Germany

Nuclear-weapon endorser: hosts nuclear weapons on its territory

Hosts 20 US nuclear weapons

Has not yet joined the TPNW

Summary

Germany has not yet signed or ratified the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons. It supports the retention and potential use of nuclear weapons on its behalf, as indicated by its endorsement of various alliance statements of the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (NATO), of which it is a member.

 

Nuclear weapons in Germany

Germany is one of five NATO members to host US nuclear weapons on its territory as part of a nuclear-sharing agreement. The German air force is assigned approximately 20 B61 nuclear bombs, which are deployed at Büchel Air Base.

ICAN campaigners hold a protest at the Büchel Air Base in Germany in 2020, where US nuclear weapons are stationed. Photo: IPPNW

 

National position

Germany has consistently voted against an annual UN General Assembly resolution since 2018 that welcomes the adoption of the treaty and calls upon all states to sign, ratify, or accede to it “at the earliest possible date”.

 

Political developments

More than 150 federal parliamentarians have pledged to work for Germany’s signature and ratification of the treaty. A cross-party working group was established in September 2019 with this objective.

In November 2020, the German Greens formalised their position in support of joining the treaty and withdrawing US nuclear weapons from German territory.

Dozens of German cities, including Berlin, Munich, and all other state capitals, have called on the German government to sign and ratify the treaty.

The former German foreign minister Joschka Fischer and former defence minister Rudolf Scharping signed an open letter in September 2020 calling on current leaders to “show courage and boldness – and join the treaty”.

Ahead of the treaty’s entry into force in January 2021, the research services division of the German federal parliament, or Bundestag, published a paper affirming that the new treaty reinforces, and does not undermine, the 1968 Non-Proliferation Treaty.

At a protest action in Berlin in 2017, more than 700 people call on the German chancellor, Angela Merkel, to sign the treaty. Photo: ICAN

 

Public opinion

A public opinion poll conducted by YouGov in 2019 found that 68 per cent of Germans believe that their government should join the treaty, with just 12 per cent opposed. Furthermore, a poll by Kantar in 2020 found that 83 per cent of Germans want US nuclear weapons to be removed from German territory – a requirement of the treaty.

More than 100,000 Germans have signed a petition calling on the government to sign and ratify the treaty.

Germans wave flags on 22 January 2021 in celebration of the treaty’s entry into force. More than a hundred such actions took place nationwide. Photo: ICAN

 

Treaty negotiations

Germany did not participate in the negotiation of the treaty at the United Nations in New York in 2017 and thus did not vote on its adoption. 

In 2016, Germany voted against the UN General Assembly resolution that established the formal mandate for states to commence negotiations on “a legally binding instrument to prohibit nuclear weapons, leading towards their total elimination”.

In a document sent to NATO members ahead of the vote, the United States “strongly encourage[d]” members, including Germany, to vote against the resolution, “not to merely abstain”. In addition, it said that, if the treaty negotiations do commence, allies and partners should “refrain from joining them”.

ICAN campaigners meet in Berlin in 2014 to discuss progress towards negotiations on a treaty prohibiting nuclear weapons. Photo: ICAN

Nuclear-weapon endorser: hosts nuclear weapons on its territory

Hosts 20 US nuclear weapons

Has not yet joined the TPNW

[HIGHLIGHTS]

Summary

Germany has not yet signed or ratified the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons. It supports the retention and potential use of nuclear weapons on its behalf, as indicated by its endorsement of various alliance statements of the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (NATO), of which it is a member.

 

Nuclear weapons in Germany

Germany is one of five NATO members to host US nuclear weapons on its territory as part of a nuclear-sharing agreement. The German air force is assigned approximately 20 B61 nuclear bombs, which are deployed at Büchel Air Base.

ICAN campaigners hold a protest at the Büchel Air Base in Germany in 2020, where US nuclear weapons are stationed. Photo: IPPNW

 

National position

Germany has consistently voted against an annual UN General Assembly resolution since 2018 that welcomes the adoption of the treaty and calls upon all states to sign, ratify, or accede to it “at the earliest possible date”.

 

Political developments

More than 150 federal parliamentarians have pledged to work for Germany’s signature and ratification of the treaty. A cross-party working group was established in September 2019 with this objective.

In November 2020, the German Greens formalised their position in support of joining the treaty and withdrawing US nuclear weapons from German territory.

Dozens of German cities, including Berlin, Munich, and all other state capitals, have called on the German government to sign and ratify the treaty.

The former German foreign minister Joschka Fischer and former defence minister Rudolf Scharping signed an open letter in September 2020 calling on current leaders to “show courage and boldness – and join the treaty”.

Ahead of the treaty’s entry into force in January 2021, the research services division of the German federal parliament, or Bundestag, published a paper affirming that the new treaty reinforces, and does not undermine, the 1968 Non-Proliferation Treaty.

At a protest action in Berlin in 2017, more than 700 people call on the German chancellor, Angela Merkel, to sign the treaty. Photo: ICAN

 

Public opinion

A public opinion poll conducted by YouGov in 2019 found that 68 per cent of Germans believe that their government should join the treaty, with just 12 per cent opposed. Furthermore, a poll by Kantar in 2020 found that 83 per cent of Germans want US nuclear weapons to be removed from German territory – a requirement of the treaty.

More than 100,000 Germans have signed a petition calling on the government to sign and ratify the treaty.

Germans wave flags on 22 January 2021 in celebration of the treaty’s entry into force. More than a hundred such actions took place nationwide. Photo: ICAN

 

Treaty negotiations

Germany did not participate in the negotiation of the treaty at the United Nations in New York in 2017 and thus did not vote on its adoption. 

In 2016, Germany voted against the UN General Assembly resolution that established the formal mandate for states to commence negotiations on “a legally binding instrument to prohibit nuclear weapons, leading towards their total elimination”.

In a document sent to NATO members ahead of the vote, the United States “strongly encourage[d]” members, including Germany, to vote against the resolution, “not to merely abstain”. In addition, it said that, if the treaty negotiations do commence, allies and partners should “refrain from joining them”.

ICAN campaigners meet in Berlin in 2014 to discuss progress towards negotiations on a treaty prohibiting nuclear weapons. Photo: ICAN

[PARTNERS]

Arbeitsgemeinschaft Frieden Trier (AGF Trier)

website


RüstungsInformationsBüro

website 


Büchel ist überall! 

website


Deutsche Friedensgesellschaft - Vereinigte KriegsdienstgegnerInnen

website


Facing Finance

website


Forum Friedensethik (FFE) in der Evangelischen Landeskirche in Baden

website


Friedensmuseum Nürnberg e.V. (= Nuremberg Peace Museum) 

website


ICAN Germany 

website


International Ärtze für die Verhütung des Atomkrieges (IPPNW Germany)

website


Lebenshaus Schwäbische Alb - Gemeinschaft für soziale Gerechtigkeit, Frieden und Ökologie e.V.

website


Network of the German Peace Movement (Netzwerk Friedenskooperative)

website


Pazifik-Netzwerk e.V.

website


Ohne Rüstung Leben

website


Atomic Cyber Crash - Atomkrieg aus Versehen 

website


Förderkreis Darmstädter Signal

website


Stiftung Überlebensrecht

website


Internationale Frauenliga für Frieden und Freiheit IFFF (WILPF Germany)

website


Friedenswerkstatt Mutlangen e.V

website


Frauennetzwerk für Frieden e.V. / Women's Network for Peace

website

[LOCALSUPPORT]

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Support in Germany for the ICAN Parliamentary Pledge >

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  • Arbeitsgemeinschaft Frieden Trier (AGF Trier)

    website

  • RüstungsInformationsBüro

    website 

  • Büchel ist überall! 

    website

  • Deutsche Friedensgesellschaft - Vereinigte KriegsdienstgegnerInnen

    website

  • Facing Finance

    website

  • Forum Friedensethik (FFE) in der Evangelischen Landeskirche in Baden

    website

  • Friedensmuseum Nürnberg e.V. (= Nuremberg Peace Museum) 

    website

  • ICAN Germany 

    website

  • International Ärtze für die Verhütung des Atomkrieges (IPPNW Germany)

    website

  • Lebenshaus Schwäbische Alb - Gemeinschaft für soziale Gerechtigkeit, Frieden und Ökologie e.V.

    website

  • Network of the German Peace Movement (Netzwerk Friedenskooperative)

    website

  • Pazifik-Netzwerk e.V.

    website

  • Ohne Rüstung Leben

    website

  • Atomic Cyber Crash - Atomkrieg aus Versehen 

    website

  • Förderkreis Darmstädter Signal

    website

  • Stiftung Überlebensrecht

    website

  • Internationale Frauenliga für Frieden und Freiheit IFFF (WILPF Germany)

    website

  • Friedenswerkstatt Mutlangen e.V

    website

  • Frauennetzwerk für Frieden e.V. / Women's Network for Peace

    website