The world is now facing a historic opportunity to prohibit nuclear weapons.
In October last year, a majority of the world’s states at the United Nations General Assembly agreed to start negotiations of a new legally binding treaty to prohibit nuclear weapons, in line with other treaties that prohibit chemical and biological weapons, landmines and cluster munitions.
As we’ve seen with these weapons, an international prohibition has created a strong norm against their use and speed up their elimination. The negotiations began at the United Nations in New York on March 27?31, and continue on 15 June to 7 July, with the aim of concluding a legally binding instrument to prohibit nuclear weapons.
Amnesty International, Oxfam and the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons (ICAN) believe that it is time to negotiate a treaty that would prohibit the use, possession, production and transfer of nuclear weapons, given their indiscriminate nature. No state, including permanent members of the UN Security Council, should possess nuclear weapons. This is the moment to stand up for international law, multilateralism and international institutions. All governments should seize this opportunity and participate actively in the negotiations of a treaty prohibiting nuclear weapons in 2017.
More information: www.icanw.org
See the article in the latest Chain Reaction, #129, “The world faces a historic opportunity to ban nuclear weapons” by Beatrice Fihn, Martin Butcher, and Rasha Abdul Rahim.
Béatrice Fihn is Executive Director of the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons (ICAN), Martin Butcher is Policy Advisor on Arms and Conflict at Oxfam International and Rasha Abdul Rahim is Advocate/Adviser on Arms Control and Human Rights at Amnesty International.