The 22 January is a historic milestone for this landmark treaty. Prior to the TPNW’s adoption, nuclear weapons were the only weapons of mass destruction not banned under international law, despite their catastrophic humanitarian consequences. Now, with the treaty’s entry into force, we can call nuclear weapons what they are: prohibited weapons of mass destruction, just like chemical weapons and biological weapons.

Nuclear weapons are not a necessity for human security, and their use is not compatible with common sense, human decency, or the teachings of any major religion or ethics system. The atomic chain is losing its invisibility as survivors of civil war in African countries recall the uranium wars that destroy people. From slavery to cluster bombs and in school playgrounds and on factory floors, formal prohibition helps people to condemn what is unacceptable. The smoking ban made smokers outcasts. The US no longer manufactures or uses landmines. They never signed the treaty but did responded to global condemnation of landmines. Already, some financial institutions are saying NO to nuclear weapons, and campaigners can take heart that prohibition can lead to elimination. So lets make a noise about it! Churches and are expected to ring their bells and Quaker Meeting Houses will be dropping banners. The lockdown may prevent a huge demo at Faslane or George Square, but check out the international banner that you can order now and have in your window on the day.

These can be bought from UN House or from the SCND Online shop, or you can make your own. More news soon of action to celebrate the day we banned the bomb.

    Alexander Kmentt is one of the architects of the initiative on the humanitarian impact of nuclear weapons and the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons. In this article he gives the rationale for the Humanitarian Initiative and counters criticism of the Treaty. He points out what a step-change the TPNW is, marking the point … Continue reading
  • ICAN in the UK Letter to PM as Nuclear Ban Treaty enters into Force
    To: Rt Hon Boris Johnson MP, UK Prime Minister 10 Downing St London SW1A 2AA Cc: Rt Hon Dominic Raab MP, Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Affairs Cc: Rt Hon Ben Wallace MP, Secretary of State for Defence 22 January 2021 Entry into force of the UN Treaty on the Prohibition of … Continue reading
  • Marking the Progress of The Nuclear Ban Treaty
    As far as the Nuke Ban Treaty is concerned the 22nd January is a day for a double celebration. On that day the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons (TPNW) enters into force as international law, binding those states that have ratified to abide by its articles. It’s a day to bang the drum, … Continue reading
  • We must maintain the momentum of the Nuclear Ban Treaty

    This is a summary of Ambassador Kmentt’s address to Scottish CND’s AGM on 21st November 2020. A recording of the talk is available here. Speaking in a personal capacity Alexander addressed the significance of the TPNW and the arguments against it, and went on to outline how its progress might best be supported. A key … Continue reading
  • Shifting the Norm for Nukes

    The Nuke Ban Treaty and the Global Social Norm We are well used to dramatic norm shifts in our recent social history. Recall the low internal visibility, stink and grime of pubs before the smoking ban, or the hahaha from drivers who had managed to drive home utterly guttered without killing anyone. On a slightly … Continue reading
    On 22 January, the states that have ratified the TPNW will be bound by its prohibitions and also its obligations – including universalisation – which means urging all the world’s governments to join. Already, the norm is starting to shift as the Canadian Government, a strong opposer, took an opportunity at the UN to state … Continue reading
    With Honduras’ ratification on 24th October 2020 the TPNW has now acquired the necessary 50 ratifications to enter into force as international law. The TPNW 1 was adopted at the UN in July 2017 with the support of 122 member states.. When the 50th state ratifies, there remains only the 90 day period allowed by … Continue reading
  • Huge Boost for the TPNW from 56 former National and NATO Leaders

    As the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons (TPNW) edges ever closer to becoming international law, it has just received a huge and significant endorsement. Fifty-six former presidents, prime ministers, foreign ministers and defence ministers from 20 NATO member states, as well as from Japan and South Korea, have just issued an open letter … Continue reading
  • UN International Peace Day
    Working for Peace is a conversation for the peace movement, to mark the UN International Day for Peace. In the past,WILPF and Scottish CND have organised panel events at the Scottish Parliament to mark this day – not possible this year!Instead, we are hosting the event online. Our panel of speakers includes:* Becky Alexis-Martin (Winner … Continue reading
  • Call on First Minister to Thank Ireland for Ratifying the TPNW
    On 6th August, as the world commemorated the destruction of Hiroshima by a nuclear bomb, Ireland ratified the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons. As a member of the EU it now stands in good counterbalance to the French attachment to weapons of mass destruction, as well as the occasional  mutterings about the EU … Continue reading