This Friday at the United Nations, an overwhelming majority of the world’s nations will decide—by acclamation or vote—whether to adopt a treaty to prohibit nuclear weapons. Since June 15, they have been intensively negotiating its various provisions. Their aim: a robust, effective instrument that will lead us toward the total elimination of these abhorrent weapons. Civil society organizations—groups outside of government and business working in the interests of citizens—were pivotal in bringing about this historic treaty-making process, and have helped shape governments’ negotiating positions throughout. Hundreds of campaigners have met with diplomats in New York and officials in capitals around the world in an effort to strengthen the draft text of what promises to be a landmark international agreement. Many thousands of ordinary citizens—gravely concerned about the looming specter of nuclear war—have taken to the streets to voice their support for the ban, mostly in nations that have refused to join the negotiations. And more than three million people have signed a petition (link in Japanese), initiated by Hiroshima and Nagasaki survivors, urging states to adopt a strong treaty. The negotiations are part of a broader “humanitarian disarmament” agenda that places human beings at its center and challenges abstract notions such as deterrence and geostrategic stability—which have long dominated discussions on nuclear weapons and entrenched the dangerous status quo. Morality and ethics have, at last, entered the diplomatic discourse on this subject.
Bulletin of Atomic Scientists 6th July 2017 read more »
Daily Mail 7th July 2017 read more »