[pjw] NEWS: 50 nations ratify nuclear weapons prohibition treaty (NY Times 10/26)

Peace and Justice Works pjw at pjw.info
Fri Nov 6 17:26:22 EST 2020

PJW supporters
I realize there's a lot to be anxious about right now, but I was happy to 
run across this article from early last week which reports that the 
international nuclear weapons ban is now officially international law! Of 
course, the US tried desperately to convince countries who'd already 
signed it to "unsign."


There are a lot of unanswered questions about how to enforce the law but 
this is a great step forward for planet Earth.

I'll likely be referencing this tonight at the Friday Rally-- which as I 
understand it is now not allowed to be larger than six people. Based on 
our regular turnout, that should not be a problem.


Nonetheless, we'll be down there at 5.

dan h.
peace and justice works

Fifty nations ratify nuclear weapons prohibition treaty, allowing enforcement
as international law

Russia, China, India and Pakistan among other nations boycotted the talks
that brought about the treaty and refuse to accept it
    International New York Times     * Oct 26 2020, 02:48 ist
      * updated: Oct 26 2020, 02:52 ist

    A treaty aimed at destroying all nuclear weapons and forever
    prohibiting their use has hit an important benchmark, with Honduras
    becoming the 50th country to ratify the accord ? the minimum needed for
    it to enter into force as international law.

    The United Nations announced late Saturday that the ratification
    threshold had been achieved, a little more than three years after the
    treaty was completed in negotiations at the organization?s New York
    headquarters. Secretary-General Ant?nio Guterres said the 50th
    ratification was ?the culmination of a worldwide movement to draw
    attention to the catastrophic humanitarian consequences of any use of
    nuclear weapons.?

    The Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons is not binding on
    those nations that refuse to sign on to it. The United States and the
    world?s eight other nuclear-armed countries ? Russia, China, Britain,
    France, India, Pakistan, North Korea and Israel ? boycotted the
    negotiations that created the treaty and have shown no inclination to
    accept it.

    US officials have called the accord a dangerous and naive diplomatic
    endeavor that could even increase the possibility that nuclear weapons
    will be used.

    Nonetheless, the nuclear-armed countries have been unable to reverse
    the growing acceptance of the treaty, which takes effect 90 days from
    the 50th ratification: Jan. 22, 2021. Advocates of the accord have
    called it the most far-reaching effort undertaken to permanently avert
    the possibility of nuclear war, a shadow hanging over the world since
    the United States dropped atomic bombs on Japan 75 years ago, in the
    final days of World War II.

    ?This is the proof that we are in a completely different era,? Elayne
    Whyte G?mez, the Costa Rican diplomat who led the 2017 negotiations for
    the treaty, said Sunday. ?This is a strong message.?

    So far, the governments of 84 countries have signed the treaty, and the
    legislatures of 50 of those have ratified it. Advocates expected the
    remainder of the signatories to ratify it in coming weeks and months.

    ?This treaty changes the legal status of nuclear weapons in
    international law, and marks a historic milestone for a decadeslong,
    intergenerational movement to abolish nuclear weapons,? said Physicians
    for Social Responsibility, a Washington-based group.

    The accord outlaws nuclear weapons use, threat of use, testing,
    development, production, possession, transfer and stationing in a
    different country. For any nuclear-armed countries that choose to join,
    the treaty outlines procedures for destroying stockpiles and enforcing
    their pledge to remain free of nuclear weapons.

    Asked for comment on the 50th ratification, the State Department
    spokesperson, Morgan Ortagus, reiterated the US opposition to the

    ?The TPNW will not result in the elimination of a single nuclear
    weapon, enhance the security of any state or contribute in any tangible
    way to peace and security in the geopolitical reality of the 21st
    century,? she said in a statement.

    The 50th ratification was reached just days after the Trump
    administration sent a letter to other governments that have signed or
    ratified the treaty, exhorting them to reverse their decision.

    ?Although we recognize your sovereign right to ratify or accede to the
    Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons (TPNW), we believe that
    you have made a strategic error,? read the letter, a copy of which was
    seen by The New York Times.

    The letter, reported last week by The Associated Press, contended that
    Russia and China were intent on increasing their nuclear weapons, would
    never voluntarily relinquish them and would only benefit strategically
    from the treaty by making other countries more vulnerable.

    ?Join with us in publicly calling on Russia and the PRC to engage in
    trilateral arms control negotiations with the United States and reduce
    nuclear risks rather than heighten them,? the letter stated. ?Doing so
    will do more for advancing the cause of nuclear disarmament than the
    TPNW ever will.?

    That appeal came as the Trump administration has been negotiating with
    Russia on extending the START treaty, the main arms control accord
    limiting the size of the US and Russian nuclear arsenals, which is
    scheduled to expire in February. China has long rejected the US
    contention that it, too, sign any successor to the START treaty.

    Beatrice Fihn, executive director of the International Campaign to
    Abolish Nuclear Weapons, a group that won the 2017 Nobel Peace Prize
    for its work, said Sunday that the Trump administration?s appeal
    betrayed US government nervousness about the effect of the treaty
    banning them.

    She cited the effect of other treaties that have outlawed weapons such
    as chemical and biological munitions, land mines and cluster bombs.
    Even if not universally accepted at first, these treaties have shamed
    other countries into joining them or at least curbing the use of the
    abhorrent weapons.

    ?They know that even if it doesn?t bind them legally, it has an
    impact,? Fihn said. ?Nobody?s immune to peer pressure from other

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