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First Meeting of Nuclear Weapons Ban Treaty set for June

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June 21 to 23, 2022 have been announced as the new dates for the first Meeting of States Parties to the UN Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons (TPNW). The events in Vienna will be a unique opportunity for the world to respond to the current threat of nuclear war and bring together all actors that want to permanently stop the nuclear weapons threat.

In Vienna, the global nuclear disarmament movement will gather for a full week of events that will create the blueprint for a world without nuclear weapons, including:

  • 18-19 June: ICAN Conference for civil society
  • 20 June: International governmental Conference on the Humanitarian Impact of Nuclear Weapons
  • 21-23 June: First Meeting of States Parties to the TPNW

ICAN's Executive Director Beatrice Fihn highlighted the critical nature of these meetings: "At a moment where one man is using nuclear weapons to blackmail the world while he commits war crimes, Vienna will be a moment where the world responds and creates the global nuclear disarmament plan. Nuclear weapons impact everyone and that’s why this meeting will be a place for all voices to be heard.”

The meeting will take place in the wake of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and threats to use nuclear weapons, at a time when the world is waking up from a 30 year fantasy where the 9 nuclear armed states and their allies convinced people that nuclear weapons could exist without ever being used. The past month has made it clear that nuclear weapons do not prevent war, and nuclear war is closer than ever. The only solution is to immediately prioritize nuclear disarmament.

Responsible states and civil society have been hard at work to build this path. The TPNW is the only internationally recognized multilateral disarmament framework that can achieve complete, verifiable and irreversible nuclear disarmament. It is the product of decades of work, collaboration, and centers the voices of those who were impacted by nuclear weapons and those who have pushed for their abolitions across many generations. In Vienna everyone has a voice.

This meeting will be the first time that the states that have joined the treaty will come together to discuss progress and iron out technical details and next steps. It's where we start turning the new law into a strong norm, and set the tone and pace of global nuclear disarmament work. Vienna will be where we design the blueprint for a nuclear weapon free world.

ICAN will organize a series of events in Vienna for NGOs participating in the conference, as well as for the public. We are also working on including parliamentarians and city representatives in the events of this week, as well as engaging with governments, journalists and the finance sector. A detailed plan of events will be published soon.

Ms. Fihn added, “Vienna will be an unprecedented generational affair where young people will join forces with testing survivors, Hibakusha, parliamentarians and governments to demand justice for actions of the past, and plan our nuclear weapons free future.”

Nuclear weapons and nuclear threats are terrifying and disempowering, but ICAN has a plan. In the days before the Meeting of States Parties, we will bring together civil society from around the globe. ICAN will host a forum on 18-19 June to focus on the problem of nuclear weapons, the way they make us all vulnerable, and will provide space and inspiration to space to work on implementing the solution to this problem, together. Right now, the world needs responsible states leading the way back from the nuclear abyss. States that have not yet joined the treaty can attend as observers, as Germany and Norway have already committed to do. But an even more concrete way to reassure their citizens’ legitimate fears of nuclear war would be to step up and take part in this global process by joining the TPNW.