THE HUMANITARIAN INITIATIVE AND THE TPNW

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 that: “Rather than continue to merely demand disarmament progress from nuclear-weapon states, a prohibition of nuclear weapons emerged as the one concrete action that non-nuclear-weapon states were able to effect themselves.

With the Treaty now established as international law the challenge for us all is to work for its progress. This will involve being savvy about the arguments of those who resist that progress. It will involve challenging the conventional narrative about nuclear deterrence and focusing instead on the humanitarian consequences and the appalling risks. This article is an excellent place to start.

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