Landmark U.N. Global Treaty to Ban Nuclear Weapons

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Landmark U.N. Global Treaty to Ban Nuclear Weapons

..the voting screen at the un.

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..there hasn't been a whole lot of news about the passage of this treaty. and even this democracy now is quite short. but how it came about is brilliant! bravo to those who made it happen. looking forward to hearing other accounts on how it came to be and what it means for the world now.

122 Countries Overcome U.S. Opposition and Pass Landmark U.N. Global Treaty to Ban Nuclear Weapons


RAY ACHESON: So this was a long effort to get countries to come together to develop new international law to prohibit nuclear weapons. And we’re working in a context, of course, where the nuclear-armed states are investing billions of dollars into modernizing their arsenals. We’re in the midst of a new arms race. And they boycotted these negotiations. They boycotted all of the processes leading up to these negotiations. The United States tried to encourage its allies around the world, particularly in NATO, to boycott the talks. But despite all of that, 122 countries, as you saw, voted yes for this treaty and came together at the U.N. over the course of four weeks to negotiate it.

AMY GOODMAN: So what does it mean that they have voted? A hundred twenty-two countries is a very big deal, but it’s none of the nuclear powers, so what does that mean?

RAY ACHESON: Well, the treaty is actually designed not to include them necessarily. It would have been great if they had have come along, and it would have looked like a very different treaty. But given that they weren’t engaged in the negotiations and that they aren’t interested currently in disarmament, we needed to create something that could attack the system of nuclear weapons sort of indirectly, getting around different economic, political, legal statures of nuclear weapons that keep the practices and policies of nuclear deterrence going currently.

AMY GOODMAN: Now, while this happened under the Trump administration, didn’t the Obama administration even vote against convening the talks that led to this treaty?

RAY ACHESON: That’s absolutely correct. And the Obama administration also sent a memo to its NATO allies telling them to vote against the start of the talks and to boycott these talks.

AMY GOODMAN: And so, what happens now? The treaty is signed. What does this mean for these 122 countries? And for the world?

RAY ACHESON: So, the next process is going to be signing on to the treaty. It’ll open for signature at the U.N. in New York on the 20th of September. And after that, they’ll have to go through a national ratification process in order for it to enter into force. But that should all happen within the next year or two, and then it will be international law that is binding on all of the countries that have adhered to it, which means, in some cases, they’re going to have to change their practices and policies that may enable or facilitate the use or the possession of nuclear weapons.

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International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons (ICAN)

Atomic bomb survivor Setsuko Thurlow's closing statement to the #nuclearban conference.

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The new reality

Yesterday, we banned nuclear weapons.

It’s still hard to believe this is the case. It hasn’t fully sunk in yet, the enormity of what just happened. Even as survivors, activists, politicians, and diplomats celebrated in New York and around the world, many expressed amazement that we actually pulled it off.

It was a long campaign. Activism against nuclear weapons has been fierce and determined for over seventy years. But it wasn’t until recent years, when a few courageous diplomats in partnership with a group of civil society actors working as part of or in collaboration with the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons decided to take a leap into the unknown, that we managed to finally develop international law condemning and prohibiting these last weapons of mass destruction.

Working together, we foregrounded our actions in resistance and hope. Resistance to the pressure from nuclear-armed and nuclear-alliance states. Resistance to attitudes of cynicism and of defeatism. Resistance to staying the course, being placated, being told to be patient, that the “important” countries will handle this matter. Hope that change is possible. Hope that by working together we can achieve something that can disrupt some of the most powerful, heavily militarised structures and doctrines in the entire world. Hope that a shared sense of humanity could prevail against all odds. Irish Foreign Minister Simon Coveney quoted Seamus Heaney in his remarks on Friday, that “hope is not optimism, which expects things to turn out well, but something rooted in the conviction that there is a good worth working for.”

There were incredible obstacles in our way. We were challenging power. In response, many forces of that power were unleashed upon us—politically, and sometimes personally. In her closing statement, Ambassador Nozipho Mxakato-Diseko of South Africa noted the “an incredible amount of pressure” on her continent not to participate. We saw this pressure placed on many countries in October before the General Assembly voted to begin these negotiations. We saw it even when states were organising conferences to examine the humanitarian impacts of nuclear weapons.

The key was not to allow these obstacles to be insurmountable. This is a choice. One can either give up or keep fighting. No obstacle is actually too big; it’s just a matter of figuring out how to go under, around, over, or through it. On Friday, 7 July, 122 governments voted yes for humanity. They took courage in their collective endeavor, and in the support of civil society filling the gallery behind them beyond capacity. They also took courage in their “moral duty,” as Ambassador Mxakato-Diseko put it, noting that “to have voted no would have been a slap in the face to the victims of Nagasaki and Hiroshima.”.....

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This is a treaty made by people. By diplomats who got inspired by an idea and went home to change their government’s positions. By activists writing, thinking, and convening, bringing together governments and civil society groups to figure out how to make things happen. By survivors who give their testimony despite the personal trauma of reliving their experiences. By direct action crews who get arrested for breaking into nuclear weapon facilities or blockading nuclear transports or military bases. By campaigners who mobilise nationally to raise awareness and pressure their governments. By politicians who truly represent the will of their people and speak the truth in parliaments. By academics who write the theory or record the process.

This treaty is an amazing feat of collective action by people who came together to do something that had not been tried before. Like anything created by people, it has its imperfections. But it’s a good start on the road to abolition, and it gives a glimpse of what is possible in this world. That, all on its own, has meaning.

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UN Adopts Historic Nuclear Weapons Ban over US-Led Opposition

The United Nations General Assembly has adopted the first ever global treaty to ban the possession of nuclear weapons -- but all nine nuclear powers stand in the way. We speak to Rick Wayman of the Nuclear Age Peace Foundation and Ira Helfand of Physicians for Social Responsibility, who were both involved in the global campaign to push the treaty through

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Democracy Breaks Out at the UN as 122 Nations Vote to Ban the Bomb


The new treaty outlaws any prohibited activities related to nuclear weapons, including use, threat to use, development, testing, production, manufacturing, acquiring, possession, stockpiling, transferring, receiving, stationing, installation, and deployment of nuclear weapons. It also bans states from lending assistance, which includes such prohibited acts as financing for their development and manufacture, engaging in military preparations and planning, and permitting the transit of nuclear weapons through territorial water or airspace.

We are witnessing a striking shift in the global paradigm of how the world views nuclear weapons, bringing us to this glorious moment. The change has transformed public conversation about nuclear weapons, from the same old, same old talk about national “security” and its reliance on “nuclear deterrence” to the widely publicized evidence of the catastrophic humanitarian consequences that would result from their use. A series of compelling presentations of the devastating effects of nuclear catastrophe, organized by enlightened governments and civil society’s International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons, was inspired by a stunning statement from the International Committee of the Red Cross addressing the humanitarian consequences of nuclear war.

At meetings hosted by Norway, Mexico, and Austria, overwhelming evidence demonstrated the disastrous devastation threatening humanity from nuclear weapons—their mining, milling, production, testing, and use—whether deliberately or by accident or negligence. This new knowledge, exposing the terrifying havoc that would be inflicted on our planet, gave impetus for this moment when governments and civil society fulfilled a negotiating mandate for a treaty to prohibit nuclear weapons, leading towards their total elimination.


Any former supporters of OPERATION DISMANTLE out there?  I was caught up, around 1980, in the rather utopic idea of a world referendum on abolishing nuclear arms. Voting them illegal by the General Assembly was the way to go.  It will be impossible for Canada to sign on but I hope the government will get a lot of criticism and that Canada/NATO's First Use stand will be better known.



US Holds Second Test of B61-12 Gravity Nuclear Bombs

"The National Nuclear Security Administration has announced the successful flight tests of its B61-12 gravity bombs in non-nuclear assemblies. It comes as US lawmakers reportedly push for a withdrawal from a landmark nuclear treaty with Russia..."


This is a great accomplishment and a cause for some celebration.   Thanks for bringing the details here, epaulo.  


This is the "Ban the Bomb" we marched for in Trafalgar Square in 1962. On 17/7/7 the UN General Assembly Banned the Bomb by a sizable majority.  Ratification will be after Sept 20.  Canada's hypocracy will be evident

 What business have we intervening in the defence of Europe which can defend itself.  Why do  we support NATO's nuclear First Use policy? 

Canada needs to turn its back on its friends across the the Atlantic and tell them "you can defend yourselves!"

Mexico will support the Ban the Bomb. Probably all of the Americas except us and Big Brother.



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Canada shies away from UN treaty to ban nuclear weapons, abandoning 'nuclear nag' reputation

So insistent was Canada in pushing for nuclear disarmament that we became known among top NATO generals as the "nuclear nag."

Make no mistake -- that was meant as an insult. But it gives me a shiver of pride to think that Canada was smeared because of our insistence on challenging NATO's top brass over its determination to keep the world armed to the teeth with nuclear weapons.

There have been impressive moments in our history when Canada, under previous Liberal governments, asserted itself as a feisty middle power by supporting, even occasionally leading, the push to get nuclear disarmament onto the global agenda, which makes the retreat by our current Liberal government all the more disappointing.


This unprecedented action, the first such breakthrough in the 70-year effort to avert a nuclear war, happened at the United Nations last month. After months of talks, two-thirds of the UN's 192 nations agreed to a 10-page treaty aimed at ultimately destroying all nuclear weapons and prohibiting the creation of new ones.

Canada was not among those nations, having boycotted the process, as demanded by Washington. (In a letter last fall, the U.S. insisted NATO countries boycott the talks, and almost all complied.)

Canada argued that, with no nuclear powers at the table, the talks were pointless.


Washington Is Preparing For Nuclear War in Europe

"Amid mounting military and diplomatic tensions between the US and Russia, the German daily Suddeutsche Zeitung reported Friday that the American Congress has taken the first step toward Washington's annulling of the Intermediate Range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty.

The danger now is 'that the US will construct new missiles and station them in Europe,' warned SZ. A major shift would be set 'into motion' and Europe would stand 'on the brink of a new nuclear era...nuclear mid-range missiles were the horror of the Cold War...thirty years on, the spectre has returned.'

Characteristically, the explosive reports by the German press have been totally ignored by the US print and broadcast media..."


Despite Mythology Canada Has Long Been A Player In Nuclear Arms Race   -   by Yves Engler

"One need not mythologize Canadian foreign policy to oppose the Trudeau government's egregious position on nuclear arms. In fact, 'benevolent Canada' dogma weakens the critical consciousness needed to reject the policies of our foreign policy establishment..."


Anyone but me notice the lack of interest (even by Babblers) and by CBC and Radio-Canada in this game-changing event ?  On the 21st the 50 + 1 countries signed and in 90 days (Dec 20) nuclear weapons will be like chemical and biological, BANNED. even for the big countries like France who are so proud of their nuclear subs.  Canada, so proud of our role in NATO, so ready to defend weak undefended Europe will never sign. 


Canadians are deeply unconcerned with world affairs unless and until they are dogwhistled by corporate media to assume the position and most do.  I would have thought you'd been here long enough to notice that. Most of those babblers who did take an interest were eventually accused of upsetting the others  on some manufactured  transgression and ejected. 


A NATO Attack on Nuclear Disarmament  -  by Manlio Dinucci (Il Manifesto)

"...But the day on which it opened for signature is the same day NATO resoundingly slammed it. The North Atlantic Council (composed of representatives of the 29 NATO member states)'s declaration made on 20 September maintains that:

'a treaty that is not binding on any state possessing nuclear weapons, will not be effective, nor will it increase security or international peace, but will risk securing the opposite: The creation of divisions and divergences.'

Thus, without beating [around] the bush NATO makes it clear that: 'we will not accept any provisions contained in the treaty.' Thus the North Atlantic Council robs the national parliaments of its member states of their role, depriving them of their sovereignty to reach an independent decision on whether to adhere to the UN Treaty on the Abolition of Nuclear Weapons.

Furthermore, NATO announces that: 'We will call our partners and all the countries inclined to support the treaty to seriously reflect on its implications.'

(read: We will blackmail them to ensure they neither sign nor ratify the treaty)."


Why is Canada Boycotting UN Talks To Ban the Bomb?

"Short answer: The US and NATO believe nuclear war is not only winnable, but can be fought like conventional war. Canada's foreign affairs minister, Chrystia Freeland argues that 'the negotiation of a nuclear-weapon ban without the participation of states that possess nuclear weapons is certain to be ineffective.'

What can be done about this insanity? Canadians can start by saying no to Canada Pension Plan's $451 million investment in 14 nuclear weapons corporations."

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Global Anti-Nuclear Campaign Coalition Wins Nobel Peace Prize

The International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons (ICAN) won the 2017 Nobel Peace Prize on Friday, at a time when, as the committee said, "the risk of nuclear weapons being used is greater than it has been for a long time."

ICAN was granted the award "for its work to draw attention to the catastrophic humanitarian consequences of any use of nuclear weapons and for its ground-breaking efforts to achieve a treaty-based prohibition of such weapons," said Norwegian Nobel Committee chairman Berit Reiss-Andersen.

The committee described ICAN, a coalition of non-governmental organizations in 100 countries, as "a driving force in prevailing upon the world's nations to pledge to cooperate with all relevant stakeholders in efforts to stigmatize, prohibit, and eliminate nuclear weapons."....


The Courage To Decide For Peace

"The DPRK is the only one of the nuclear powers that in 2016 voted in support of the UN resolution to begin negotiations on a treaty to ban nuclear weapons."


Gorbachev: My Plea To The Presidents of Russia and the USA

"The Intermediate Range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty, however, is now in jeopardy. There have been calls on both sides for scrapping the agreement. So what is happening, what is the problem, and what needs to be done...?"


Careening Toward Nuclear war: The Political Paralysis of Europe, Russia and China

"Never since the Cuban Missile Crisis has there been such an unstable situation in the global political system, including the system of management of nuclear arms and US power..."