Peace campaigners will be at the White House at 1:30pm on Sunday, January 22, 2023 to deliver a letter to President Biden on the 2nd anniversary of the Entry into Force of the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons (TPNW or “Nuclear Ban Treaty”).
The Biden letter, signed by over one hundred national, state and local organizations, provides the President with six compelling reasons why he can – and should – sign this treaty now. National organizations signing the letter include Peace Action, Veterans for Peace, CodePink, World Beyond War, Pax Christi USA, Nuclear Age Peace Foundation, Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom, and Fellowship of Reconciliation USA.
The Nuclear Ban Treaty prohibits everything to do with nuclear weapons, including assisting anyone in the performance of any of the prohibited activities. It entered into force on January 22, 2021, and as of January 2023, it is now the law in 68 countries. A further 27 countries are in the process of ratifying the treaty, and many more have committed to signing and ratifying.
Summary of points in letter to President Biden: why he should sign this treaty now:
1. It’s the right thing to do. According to the Bulletin of Atomic Scientists, the world stands closer to “doomsday” than at any point even during the darkest days of the Cold War. Even one detonation would create an unthinkable humanitarian disaster. A full-scale nuclear war would spell the end of human civilization as we know it. Nothing could possibly justify that level of risk.
2. It would improve America’s standing in the world, and especially with our closest allies. There is strong and growing support for the TPNW in Germany, Norway, Finland, Sweden, Netherlands, Belgium, Australia, Italy, Spain, Iceland, Denmark, Japan and Canada.
3. It would be a statement of our intention to fulfill a legal commitment we made 55 years ago. In 1968, the US signed the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty and agreed to negotiate the elimination of all nuclear arsenals “in good faith” and “at an early date.”
4. The whole world is witnessing in real time the reality that nuclear weapons serve no useful military purpose. Ours didn’t prevent the invasion of Ukraine by Russia. Russia’s isn’t preventing the United States from arming and supporting Ukraine. Since 1945, the US has fought wars in Korea, Vietnam, Lebanon, Libya, Kosovo, Somalia, Afghanistan, Iraq, and Syria. Having nuclear weapons did not “deter” any of those wars, nor indeed it ensure that the US “won” any of those wars.
5. The US can discourage other countries from seeking to acquire nuclear weapons of their own. Kim Jong-un wants them to defend himself from the United States precisely because we continue to insist that these weapons somehow defend us from him. Iran might feel the same way. When we insist that we need nuclear weapons for our own security, we are encouraging other countries to want the same. How can a world awash in nuclear weapons possibly be safer than a world without any nuclear weapons? Eliminating these weapons now is a national security imperative.
6. We cannot adequately address the climate crisis without also addressing the nuclear threat. By signing the TPNW, we can start working on the monumental shift of money, brainpower and infrastructure that is needed from nuclear weapons to climate solutions. Most importantly, we simply cannot take sufficient action on climate while the world’s biggest carbon emitters have nuclear warheads pointed at each other. We must sign the TPNW to improve international cooperation with Russia, China, India and the EU.
*Full text of the letter and a list of organizations who have signed it is available at: https://www.nuclearban.us/president-biden-sign-the-tpnw/