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Always immoral, now a new treaty bans nuclear weapons

November 17, 2020

JOINT STATEMENT 16 November 2020

IPPNW, PEAC Institute and CoNGO welcome 50 states ratifications and imminent entry into legal force of the UN Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons

On October 24, 2020, exactly 75 years to the day the United Nations opened for business, Honduras became the 50th member state to ratify the UN Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons (TPNW). By crossing the 50 ratifications threshold, this means that in 90 days, on 22 January 2021, the treaty will enter into legal force and become international law, binding on the states that have already ratified it, and all those which subsequently ratify the treaty. Read more…

Nuclear disarmament for health: time to rejoice

November 13, 2020

by Mary-Wynne Ashford

The dream of the founders of the United Nations has finally come to fruition. The first resolution of the General Assembly on January 24, 1946 called for the peaceful uses of atomic energy and the elimination of atomic and other weapons of mass destruction. Now at last, the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons became law when the 50th country ratified it. The Treaty will come into force January 22, 2021, almost exactly 75 years after the first resolution. Canada has not yet signed. Read more…

The most consequential election

November 1, 2020

There has never been an election—or probably any single national event—of greater global moment than the impending US election. This could hardly be more evident than from the perspective of planetary health.  If Trump is returned to the White House for another four years and the Republican Party retains control of the US Senate, the prospects for reducing the growing danger of nuclear war appears bleak; and the decisive turn towards a low carbon future within the narrow time window needed to have any chance of keeping global temperature rise below 2°C will also be very much more difficult, if not impossible, to achieve.

On most health policies and those on the social, economic and environmental determinants of health, the past four years in the United States have seen major steps backward. Disregarding of scientific and medical evidence and expertise has had severe impacts not only for Americans, but people worldwide. Read more…

A turning point in the struggle against the bomb: the Nuclear Ban Treaty ready to go into effect

October 30, 2020

[The following article by Daryl Kimball was first published in Just Security, an online forum about national security law and policy in the US. Mr. Kimball is the executive director of the Arms Control Association.]

by Daryl G. Kimball

The Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons (TPNW) marks a turning point in the long history of the effort to reduce nuclear risks and to eventually eliminate the 13,000 nuclear weapons that remain today, 90 percent of which are held by the United States and Russia. On Oct. 24, Honduras became the 50th country to ratify the treaty, triggering its entry into force 90 days later, on Jan. 22, 2021.

That date will mark the first time since the invention of the atomic bomb that nuclear weapons development, production, possession, use, threat of use, and stationing of another country’s nuclear weapons on a state party’s national territory are all expressly prohibited in a global treaty. Read more…

I celebrate this moment with my brothers and sisters across the world

October 29, 2020

by Setsuko Thurlow

The Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons has entered into force! This truly marks the beginning of the end of nuclear weapons! When I learned that we reached our 50th ratification, I was not able to stand. I remained in my chair and put my head in my hands and I cried tears of joy. I have committed my life to the abolition of nuclear weapons. I have nothing but gratitude for all who have worked for the success of our treaty. I have a powerful feeling of solidarity with tens of thousands of people across the world. We have made it to this point. Read more…

ICRC calls ban treaty entry into force “a victory for humanity”

October 26, 2020

In a statement following the 50th ratification of the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons (TPNW), Peter Maurer, the president of the International Committee of the Red Cross, said the treaty “allows us to turn our gaze towards the future; to imagine a world freed from these inhumane weapons no longer as a distant dream, but as an actual, achievable goal….Today is a victory for humanity.”

Mr. Maurer’s full statement is on the ICRC website.

Nuclear weapons – always inhumane and unacceptable, now illegal

October 24, 2020

[The following statement has been signed by IPPNW’s co-presidents—Tilman Ruff, Ira Helfand, Arun Mitra, and Daniel Bassey—on behalf of the Executive Committee.]

IPPNW welcomes 50 states ratifications and imminent entry into legal force of the historic Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons


On October 24, Honduras became the 50th nation to ratify the UN Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons (TPNW). By crossing the 50 ratification threshold, this means that in 90 days, on 22 January 2021, the treaty will enter into legal force and become international law, binding on the states that have already ratified it, and all those which subsequently ratify the treaty. Honduras announced its ratification one day after Jamaica and Nauru joined the TPNW at the United Nations in New York. This is a historic achievement, an essential step to eliminate nuclear weapons, and an enormous win for planetary health. Read more…

Peace cannot be found through weapons

October 9, 2020

Statement on gender and disarmament

The Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom

[The following statement, endorsed by IPPNW and other NGOs participating in this year’s UN First Committee, will be presented during a virtual session on October 12.]

Chairperson, delegates,

We are facing in our world a conflagration of crises. Climate change, COVID-19, conflicts; as well as fascism, poverty, inequality, and brutality.

At the root of these challenges, among other things, lies patriarchal militarism. A world order resting upon massive investments in weapons and war and the celebration of violent ideas about masculinity. 

Read more…

New START: Arms Control or Arms Racing?

October 2, 2020
Marshall Billingslea and Sergei Ryabkov. Fotos: US Dept of Treasury / public domain and Tasnim News Agency / Creative Commons 4.0

Largely held under the radar, the talks between the USA and Russia have been spectacularly unsuccessful so far. If they do not succeed, then the last bilateral arms control treaty New START will expire in February, going the same way as the INF Treaty before it and taking the last vestiges of our security with it. Read more…

Tilman Ruff: the Ban Treaty has fundamentally changed the game

September 28, 2020

On September 22, IPPNW co-president Tilman Ruff spoke with Jonathan Kolieb of RMIT University in Melbourne as part of the Australian interview series “Better Place.”

The elimination of nuclear weapons, Dr. Ruff said, “depends crucially and fundamentally on those states that own them deciding to get rid of them. The current reality, regrettably, is that that’s not the case. None of those nine states is serious about their more than half-a-century old political, legal, and moral obligation to get rid of these weapons.” Read more…

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