United States

Nuclear-armed state

Possesses 5,550 nuclear weapons

Has not yet joined the TPNW

The United States has not yet signed or ratified the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons.

 

Nuclear bombings

The United States is the only country to have used nuclear weapons in war. In the final days of World War II, it detonated two atomic bombs over the Japanese cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, killing more than 200,000 people instantly or within a few months of the attacks.

Many thousands more died in the years following the attacks from illnesses caused by their exposure to radiation from the bombs. Almost all of the victims were civilians.

Photos and illustrations of victims of the US atomic bombing of Hiroshima, as displayed at the Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum. Photo: Wikimedia

 

Nuclear-weapon programme

The United States possesses approximately 5,550 nuclear weapons, which it can launch from missiles, submarines, and aircraft. Its intercontinental ballistic missiles are based in silos in Montana, North Dakota, and Wyoming.

In 2020, the United States spent an estimated $37.4 billion to build and maintain its nuclear weapons.

The United States conducted 1,030 nuclear tests between 1945 and 1992, most of them in Nevada and the Marshall Islands, but some of them over the Malden and Kiritimati islands, Alaska, Colorado, Mississippi, New Mexico, and the Atlantic Ocean.

Campaigners protest at the Idaho National Laboratory on 22 January 2021 – the date of the treaty’s entry into force. Photo: Jon Sadler

 

National position

The United States has consistently voted against an annual UN General Assembly resolution since 2018 that welcomes the adoption of the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons and calls upon all states to sign, ratify, or accede to it “at the earliest possible date”.

Along with other nuclear-armed states, the United States has said that it does not accept any claim that [the treaty] contributes to the development of customary international law”. It has called on all states that are considering supporting the the treaty to reflect seriously on its implications for international peace and security.

In October 2020 – with the treaty’s entry into force imminent – the United States, in an extraordinary move, called on states that had already ratified the treaty to withdraw their support. However, none did so.

 

Political developments

The state legislatures of California, Oregon, and New Jersey have passed resolutions in support of the treaty, and dozens of cities across the country have appealed to the US government to sign and ratify it. Several members of the US congress have also pledged to work for the United States’ signature and ratification.

ICAN campaigners discuss the treaty with Eleanor Holmes-Norton, a member of the US congress, in Washington, DC, in 2019. Photo: ICAN

Activists gather in Times Square, New York City, to draw public attention to the treaty’s entry into force on 22 January 2021. Photo: NYCAN

 

Treaty negotiations

The United States 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. On the opening day of the negotiating conference, it organised a gathering of several states to protest the treaty-making process.

In 2016, the United States 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”.

The United States actively discouraged other states from supporting the resolution.

In a document sent to members of the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (NATO) ahead of the vote, the United States “strongly encourage[d]” members 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”.


A Japanese paper crane sits on the empty desk of the United States during the treaty negotiations in New York in 2017. Photo: ICAN

Nuclear-armed state

Possesses 5,550 nuclear weapons

Has not yet joined the TPNW

[HIGHLIGHTS]

The United States has not yet signed or ratified the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons.

 

Nuclear bombings

The United States is the only country to have used nuclear weapons in war. In the final days of World War II, it detonated two atomic bombs over the Japanese cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, killing more than 200,000 people instantly or within a few months of the attacks.

Many thousands more died in the years following the attacks from illnesses caused by their exposure to radiation from the bombs. Almost all of the victims were civilians.

Photos and illustrations of victims of the US atomic bombing of Hiroshima, as displayed at the Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum. Photo: Wikimedia

 

Nuclear-weapon programme

The United States possesses approximately 5,550 nuclear weapons, which it can launch from missiles, submarines, and aircraft. Its intercontinental ballistic missiles are based in silos in Montana, North Dakota, and Wyoming.

In 2020, the United States spent an estimated $37.4 billion to build and maintain its nuclear weapons.

The United States conducted 1,030 nuclear tests between 1945 and 1992, most of them in Nevada and the Marshall Islands, but some of them over the Malden and Kiritimati islands, Alaska, Colorado, Mississippi, New Mexico, and the Atlantic Ocean.

Campaigners protest at the Idaho National Laboratory on 22 January 2021 – the date of the treaty’s entry into force. Photo: Jon Sadler

 

National position

The United States has consistently voted against an annual UN General Assembly resolution since 2018 that welcomes the adoption of the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons and calls upon all states to sign, ratify, or accede to it “at the earliest possible date”.

Along with other nuclear-armed states, the United States has said that it does not accept any claim that [the treaty] contributes to the development of customary international law”. It has called on all states that are considering supporting the the treaty to reflect seriously on its implications for international peace and security.

In October 2020 – with the treaty’s entry into force imminent – the United States, in an extraordinary move, called on states that had already ratified the treaty to withdraw their support. However, none did so.

 

Political developments

The state legislatures of California, Oregon, and New Jersey have passed resolutions in support of the treaty, and dozens of cities across the country have appealed to the US government to sign and ratify it. Several members of the US congress have also pledged to work for the United States’ signature and ratification.

ICAN campaigners discuss the treaty with Eleanor Holmes-Norton, a member of the US congress, in Washington, DC, in 2019. Photo: ICAN

Activists gather in Times Square, New York City, to draw public attention to the treaty’s entry into force on 22 January 2021. Photo: NYCAN

 

Treaty negotiations

The United States 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. On the opening day of the negotiating conference, it organised a gathering of several states to protest the treaty-making process.

In 2016, the United States 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”.

The United States actively discouraged other states from supporting the resolution.

In a document sent to members of the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (NATO) ahead of the vote, the United States “strongly encourage[d]” members 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”.


A Japanese paper crane sits on the empty desk of the United States during the treaty negotiations in New York in 2017. Photo: ICAN

[PARTNERS]

Awakening/art & culture 

WEBSITE


Beyond Nuclear 

WEBSITE


Center for Political Ecology 

WEBSITE


Citizens for Peaceful Resolutions 

WEBSITE


Daisy Alliance 

WEBSITE


Environmentalists Against War 

WEBSITE


Friends Committee on National Legislation 

WEBSITE


Georgia Women's Action for Nuclear Disarmament 

WEBSITE


Ground Zero Center for Nonviolent Action 

WEBSITE


Guahan Coalition for Peace and Justice 

Hibakusha Stories 

WEBSITE


Interfaith Paths to Peace 

WEBSITE


International Health & Epidemiology Research Center 

WEBSITE


Los Alamos Study Group (LASG)

WEBSITE


Lawyers Committee on Nuclear Policy 

WEBSITE


Maryknoll Office for Global Concerns 

WEBSITE


nuclearban.us: Treaty Compliance Campaign 

WEBSITE


Nuclear Age Peace Foundation 

WEBSITE


Nuclear Watch New Mexico 

WEBSITE


Nukewatch 

WEBSITE


Oak Ridge Environmental Peace Alliance

WEBSITE


Peace Action 

WEBSITE


Peace Action New York State 

WEBSITE


Peace Farm of Texas 

WEBSITE


Peacemaker 360 

WEBSITE


Peace Resource Center at Wilmington College

WEBSITE


PEAC Institute

WEBSITE


Project for Nuclear Awareness 

WEBSITE


Physicians for Social Responsibility (United States)

WEBSITE


Physicians for Social Responsibility (Florida Chapter) 

Physicians for Social Responsibility (Kansas City Chapter) 

Rocky Mountain Peace and Justice Center and Rocky Flats Nuclear Guardianship 

Sierra Club USA 

WEBSITE


St. Joan of Arc Church Peacemakers 

WEBSITE


The Resistance Center for Peace and Justice

WEBSITE


Transform Now Plowshares 

WEBSITE


Tri-Valley CAREs 

WEBSITE


United Methodist General Board of Church and Society 

WEBSITE


US Peace Council 

WEBSITE


Utah Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons 

WEBSITE


VFP Golden Rule Project 

WEBSITE


War Prevention Initiative 

WEBSITE


Washington Physicians for Social Responsibility 

WEBSITE


Women Against Military Madness

WEBSITE


Women's International League for Peace and Freedom (US) 

WEBSITE


World Beyond War

WEBSITE


Hampton Roads Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons

Pax Christi Metro Washington, DC- Baltimore

website


Peace Action of WI

website


New Jersey Peace Action

website


Pax Christi Metro Washington, DC- Baltimore

website


UNION OF CONCERNED SCIENTISTS

website


Oregon Physicians for Social Responsibility

website


Pax Christi Michigan

website


Pax Christi Northern California

website


Physicians for Social Responsibility-Los Angeles (PSR-LA)

website


Pathways To Peace

website


Peace-Activism

website


Global Campaign for Peace Education

website


The Nuclear Resister

website


PeaceWorks Kansas City

website


Concerned Citizens for Nuclear Safety

website


Remembering Hiroshima, Imagining Peace

website


Reverse the Trend: Save Our People, Save Our Planet

website


Ethics In Technology a 501 c 3

website


Marshallese Educational Initiative

website


WE Rotary E-Club of District 5000

website


Nevada Desert Experience

website


Manhattan Project for a Nuclear-Free World

website

 

[LOCALSUPPORT]

Support for TPNW Get involved with ICAN in this country ›

ICAN Cities Appeal

 

These are the towns, cities and states that support the TPNW ICAN Cities Appeal:

Towns and cities:

Alstead, NH

Amherst, MA

Anchorage, AK

Arcata, CA

Asheville, NC

Atherton, CA

Baltimore, MD

Bangor, ME

Barrington, NH

Berkeley, CA

Brookline, MA

Carlsbad, CA

Cummington, MA

Davis, CA

Denver, CO

Des Moines, IA

Dover, NH

Durham, NH

E. Providence, RI

Easthampton, MA

Eureka, CA

Evanston, IL

Exeter, NH

Goshen, MA

Ithaca, NY

Lansing, NY

Lee, NH

Leverett, MA

Los Angeles, CA

Menlo Park, CA

Needham, MA

Newton, MA

Northampton, MA

Ojai, CA

Peterborough, NH

Philadelphia, PA

Portland, ME

Portland, OR

Portsmouth, NH

Salt Lake City, UT

Santa Barbara, CA

Somerville, MA

South Burlington, VT

Springfield, MA

Syracuse, NY

Takoma Park, MD

Tuscon, AZ

Warner, NH

Washington, DC

Walla Walla, WA

Windsor, MA

Winooski, VT

Williamsburg, MA

 

The following US States have also passed resolutions in support of the TPNW:

State of California

State of Oregon

New Jersey

Maine

 

The following US Counties have also passed resolutions in support of the TPNW:

Montgomery County, MD

Honolulu, HI

San Francisco, CA

 

ICAN Parliamentary Pledge

These are the elected representatives that work to support and promote the TPNW:

United States Congress

→Rep. Eleanor Holmes Norton
→Rep. Betty McCollum
→Rep. Jim McGovern
→Rep. Keith Ellison*
→Rep. Barbara Lee
→Rep. Earl Blumenauer
→Rep. Carolyn Maloney
→Rep. Mark Pocan
→Rep. Pramila Jayapal

 

United States State Legislators

New York State Legislature:

→Sen. Liz Krueger
→Sen. Julia Salazar
→Sen. Gustavo Rivera

Oregon State Legislature:

→Sen. Jeff Golden
→Rep. Janeen Sollman
→Rep. Rob Nosse
→Rep. Alissa Keny-Guyer
→Rep. Sheri Schouten

Local Legislators

New York City Local Legislators:

→Donovan Richards

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Related news View all news ›

Support for TPNW Get involved with ICAN in this country ›

ICAN Cities Appeal

 

These are the towns, cities and states that support the TPNW ICAN Cities Appeal:

Towns and cities:

Alstead, NH

Amherst, MA

Anchorage, AK

Arcata, CA

Asheville, NC

Atherton, CA

Baltimore, MD

Bangor, ME

Barrington, NH

Berkeley, CA

Brookline, MA

Carlsbad, CA

Cummington, MA

Davis, CA

Denver, CO

Des Moines, IA

Dover, NH

Durham, NH

E. Providence, RI

Easthampton, MA

Eureka, CA

Evanston, IL

Exeter, NH

Goshen, MA

Ithaca, NY

Lansing, NY

Lee, NH

Leverett, MA

Los Angeles, CA

Menlo Park, CA

Needham, MA

Newton, MA

Northampton, MA

Ojai, CA

Peterborough, NH

Philadelphia, PA

Portland, ME

Portland, OR

Portsmouth, NH

Salt Lake City, UT

Santa Barbara, CA

Somerville, MA

South Burlington, VT

Springfield, MA

Syracuse, NY

Takoma Park, MD

Tuscon, AZ

Warner, NH

Washington, DC

Walla Walla, WA

Windsor, MA

Winooski, VT

Williamsburg, MA

 

The following US States have also passed resolutions in support of the TPNW:

State of California

State of Oregon

New Jersey

Maine

 

The following US Counties have also passed resolutions in support of the TPNW:

Montgomery County, MD

Honolulu, HI

San Francisco, CA

 

ICAN Parliamentary Pledge

These are the elected representatives that work to support and promote the TPNW:

United States Congress

→Rep. Eleanor Holmes Norton
→Rep. Betty McCollum
→Rep. Jim McGovern
→Rep. Keith Ellison*
→Rep. Barbara Lee
→Rep. Earl Blumenauer
→Rep. Carolyn Maloney
→Rep. Mark Pocan
→Rep. Pramila Jayapal

 

United States State Legislators

New York State Legislature:

→Sen. Liz Krueger
→Sen. Julia Salazar
→Sen. Gustavo Rivera

Oregon State Legislature:

→Sen. Jeff Golden
→Rep. Janeen Sollman
→Rep. Rob Nosse
→Rep. Alissa Keny-Guyer
→Rep. Sheri Schouten

Local Legislators

New York City Local Legislators:

→Donovan Richards

Find a local ICAN partner to get active Become an ICAN Partner Organization ›

  • Awakening/art & culture 

    WEBSITE

  • Beyond Nuclear 

    WEBSITE

  • Center for Political Ecology 

    WEBSITE

  • Citizens for Peaceful Resolutions 

    WEBSITE

  • Daisy Alliance 

    WEBSITE

  • Environmentalists Against War 

    WEBSITE

  • Friends Committee on National Legislation 

    WEBSITE

  • Georgia Women's Action for Nuclear Disarmament 

    WEBSITE

  • Ground Zero Center for Nonviolent Action 

    WEBSITE

  • Guahan Coalition for Peace and Justice 
  • Hibakusha Stories 

    WEBSITE

  • Interfaith Paths to Peace 

    WEBSITE

  • International Health & Epidemiology Research Center 

    WEBSITE

  • Los Alamos Study Group (LASG)

    WEBSITE

  • Lawyers Committee on Nuclear Policy 

    WEBSITE

  • Maryknoll Office for Global Concerns 

    WEBSITE

  • nuclearban.us: Treaty Compliance Campaign 

    WEBSITE

  • Nuclear Age Peace Foundation 

    WEBSITE

  • Nuclear Watch New Mexico 

    WEBSITE

  • Nukewatch 

    WEBSITE

  • Oak Ridge Environmental Peace Alliance

    WEBSITE

  • Peace Action 

    WEBSITE

  • Peace Action New York State 

    WEBSITE

  • Peace Farm of Texas 

    WEBSITE

  • Peacemaker 360 

    WEBSITE

  • Peace Resource Center at Wilmington College

    WEBSITE

  • PEAC Institute

    WEBSITE

  • Project for Nuclear Awareness 

    WEBSITE

  • Physicians for Social Responsibility (United States)

    WEBSITE

  • Physicians for Social Responsibility (Florida Chapter) 
  • Physicians for Social Responsibility (Kansas City Chapter) 
  • Rocky Mountain Peace and Justice Center and Rocky Flats Nuclear Guardianship 
  • Sierra Club USA 

    WEBSITE

  • St. Joan of Arc Church Peacemakers 

    WEBSITE

  • The Resistance Center for Peace and Justice

    WEBSITE

  • Transform Now Plowshares 

    WEBSITE

  • Tri-Valley CAREs 

    WEBSITE

  • United Methodist General Board of Church and Society 

    WEBSITE

  • US Peace Council 

    WEBSITE

  • Utah Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons 

    WEBSITE

  • VFP Golden Rule Project 

    WEBSITE

  • War Prevention Initiative 

    WEBSITE

  • Washington Physicians for Social Responsibility 

    WEBSITE

  • Women Against Military Madness

    WEBSITE

  • Women's International League for Peace and Freedom (US) 

    WEBSITE

  • World Beyond War

    WEBSITE

  • Hampton Roads Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons
  • Pax Christi Metro Washington, DC- Baltimore

    website

  • Peace Action of WI

    website

  • New Jersey Peace Action

    website

  • Pax Christi Metro Washington, DC- Baltimore

    website

  • UNION OF CONCERNED SCIENTISTS

    website

  • Oregon Physicians for Social Responsibility

    website

  • Pax Christi Michigan

    website

  • Pax Christi Northern California

    website

  • Physicians for Social Responsibility-Los Angeles (PSR-LA)

    website

  • Pathways To Peace

    website

  • Peace-Activism

    website

  • Global Campaign for Peace Education

    website

  • The Nuclear Resister

    website

  • PeaceWorks Kansas City

    website

  • Concerned Citizens for Nuclear Safety

    website

  • Remembering Hiroshima, Imagining Peace

    website

  • Reverse the Trend: Save Our People, Save Our Planet

    website

  • Ethics In Technology a 501 c 3

    website

  • Marshallese Educational Initiative

    website

  • WE Rotary E-Club of District 5000

    website

  • Nevada Desert Experience

    website

  • Manhattan Project for a Nuclear-Free World

    website