintenance of current arsenals.
A ban on nuclear weapons is not about unilateral disarmament of nuclear arsenals, it is about creating an international norm against the use and possession of nuclear weapons. A clear and unequivocal rejection of the possession and use of nuclear weapons will make it harder for all states to continue investing in the maintenance and development of nuclear weapons.
A ban on nuclear weapons lead by non-nuclear weapon states can and should work as mutually reinforcing to other disarmament efforts by nuclear-armed states, such as the ratification of the test-ban treaty, further reductions of arsenals, and de-alerting. A ban does not preclude or prevent bilateral or multilateral agreements to reduce numbers of warheads between nuclear armed states.
But a ban can put external pressure on such nuclear-armed states to make further efforts on disarmament. This is particularly important at a time when relations between the major nuclear weapon states are worsening, and their domestic political situation makes any international progress difficult.
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