A ban is coming: ICAN report on UN working group

June 6, 2016

Download ICAN report →

It is now clear beyond doubt that an overwhelming majority of the world’s nations are ready to start negotiations on a treaty banning nuclear weapons. By putting in place a ban, they hope to stimulate much-needed progress towards the total elimination of nuclear forces.

ICAN contributed actively to the May session of the 2016 United Nations working group on nuclear disarmament in Geneva, where the proposal to start work on a global ban on nuclear weapons was the focus of debate.

This report summarizes our activities there and brings together many of the statements that our campaigners delivered. We hope to convey to the reader a sense of the unstoppable momentum that is now behind this fast-growing humanitarian-based initiative to outlaw nuclear weapons.

More and more governments are raising their voices in support of a ban, and declaring their readiness and determination to begin long-overdue negotiations. In one working paper, 10 nations propose that a negotiating conference be convened in 2017. Many other states backed this call.

The working group will reconvene in August for its third and final session, at which it will prepare a report to be submitted to the UN General Assembly in September. Whatever recommendations the report may ultimately contain, it is clear that a majority of states are ready to begin work now on a ban.

They will not allow this opportunity to slip away. We, as civil society, look forward to working alongside them in this vital endeavour. A ban is possible. A ban is necessary. A ban is coming.


Additional reports

Reaching Critical Will →

Arms Control Association →

Wildfire Blog →

Health and Peace Blog →

Effective Measures Blog →

Japan Times →

  • aiweiwei

    “Let’s act up! Ban nuclear weapons completely and unconditionally.”

    Ai Weiwei Artist and activist

  • sheen

    “If Gandhi and Martin Luther King Jr were alive today, they would be part of ICAN.”

    Martin Sheen Actor and activist

  • bankimoon

    “I salute ICAN for working with such commitment and creativity.”

    Ban Ki-moon Former UN chief

  • yokoono

    “We can do it together. With your help, our voice will be made still stronger. Imagine peace.”

    Yoko Ono Artist

  • jodywilliams

    “Governments say a nuclear weapons ban is unlikely. Don’t believe it. They said the same about a mine ban treaty.”

    Jody Williams Nobel laureate

  • desmondtutu

    “With your support, we can take ICAN its full distance – all the way to zero nuclear weapons.”

    Desmond Tutu Nobel laureate

  • herbiehancock

    “Because I cannot tolerate these appalling weapons, I whole-heartedly support ICAN.”

    Herbie Hancock Jazz musician

  • dalailama

    “I can imagine a world without nuclear weapons, and I support ICAN.”

    Dalai Lama Nobel laureate