NUCLEAR ABOLITION TREATY ON THE PROHIBITION OF NUCLEAR WEAPONS, OMNI NEWSLETTER #1,
JANUARY 22, 2021
Compiled by Dick Bennett for a Culture of Peace, Justice, and Ecology
The Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons (TPNW) includes a comprehensive set of prohibitions on participating in any nuclear weapon activities. These include undertakings not to develop, test, produce, acquire, possess, stockpile, use or threaten to use nuclear weapons.
UNITED NATIONS’ ROLE IN THE TREATY
Today we look back to a long struggle that has brought us to this day.
These include previous treaties: the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT); the Treaty Banning Nuclear Weapon Tests In The Atmosphere, In Outer Space And Under Water, also known as the Partial Test Ban Treaty (PTBT); the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty (CTBT), which was signed in 1996 but has yet to enter into ratified force.
"No one can solve this problem alone, but together we can change things for the better." – Setsuko Thurlow, Hiroshima Survivor
. “Nuclear Weapons Ban Treaty to Enter Into Force: What's Next?” ARMS
The Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons (TPNW) will soon enter into force and become binding international law for its states-parties. The milestone will be meaningful for those nations, but it will also affect countries that have yet to ratify or accede to the pact.
UN Secretary-General António Guterres (left) and Luis Guillermo Solís Rivera, president of Costa Rica, preside over the signing ceremony of the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons at the United Nations on July 7, 2017. (Photo: Kim Haughton/UN)
Earlier weapons prohibitions have successfully curbed proliferation and advanced norms against weapons of mass destruction. Within one year of the treaty’s entry into force, its states-parties will convene to discuss these issues and the next steps to strengthen the agreement.
The treaty’s final text was approved by 122 nations at the United Nations in July 2017, but nuclear-armed states boycotted treaty negotiations and have since rejected the treaty as simultaneously irrelevant and dangerous. Nevertheless, the majority of the world’s countries have continued to support the TPNW, including by signing and ratifying or acceding. States-parties hail from all regions of the world, with many from Africa and Latin America, and the fewest from Europe. According to the treaty, 50 ratifications or accessions must be submitted to the United Nations before the pact can take full legal effect.
Legal Implications for States-Parties
The 50th state, Honduras, ratified the TPNW on October 24, and the treaty will enter into force and take full legal effect for all countries that had ratified or acceded by then on January 22, 2021. For any state that ratifies or accedes to the TPNW after its entry into force, the treaty will take full legal effect 90 days after that state’s ratification or accession.
Before the treaty takes effect, signatories and states-parties are only obligated to refrain from violating the treaty’s object and purpose. States-parties must implement positive obligations and adhere to prohibitions, while states that have only signed it are simply required not to violate the object and purpose of the treaty.
Some positive obligations are simple, such as submitting a declaration within 30 days of the treaty’s entry into force about the country’s nuclear-weapon status. Others may take more time, such as adopting additional safeguards agreements with the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), implementing national laws, providing assistance to people and places harmed by nuclear weapons use and testing, and urging other states to join the pact.
The treaty requires states-parties to adhere to their current IAEA safeguards agreements and, if they lack one, bring into force a comprehensive safeguards agreement within 18 months of entry into force. Concretely, that means TPNW states-parties that already have an additional protocol to their safeguards agreement are now legally obligated to maintain that protocol. This is an obligation that exceeds the requirements of the nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty (NPT), which does not legally require states to adopt or maintain an additional protocol. All states-parties except for Palestine have already brought into force a comprehensive safeguards agreement. Palestine negotiated and signed its agreement in June 2019, but will still need to bring it into force.
States-parties will adopt national measures to implement the treaty’s requirements, both its prohibitions and its positive obligations, and prevent treaty violations on all territory under their jurisdiction or control. Ireland has already adopted such legislation, and the International Committee of the Red Cross provides a model template for other states to do so. National measures provide an opportunity for states-parties to spell out how and where they will enforce the treaty. It is up to each state to decide if the law applies to its citizens violating its terms in another country and what penalties will be imposed for violations. Some countries have adopted national implementation measures consistent with their obligations as states-parties to nuclear-weapon-free zones, although these measures only apply within the zone.
For nations where nuclear test explosions were conducted, the treaty requires them to provide assistance for the people affected by those activities and to take measures to remediate areas under its jurisdiction contaminated by nuclear weapons use and testing. Specifically, states must “adequately provide age- and gender-sensitive assistance, without discrimination, including medical care, rehabilitation and psychological support” for affected individuals, “as well as provide for their social and economic inclusion.” Several nations with people affected by nuclear weapons use and testing will be states-parties at the time of the treaty’s entry into force, including the Cook Islands, Fiji, and Kazakhstan. Some of these countries already have programs designed to help victims and remediate environments, although programs vary widely.
Alicia Sanders-Zakre is the policy and research coordinator of the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons.
CELEBRATING JANUARY 22 and TAKING ACTION
Invitation to organize an action on January 22, when the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons will enter into force
Dear fellow nuclear abolitionists,
Now that nuclear weapons are outlawed, it’s time
to take action!
We envision coordinated, nationwide public actions that spotlight the TPNW as a victory for humanity on this historic day, with coordinated publicity and documentation of these events. Places to act (including some where action planning is already underway) include: nuclear weapons facilities, military bases, federal buildings, congressional offices, churches, public squares, overpasses, and financial institutions, corporate facilities and academic institutions that are participating in nuclear weapons activities (using materials prepared by PAX/The Netherlands and ICAN).
We hope to develop an enduring collaboration with organizations who recognize the TPNW is an opportunity to renew the disarmament effort in the U.S. Please join us! If you have any questions, contact nuclearbantreatyEiF@gmx.com.
- - -
WHAT YOU — YES, YOU! — CAN DO ON JANUARY 22, 2021
TO CELEBRATE THE TREATY ON THE PROHIBITION OF NUCLEAR WEAPONS
ENTRY INTO FORCE
Yes, celebrate—but be smart about it. Any celebration should include an action item that raises the profile of the Treaty in the US. The first goal is to make people aware of the Treaty. Goal #2 is to make sure they know that it is entering into force. And Goal #3 is to begin to use public awareness to pressure the government to recognize, sign, ratify and comply with the Treaty. If that sounds like a lot it is, and it will take time. But it will never happen if we don’t make it happen.
Here are some options. Some you can do all by yourself, others work better with a small group (please take pandemic precautions!). Pick one or more of your favorites.
And please, report back! This is crucial—even if your action is a simple one. We gain strength from working together and knowing that people all over are taking action. And your effort, large or small, is amplified when it is shared. We hope to build a database of actions and we hope to demonstrate widespread support for the Treaty across the country. You can post your actions on facebook at the Nuclear Ban Treaty EIF group; we will publicize other sites as they become available.
1. Everyone can learn about the Treaty, and you don’t have to wait until Jan 22. A quick google search will turn up resources. Some as brief as 90 seconds; others are deep-dive webinars. There is a Fact Sheet here with basic information.
2. Hang or hold a banner in a public space. Activists will be hanging banners at nuclear weapons sites and nuclear military bases across the country. We have a template that you can use to have a banner made (around $50 if you go on-line) that you can hang or hold at any federal building—your local post office, federal courthouse, congressperson’s office. You download the template here.
2b. Think a banner is a bit much? Here is a template for a poster size version of the Treaty that you can hold or deliver or post in the place of your choice.
3. Focus on the $$$. Our friends in Europe have been successful in pushing investment funds and corporations to divest from nuclear weapons funding—the Treaty gives us even more leverage. You can find a list of the companies and banks that invest in nuclear weapons at Don’t Bank on the Bomb. You can hold a poster outside the local Bank of America or Wells Fargo branch office. If your credit card is issued by a nuke-bank, you can change cards or write to the issuer and ask them to get out of the illegal nuclear weapons business.
4. Check out your local university or college. There is a list here of US educational institutions that are directly involved in supporting nuclear weapons production. Some of them even operate nuclear weapons sites! Your local school not on the list? With a little digging, you might find out where their endowment funds are invested—chances are there is a link to a nuclear weapons corporation or fund.
5. Write your congresspersons—Senators and Reps. Tell them you expect their name to be on the first bill introduced in the new Congress that addresses the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons. Tell them you’ll be watching. It is highly likely that Senator Ed Markey and Congressman Ted Lieu will introduce bills that include a call for the US to join the Treaty.
6. Write a letter to the editor. This is really important—it is a way to broaden your reach through the public media. Mention your congressional representatives by name so their staff will clip the letter and show it to their boss.
7. Share the news on social media—if you use instagram or facebook or if you tweet—you can share the ICAN pages and other news about the Entry Into Force.
8. Donate! You can write a check or give on-line. There are dozens of groups around the country that are dedicating themselves to long-haul work to make the promise of the Treaty a reality around the world and in the US. They rely on donations and public support to keep going. Even a small contribution counts.
9. Commit for the long haul. Find the group nearest and dearest to your heart and join so you can stay involved, track the progress of the Treaty, and learn about more things you can do to help make it a reality. Get on their mailing list, either on-line or on paper.
10. Ask your local place of worship to ring its bell for peace on January 22.
11. Ask your local government to join the ICAN Cities appeal—present a copy of the Treaty and ask for a resolution calling on the US to join the Treaty.
12. Deliver copies of the treaty in person or send via mail (link to printable format) to congressional representatives and other public officials, and business, financial and educational institutions with ties to nuclear weapons activities, with a warning of their complicity.
13. Watch for more ideas: You are encouraged to post your plans on the Nuclear Ban Treaty EIF facebook group, and to look at what others are planning to do.
Prepared by The Nuclear Resister, Nukewatch, the Oak Ridge Environmental Peace Alliance, and the Alliance for Nuclear Accountability. For more info: nuclearbantreatyEiF@gmx.com
TREATY ON THE PROHIBITION OF
NUCLEAR WEAPONS –
Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, Livermore, CA
Hill AFB, Ogden, UT
Applied Physics Lab–Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, MD
WHERE U.S. NUCLEAR WEAPONS ARE BASED
Find information about U.S. universities with nuclear weapons ties here.
Find information about financial institutions with nuclear weapons ties here.
Some of the main PROPONENTS OF THE TREATY
FOR FURTHER READING
The Treaty on the Prohibition
of Nuclear Weapons opened for signature at United Nations headquarters in New
York on 20 September 2017. It will enter into ...
Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons – Wikipedia en.wikipedia.org › wiki › Treaty_on_the_Prohibition_o...The Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons (TPNW), or the Nuclear Weapon Ban Treaty, is the first legally binding international agreement to comprehensively prohibit nuclear weapons with the ultimate goal being their total elimination. Concept · Overview of provisions · History, intentions and ... · Positions
Nuclear Weapons Treaties | Prohibition of Nuclear Arms ...
Nov 30, 2020 — The Treaty on the Prohibition
of Nuclear Weapons (or Nuclear Weapons Ban Treaty) prohibits state parties
from developing, testing, producing, ...
The Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons At A Glance ...www.armscontrol.org › factsheets › nuclearprohibitionThe Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons (TPNW), negotiated by more than 130 states, is a good faith effort to meet their responsibility as signatories of ...
Historic milestone: UN Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear ...
On October 24, 2020, the
on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons reached the required 50 states parties
for its entry into force, after Honduras ...
The Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons and its ...
Dec 7, 2020 — The treaty also prohibits
states parties from allowing another state to station, install, or deploy nuclear weapons in its territory.
Most notably, the ...
Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons - cloudfront.netd3n8a8pro7vhmx.cloudfront.net › tpnw-info-kit-v2The Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons includes a comprehensive set of prohibitions on participating in any nuclear weapon activities. These include ...
Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons Set to Enter Into ...thediplomat.com › 2020/11 › treaty-on-the-prohibition...Nov 5, 2020 — Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons Set to Enter Into Force. On January 22, 2021 the TPNW will enter into force. But will it matter?
Nuclear War and the Doomsday Clock. It Is 100 Seconds To Midnight.
Read the latest from the Bulletin
Take the virtual tour
Turn Back the Clock exhibit
What is the Doomsday Clock?
Get the Facts.
Don’t just be loud. Be right.
Sign up today.
From no first use policies, to de-alerting, to nuclear flashpoints - Read the reports now.
Nov 27, 2020 — In January 2021 the Treaty on the Prohibition
of Nuclear Weapons will enter into force as part of international law. Michal
Onderco argues that ...
Treaty to Prohibit Nuclear Weapons Passes Important Threshold
Oct 25, 2020 — “Although we recognize
your sovereign right to ratify or accede to the Treaty on the Prohibition
of Nuclear Weapons (TPNW), we believe that you ...
A Prohibition on Nuclear Weapons - UNIDIR
Another common feature in
disarmament treaties is the prohibition of inducement or encouragement to the
activities prohibited by the treaty. In a new nuclear ...
Banning nuclear weapons - Research and advocacy projects
As part of this effort,
Reaching Critical Will worked with the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons (ICAN) to achieve
on the Prohibition ...
Treaty for the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons in Latin America ...
Convinced that the Treaty for the Prohibition of Nuclear
Latin America, negotiated and signed in accordance with the recommendations of
the General ...
Nuclear Weapons Ban Treaty | PSR
On July 7, 2017, the U.N.
adopted the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons (TPNW), which
prohibits nuclear weapons and related activities.
The Softening Rhetoric by Nuclear-Armed States and NATO ..warontherocks.com › 2020/12 › the-softening-rhetoric-...Dec 7, 2020 — Probably the most iconic moment during the negotiations on the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons (or "nuclear ban treaty") was the ...
News: North Atlantic Council Statement as the Treaty ... - NATOwww.nato.int › cps › natohq › news_180087Dec 15, 2020 — As the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons, or ban treaty, nears entry into force, we collectively reiterate our opposition to this treaty, as ...
NATO Rejects New UN Treaty Banning Nuclear Weapons ...
Dec 15, 2020 — The Treaty of the Prohibition of Nuclear
also known as the Ban Treaty, was approved by 122 countries in July 2017 and ...
The Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons Introduction
The Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear. Weapons (Nuclear Weapons Ban Treaty) is the result of mounting global frustration with the failure of the Nuclear ...
by Z Russell · Related articles
Rep pushes for world action to eliminate nuclear weaponsAmerica Magazine: a leading provider of editorial content for thinking Catholics. We provide commentary on Faith and Politics with a Jesuit perspective. Subscribe Today. Join our Newsletter.
The 50th ratification of the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear ...www.sipri.org › commentary › expert-comment › 50th...Oct 26, 2020 — Yesterday Honduras became the 50th state to ratify or accede to the 2017 Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons (TPNW), meaning that ...
Living With the Nuclear Prohibition Treaty: First, Do No Harm ...carnegieendowment.org › 2020/11/10 › living-with-nucle...Nov 10, 2020 — Summary: The UN Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons will neither rid the world of nuclear weapons nor leave it more vulnerable to ...
UN: Nuclear weapons ban treaty to enter into force - AP Newsapnews.com › article › nuclear-weapons-disarmament-u...
Oct 24, 2020 — UNITED NATIONS (AP) — The
United Nations announced Saturday that 50 countries have ratified a U.N. treaty to ban nuclear weapons ...
Nuclear Weapons and International Law: The Impact of the ...
Dec 2, 2020 — The Treaty on the
Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT) was ... As regards a prohibition to threaten use or
US urges nations to withdraw support for UN nuclear weapons ...
Oct 22, 2020 — Nuclear weapons ban backer tells AP a U.S. letter to other countries ... or accede to the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons (TPNW), ...
END TREATY ON THE PROHIBITION OF NUCLEAR WEAPONS, OMNI NEWSLETTER #1, CELEBRATING TREATY and PROTESTING UAF JANUARY 22, 2021