On Sunday, NuclearBan.US will deliver a letter signed by over a hundred national, state and local organizations including CODEPINK to President Biden asking him to sign the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons, or TPNW. Sunday marks the 2nd anniversary of the entry of the nuclear ban treaty.. Since its entry, it has now been accepted as law in 68 countries, with 27 more in the process of ratifying it into law.
The Nuclear Ban Treaty prohibits everything to do with nuclear weapons, including assisting anyone in the performance of any of the prohibited activities. President Biden must sign the treaty for the following reasons:
- It’s the right thing to do. According to the Bulletin of Atomic Scientists, the world stands closer to “doomsday” than at any point even during the darkest days of the Cold War. Even one detonation would create an unthinkable humanitarian disaster. A full-scale nuclear war would spell the end of human civilization as we know it. Nothing could possibly justify that level of risk.
- It would improve America’s standing in the world, and especially with our closest allies. There is strong and growing support for the TPNW in Germany, Norway, Finland, Sweden, Netherlands, Belgium, Australia, Italy, Spain, Iceland, Denmark, Japan and Canada.
- It would be a statement of our intention to fulfill a legal commitment we made 55 years ago. In 1968, the US signed the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty and agreed to negotiate the elimination of all nuclear arsenals “in good faith” and “at an early date.”
- The whole world is witnessing in real time the reality that nuclear weapons serve no useful military purpose. Ours didn’t prevent the invasion of Ukraine by Russia. Russia isn't preventing the United States from arming and supporting Ukraine. Since 1945, the US has fought wars in Korea, Vietnam, Lebanon, Libya, Kosovo, Somalia, Afghanistan, Iraq, and Syria. Having nuclear weapons did not “deter” any of those wars, nor indeed it ensured that the US “won” any of those wars.
- The US can discourage other countries from seeking to acquire nuclear weapons of their own.Kim Jong-un wants them to defend himself from the United States precisely because we continue to insist that these weapons somehow defend us from him. Iran might feel the same way. When we insist that we need nuclear weapons for our own security, we are encouraging other countries to want the same. How can a world awash in nuclear weapons possibly be safer than a world without any nuclear weapons? Eliminating these weapons now is a national security imperative.
- We cannot adequately address the climate crisis without also addressing the nuclear threat. By signing the TPNW, we can start working on the monumental shift of money, brainpower and infrastructure that is needed from nuclear weapons to climate solutions. Most importantly, we simply cannot take sufficient action on climate while the world’s biggest carbon emitters have nuclear warheads pointed at each other. We must sign the TPNW to improve international cooperation with Russia, China, India and the EU.
For all these reasons and more, it is imperative that the United States accepts and signs the nuclear ban treaty for the safety and security of all people and the planet.
National organizations signing the letter include Peace Action, Veterans for Peace, CODEPINK, World Beyond War, Pax Christi USA, Nuclear Age Peace Foundation, Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom, and Fellowship of Reconciliation USA.