The second edition of the Norwegian People’s Aid’s Nuclear Weapons Ban Monitor, the report tracking the progress of and compliance with the 2017 UN Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons was launched at the United Nations Headquarters in New York today. The report finds that while over two-thirds of the world’s countries support the TPNW, 31 mostly European countries are complicit in maintaining the nuclear status-quo.
The Nuclear Weapons Ban Monitor, published by the Norwegian People’s Aid, monitors progress on compliance with and support for the TPNW by producing country-by-country analysis and an overview of the status of nuclear weapons today.
“A facts-based debate on the UN prohibition on nuclear weapons is essential if we are to achieve the goal of a world without nuclear weapons.” says Norwegian People’s Aid’s Secretary General Henriette Westhrin, “The Nuclear Weapons Ban Monitor gathers and makes available crucial data.”
The Nuclear Weapons Ban Monitor categorizes 135 countries as TPNW supporters and 31 countries as nuclear-weapon-complicit states, meaning they have endorsed or acquiesced the possession and potential use of nuclear weapons on their behalf. There are nine nuclear-armed states.
“This report documents the clear support by the vast majority of the world’s countries for the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons and a world free of nuclear weapons,” said Beatrice Fihn, Executive Director of ICAN. “Countries that continue to possess and endorse nuclear weapons must heed their call.”
The Nuclear Weapons Ban Monitor shows that the TPNW is moving steadily towards early entry into force. At the time of writing, the TPNW had, by a close margin, the second fastest speed of adherence of the treaties on weapons of mass destruction.
The report also reveals the dire state of the world’s nuclear forces:
The Nuclear Weapons Ban Monitor’s estimate is that the total explosive yield of the nine nuclear-armed states’ active nuclear stockpiles is equivalent to almost 1.9 gigatons (1.9 million kilotons) of TNT. This means that these nine states have the capacity to unleash firepower equal to around 245 kilograms of TNT per person on Earth.
Nuclear-armed states conducted nearly fifty tests of nuclear-capable missiles from September 2018-August 2019 by the Nuclear Weapons Ban Monitor’s count.
The Nuclear Weapons Ban Monitor documents a dozen examples of heightened nuclear rhetoric and even outright threats to use nuclear weapons from nuclear-armed states during the time frame of the report, issued by foriegn ministries and heads of state in speeches and on Twitter.