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Democracy breaks out at the UN as 122 nations vote to ban the bomb

July 24, 2017

by Alice Slater

On July 7, 2017, at a UN Conference mandated by the UN General Assembly to negotiate a treaty to prohibit nuclear weapons, the only weapons of mass destruction yet to be banned, 122 nations completed the job after three weeks, accompanied by a celebratory outburst of cheers, tears, and applause among hundreds of activists, government delegates, and experts, as well as survivors of the lethal nuclear bombing of Hiroshima and witnesses to the devastating, toxic nuclear-test explosions in the Pacific. Read more…

We just banned nuclear weapons!

July 7, 2017

Banning nuclear weapons on the big screen. Now that’s reality TV!

Nuclear weapons have been banned.

Stigmatized and prohibited. That means we’re two-thirds of the way to fulfilling the Humanitarian Pledge, which feels like it was launched only yesterday.

It took three international conferences, two open-ended working groups, medical and scientific evidence accumulated over some 50 or more years, decades of selfless appeals by the Hibakusha and by the victims of nuclear testing, a core group of states with the courage to take effective leadership, a decisive UN resolution, four weeks of honest, good faith negotiating by people who really and truly want to rid the world of nuclear weapons, and seven years of intensive campaigning by ICAN…

…and nuclear weapons have been banned. Read more…

Historic nuclear ban treaty serves “shared interests of humanity”

July 7, 2017

Conference room 1 erupts in applause as ban treaty vote is announced

History was made at the United Nations today when the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons was adopted by an overwhelming 122-1 vote by UN Member States determined to provide a legal basis for the elimination of the world’s worst weapons of mass destruction. Read more…

Deconstructing the concept of security: What do we mean when we talk about security?

July 5, 2017
by

Guest editorial

by Alice Slater

Those of us laboring in the wasteland of nuclear arms control and countless thwarted attempts to abolish nuclear weapons have been witnessing one of the most striking shifts in the global paradigm of how the world thinks about nuclear weapons which has brought us to this present glorious moment. The world is now poised on the eve of actually completing negotiations for a treaty to ban the bomb! The shift, which has proceeded so rapidly, relative to other efforts to curb nuclear weapons, can largely be attributed to the transformation of the public conversation about nuclear weapons, from the same old, same old talk, about national “security” and its reliance on “nuclear deterrence”, to the widely promoted and publicized well-founded scientific evidence of the catastrophic humanitarian consequences which would result from the use of these lethal instruments of death and destruction. Read more…

The nuclear bomb is a weapon of crime and mass destruction

July 3, 2017

by Roland Oldham, Moruroa e Tatou, Tahiti

The nuclear bomb is a weapon of crime and mass destruction.

We should all be well aware of the examples of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, where the consequences still today have effects across generations. Read more…

Round the home turn towards adoption of a strong ban treaty on 7 July

July 1, 2017

by Tilman Ruff

On Wednesday 26 June, the UN conference to negotiate a treaty banning nuclear weapons undertook the first read-through of a revised draft treaty text prepared by the conference president, Costa Rican ambassador Elayne Whyte. Now two weeks into this final round, many in the room expressed some frustration at this further exchange of positions and views. With the clock ticking towards the conference end and target date for adoption of an agreed treaty text on 7 July, many delegates expressed their desire to get stuck into negotiating treaty text, paragraph by paragraph, line by line.

Between Wednesday 28 and Friday 30 June, the negotiating work of the conference proceeded in earnest, with 3 and occasionally 4 separate working groups considering different treaty elements. Though these sessions were closed to civil society, the sense of urgency and commitment was palpable, with delegates meeting late into the night. Read more…

The bomb and us

June 27, 2017

by Anne Sandstrom

As I write this, a nuclear ban treaty is within reach. And yet, the optimism I should be feeling is tempered by the knowledge of the people, lands, waters, cultural traditions, and innocence that have been lost to the scourge of nuclear weapons.

On Sunday afternoon, June 18, during an ICAN strategy and planning meeting, many voiced opinions on various aspects of the ban treaty. There was much discussion about the victims of nuclear testing, with Roland Oldham (President of Moruroa e Tatou) offering the perspective of the inhabitants of French Polynesia. At the conclusion of the meeting, Roland offered the booklet “Moruroa La Bombe et Nous” to anyone interested. He seemed apologetic as he admitted that it was available only in French. Read more…

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