All five permanent members of the UN Security Council (U.S., U.K., France, Russia, and China) as well as Pakistan, India and Israel have nuclear weapons. North Korea has exploded three nuclear devices.
Peace Action is working to cut nuclear weapons spending, accelerate the process of dismantling nuclear weapons slated for decommissioning and push the Biden administration to declare a strategy for setting the world on a path to nuclear zero. Nuclear weapons make the world less safe. As long as nuclear weapons exist, the threat of use also exists, whether intentional or accidental. Nuclear materials also remain vulnerable to theft or sale for illicit purposes. While states cling to their nuclear arsenals saying they are necessary for their security and the security of their allies, other states will also seek these weapons for their own security. And whether or not you believe deterrence “worked” during the Cold War, it is impossible to believe nuclear weapons could deter non-state actors or terrorists, who by definition have no territory or population to threaten with nuclear retaliation.
The Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty of 2011 (New START) negotiated between the U.S. and Russia was a clear victory in progress towards nuclear disarmament. The Obama administration initiated a nuclear weapons modernization plan over the next three decades that under President Trump was increased to nearly $2 Trillion.
Modernization of the U.S. nuclear arsenal will involve the construction of new submarines and refurbishment of old warheads. It will also mean the continued maintenance of 450 intercontinental ballistic missiles. All of this money going towards construction of new weapons could do enormous good right now for pandemic relief and a host of other health care, social services, housing, and education.
The Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons, also referred to as the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT), codifies a 3-part bargain: 1) nuclear weapon states parties are obligated to negotiate in good faith toward nuclear disarmament; 2) non-nuclear weapon states parties will not seek to acquire nuclear weapons; and 3) all states have the right to use nuclear energy – under international monitoring – for peaceful purposes. Negotiations began in 1968 and the Treaty was opened for signature and entered into force in 1970.
Nearly four years after 122 countries voted in its favor at the United Nations, the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons (TPNW) became international law on Friday January 22, 2021. The treaty makes nuclear weapons illegal in the 52 ratifying countries with many more soon to follow. Anti-nuclear activists, students, academics, faith leaders, legislators, and veterans organized events across the Commonwealth in concert with the global celebration coordinated by ICANW, the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons.
Nuclear Disarmament Events
Nuclear Disarmament Updates
- To Prevent Nuclear War, Prohibit the First Use of Nuclear Weapons
- “Reducing the Threat of Nuclear War” Conference Breaks New Ground
- Nuclear Disarmament Initiative
- Massachusetts celebrates the Nuclear Ban Treaty’s Entry Into Force!
- A New Day for Human Survival: On the Promise of the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons
- Abolishing Nuclear Weapons: A New Chance
- Call to Action! Celebrate Nuclear Ban Treaty’s Entry Into Force
- Treaty Banning Nuclear Weapons Takes Effect in January
- The Promise of the Treaty for Prevention of Nuclear Weapons
- Prospects for Nuclear Disarmament if Trump Wins
- No to the $Trillion Dollars Nuclear Escalation Campaign
- Global Zero: Get the Facts
- Nuclear Disarmament Working Group
- Resources for the JCPOA (Iran Nuclear Deal)
- North Korea Nuclear resources