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NEW POLL: Europeans reject US nuclear weapons on own soil

On the first anniversary of the UN Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons (TPNW), new YouGov polling commissioned by the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons (ICAN) has found an overwhelming rejection of nuclear weapons.  The poll was conducted in the four EU countries that host US nuclear weapons: Belgium, Netherlands, Germany and Italy. In each country, an overwhelming majority of people surveyed were in favour of removing the weapons from their soil, and for their countries to sign the Treaty that bans them outright.

Download the full survey here →

What did the survey find?

1. At least twice as many people are in favour of removing the weapons than keeping them.
2. At least four times as many people are in favour of their country signing the TPNW than not signing the TPNW.
3. At least four times as many people are against companies in their country investing in nuclear weapons activities than in favour of it.
4. A strong majority of people are against NATO buying new fighter jets that are able to carry both nuclear weapons and conventional weapons.

One year on, a vast majority supports the Nuclear Ban Treaty

“In their totality, the survey results show a clear rejection of nuclear weapons by those Europeans who are on the frontline of any nuclear attack: those hosting American weapons on their soil. More than simply demonstrating a ‘not in my back yard’ mentality, Europeans are even more strongly in favour of a blanket ban of all nuclear weapons worldwide than they are against simply removing the weapons from their own soil,” said Beatrice Fihn, Executive Director of ICAN.

“The people of Belgium, the Netherlands, Germany and Italy all know that these weapons are a massive humanitarian disaster in waiting, and they will be on the frontline,” Ms Fihn said. “That’s why on the first anniversary of the Treaty to ban all nuclear weapons we are standing with them to push NATO leaders at next week’s Brussels summit to forge a new NATO security that rejects nuclear weapons, in line with the democratic wishes of their constituents.”

This week marks the first anniversary of 122 nations adopting the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons in New York on July 7th 2017. The landmark global treaty prohibits nations from developing, testing, producing, manufacturing, transferring, possessing, stockpiling, using or threatening to use nuclear weapons, or allowing nuclear weapons to be stationed on their territory.

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Deutsche Bank to stop banking on the bomb

Big news from the financial sector: in an update to its investment policies, Germany’s Deutsche Bank excludes nuclear weapons producers.

In a statement on its website Deutsche bank elaborates: “the Policy published today makes clear that Deutsche Bank avoids entering into, or continuing, any kind of business relationship with entities with clear, direct links to the following types of Controversial Weapons business:

  • Cluster Munitions (CluMu)
  • Anti-Personnel Mines (APM)
  • Chemical, Biological, Radiological, Nuclear Weapons (CBRN)
  • Controversial Conventional Weapons (CCW)”
The move follows intense pressure and negotiations by campaigners from Don’t Bank on the Bomb and ICAN Germany. In acknowledgement of civil society’s significant role in achieving this new policy, campaigner Jonathan Seel was invited to speak on belief of ICAN at the Deutsche Bank’s General Assembly today.

He closed his statement with a clear reminder that while this policy a great first step, the Deutsche Bank must follow up on this commitment:

“Ladies and Gentlemen, Congratulations on your new policy. Now we expect the words to be followed by action. Deutsche Bank should publish an exclusion list to clarify which companies are affected by your definition. And she [sic.] should report regularly on the implementation. You’ve taken an important step – but that’s not the end, it’s the beginning. With luck, this beginning will contribute to the end of the nuclear threat.”

Maaike Beenens, from Don’t Bank on the Bomb, welcomes the new policy by Deutsche Bank, saying “This is an important step in the right direction. With the new policy, Deutsche Bank clearly recognizes that investments in any type of nuclear weapons companies are unacceptable. With growing threats to use nuclear weapons, this announcement is a timely reminder of the choice we all face- nuclear weapons or our collective future. We welcome this decision, and hope to see divestment by Deutsche Bank from all nuclear weapon producers.” For more about Don’t Bank on the Bomb’s position on this development read their full statement here.

ICAN welcomes Deutsche Bank’s move to divest from nuclear weapons as a sign that financial institutions are also recognising the illegitimacy of nuclear weapons. When the Treaty on the Prohibition enters into force, banks too will have to cut ties to these immoral, inhumane and illegal weapons. So who’s next?