The Red Cross: “For more than 75 years, almost half of the ICRC’s 158 years of existence, we have been advocating for the elimination of nuclear weapons for one simple reason: We do not believe they can be used without inflicting significant death and suffering among civilians. That is why January 22, 2021, is such a momentous day for us. It is the day the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons (TPNW) comes into force. This day is nothing short of a victory for humanity.”
This month, many others joined with the Red Cross in celebrating the Treaty.
UN Secretary-General António Guterres commended the States that have ratified the Treaty and welcomed the “instrumental role of civil society in advancing the TPNW’s negotiation and entry into force , , , Nuclear weapons pose growing dangers and the world needs urgent action to ensure their elimination and prevent the catastrophic human and environmental consequences any use would cause . . . The elimination of nuclear weapons remains the highest disarmament priority of the United Nations.”
The Foreign Minister of the Vatican, speaking on behalf of the Pope, welcomed the Treaty as a step toward a “nuclear weapons-free world,” saying that nuclear deterrence gives a ‘false sense of security,’”
Members of the World Future Council and Right Livelihood Laureates issued a joint statement celebrating the Entry-into-force of the Treaty and listing further steps that are needed towards the goal of the complete elimination of nuclear weapons.
On January 13, the organization Ploughshares Calgary (Canada) held a webinar explaining the treaty featuring Earl Turcotte, the Chairperson of the Canadian Network to Abolish Nuclear Weapons.
On January 21, a Global Health Webinar was held by health professionals to mark the Treaty, co-sponsored by the International Council of Nurses, International Committee of the Red Cross, International Federation of Medical Students’ Association, International Physicians for the Prevention of Nuclear War, World Federation of Public Health Association, and World Medical Association.
On January 22, the International Peace Bureau held a celebration for the Treaty, calling on members of the IPB family, our friends and all peace lovers to celebrate this historical step, and deliver this great news with noise and fun in your countries all across the globe, as the road to a world free of nuclear weapons is now wide open!
On January 25, a webinar was held with discussion by experts and activists on the political openings for global nuclear disarmament and the vital roles being played by the United Nations and civil society. It was sponsored by the Basel Peace Office, Parliamentarians for Nuclear Non-proliferation and Disarmament, Right Livelihood Foundation, UNFOLD ZERO, World Future Council and Youth Fusion.
In France, demonstrators gathered near the French National Assembly and in front of the embassies of the 4 other nuclear-weapon States and permanent members of the United Nations Security Council (Russia, USA, Great Britain, China) to celebrate the Treaty and demand their adherence.
As the Red Cross concludes, “But it is only the beginning of the world’s journey to eliminate nuclear weapons. The end comes when those 13,000 nuclear weapons no longer exist.”
Many of the organizations above make demands of the nuclear states to begin the process of nuclear disarmament. And people are invited to sign appeals to these governments such as the Appeal for a Nuclear-Weapon-Free World.
But there is no indication that the nuclear powers are listening., We must do more than that, as argued in the blog, APPEALS ARE NOT ENOUGH.
DISARMAMENT & SECURITY
FREE FLOW OF INFORMATION
TOLERANCE & SOLIDARITY