ATOM Project Supports UN nuclear weapons treaty, much work remains
July 13, 2017
The ATOM Project fully supports the historic step taken July 7 by the United Nations toward global nuclear disarmament in approving the first ever treaty to ban nuclear weapons.
“This is an historic day and UN vote,” said The ATOM Project Honorary Ambassador Karipbek Kuyukov. “For the first time, the nations of the world have come together to legally, formally and permanently say no to nuclear weapons.”
On July 7, 122 nations approved a legally binding UN treaty that prohibits countries “under any circumstances to develop, test, produce, manufacture, otherwise acquire, possess or stockpile nuclear weapons or other nuclear explosive devices.”
It also forbids the transfer or use of any nuclear explosive devices and threats to use such devices.
“It’s been seven decades since the world knew the power of destruction of nuclear weapons and since day one there was a call to prohibit nuclear weapons,” Elayne Whyte Gómez, president of the UN conference, told the Guardian newspaper. “This is a very clear statement that the international community wants to move to a completely different security paradigm that does not include nuclear weapons.”
The treaty will open for signature September 20 and will need 50 nations to ratify, through their legislatures, to come into effect.
While The ATOM Project supports this important step, work is just beginning in the effort to create conditions that will allow the treaty to have a more meaningful impact. All nuclear-armed nations (U.S., Russia, North Korea, China, Britain, France, India, Pakistan, and Israel) and all NATO countries, except the Netherlands, boycotted the negotiations and many have said they will not sign or ratify the treaty.
The United States, the United Kingdom and France put out a joint statement July 7 against the treaty. “A purported ban on nuclear weapons that does not address the security concerns that continue to make nuclear deterrence necessary cannot result in the elimination of a single nuclear weapon and will not enhance any country’s security, nor international peace and security,” the statement reads.
Despite the current refusal of nuclear-armed nations to join the treaty, non-proliferation, supporters hope the treaty can help establish a legal framework that will ultimately lead to global nuclear disarmament.
“We banned biological weapons 45 years ago, we banned chemical weapons 25 years ago, and today we are banning nuclear weapons.” said Beatrice Fihn at the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons in Geneva. “These kinds of treaties have an impact that forces countries to change their behaviour. It is not going to happen fast, but it does affect them … We have seen on all other weapons that prohibition comes first, and then elimination. This is taking the first step towards elimination.”
The treaty also, importantly, formalizes an overwhelming international sentiment against nuclear weapons.
“With more than 120 nations approving this historic treaty, there is no doubt that global public sentiment and that of a substantial number of leaders of nations now fully supports a world free of nuclear weapons,” said Kuyukov. “We must take this important moment in history and move it forward to create the conditions necessary for nuclear-armed nations to join the treaty and eliminate their nuclear arsenals.”
To help the cause, join more than 300,000 people from around the world who have signed the ATOM project petition seeking an end to nuclear weapons testing and, ultimately, a nuclear-weapons-free world. Sign the petition at http://theATOMproject.org/100K.