On Sunday 7 July the Church of England agreed a motion on the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons by a margin of 260-26. It was a huge result and a result of months of hard work and campaigning. This is the first time that the Church of England’s ruling body, known as the General Synod, has debated nuclear weapons for 11 years (since the decision was taken to oppose the replacement of the UK’s nuclear weapon system, Trident).
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.
In his speech to launch of the UN’s new Disarmament Agenda “Securing Our Future”, Secretary General António Guterres praised the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons (TPNW) but failed to condemn possession of nuclear weapons, or call on all states to join the treaty
The writing has been on the wall for weeks. Today, the White House confirmed that the long-awaited summit between the USA and the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea will not take place, claiming “anger and tremendous hostility” made this an “inappropriate time” to have such a meeting.
Over the last two weeks, approximately 120 government delegations have been gathered at the UN in Geneva to discuss the implementation (and lack thereof) of the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT). A considerable number of international organizations and civil society actors were also in attendance. Adopted fifty years ago this year, the purpose of the NPT is to curb the spread of nuclear weapons, further nuclear disarmament, and guarantee the right of all states to use nuclear technology for civilian purposes.
In support of ICAN, Norwegian People’s Aid is now establishing the Nuclear Weapons Ban Monitor, which will be a de facto monitoring regime for the UN Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons (TPNW).
Research shows that the five nuclear-armed states parties to the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) are not taking action to fulfill their nuclear disarmament obligations. This directly undermines and threatens the future success of the NPT. 30 more states, the so-called nuclear umbrella states, are enabling nuclear-armed states to retain and upgrade their weapons of mass destruction.
The Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons (TPNW), which opened for signature in September 2017, is attracting new adherents. The Treaty was adopted by 122 states to a standing ovation at the UN General Assembly.