- This event has passed.
The “Ban Treaty”—What is it and Why is it Important?
February 27 @ 10:00 am - 11:30 am
A Webinar with Joseph Gerson
The “Doomsday Clock” was set on Jan. 27 to 100 seconds to midnight, meaning that some of the most knowledgeable of the world’s scientists believe that we are perilously close to a world-destroying nuclear holocaust. But we can prevent this from happening! Join our Webinar and find out how.
On Jan. 22, a new treaty came into effect that outlaws nuclear weapons. Called the “Ban Treaty” by its promoters, the U.N. Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons has been ignored by the mainstream media and undercut by the U.S. government. So, is it vitally important, as its adherents say, or is it a “nothing-burger”?
The Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists on Jan. 27 set the hands of their iconic “Doomsday Clock,” a universally recognized indicator of the world’s vulnerability to catastrophe from nuclear weapons, to 100 seconds to midnight, the closest it has ever been. This means that these scientists, which include 13 Nobel laureates, consider that we are perilously close to annihilation. Can the “Ban Treaty” help us survive?
Come find out! For our Webinar, we have a world-class speaker, Joseph Gerson, who has worked for decades on ending nuclear weapons. He will help us understand the implications of this treaty, including what we can do to help ensure that nuclear weapons are never used.
The Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons (TPNW), popularly known as the Ban Treaty, which went into force on January 22, 2020, is the culmination of decades of education and organizing by nuclear weapons survivors, civil society and conscientious diplomats from Brazil and Egypt to Ireland and Austria. Most immediately, the Treaty emerged from a series of intergovernmental/civil society conferences that sought to transform the paradigm under which arms control and disarmament negotiations war held, focusing on the humanitarian consequences of nuclear weapons, rather than “national security” rationales.
The Treaty grows out of disappointment and in some cases rage that the nuclear weapons states, led by the United States have consistently refused to implement their fifty year-old Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty Article VI obligation to engage in “good faith” negotiations for the complete elimination of their nuclear arsenals. With the Treaty opposed by the nuclear weapons states, which remain engaged in increasingly dangerous arms races, among the TPNW’s most important provisions is for the parties to the Treaty (now 51 governments) to engage with the nuclear powers to join the treaty in order to move “toward” a nuclear weapons-free world.
While it is unlikely that any of the nuclear weapons states will soon sign or ratify the treaty, the most important venues in the struggle for its implementation lie in the so-called nuclear umbrella states, U.S. and Russian allies whose military doctrines rely on the superpowers nuclear arsenals and threats. Should any of these nations break ranks with their masters and sign and ratify the treaty, it would begin to unravel the fabric of the nuclear disorder, providing new opportunities.
Here in the United States, among other things, the Treaty illuminates the urgent call of the non-nuclear world for complete nuclear disarmament and provides encouragement to our movements. In the coming months our priorities will need to be renewal of the New START treaty with Russia and JCPOA agreement with Iran and cutting spending for the replacement of the nuclear arsenal and its delivery systems, which will also provide essential funding to address human needs, including stanching the pandemic and reversing the climate emergency.