During the 1960s the world was alarmed that some nations had nuclear weapons and more nations were starting programs to build their own. The 5 nations that had them (U.S., U.S.S.R., the U.K., France and China) were alarmed that other nations (South Africa, Brazil, etc.) might join their elite “nuclear club” and threaten the world — just as the 5 nuclear nations were doing.
In response, the world’s nations negotiated a grand bargain between the “haves” and the “have-nots.” Nearly every nation of the world promised NEVER to build or acquire nuclear weapon while the 5 nuclear nations promised to PROMPTLY DISARM. The Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) was ratified by nearly every nation on earth. It became INTERNATIONAL LAW. The U.S. Constitution specifies that international treaties become the supreme law of the land!
Every 5 years the world’s nations would gather to review progress. For HALF A CENTURY the world’s 5 nuclear nations have been VIOLATING the NPT — and VIOLATING INTERNATIONAL LAW — and the U.S. government has been VIOLATING OUR CONSTITUTION!!!
The rest of the world figured “enough is enough,” so they developed a new treaty that would PROHIBIT ALL NUCLEAR WEAPONS WORLDWIDE!
The Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons (TPNW) passed the United Nations General Assembly by an overwhelming majority of 122 of the 193 nations in July 2017. This allowed the TPNW to go out to the world’s nations for ratification through their respective national processes for ratifying treaties. The global non-profit organization that promoted the TPNW (the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons, www.icanw.org) won the 2017 Nobel Peace Prize.
The TPNW specified that it would go into effect after 50 nations had ratified it. It went into effect in January 2021. As of today (Oct. 2, 2022), 68 nations have ratified it. More nations are expected to ratify it soon. The TPNW is binding upon all nations that have ratified it. It applies moral pressure — and many practical legal constraints — upon the nations that have NOT ratified it.
The NPT’s 2020 5-year was postponed for 2 years by the Coronavirus pandemic, but it was held at the United Nations in New York in August 2022. They tried to make significant progress, but — as always — the 5 nuclear nations were obstacles. (Currently 9 nations have nuclear weapons, but only the 5 mentioned above are recognized by the NPT, not the 4 that acquired them after 1970.) Supporters of nuclear disarmament pushed but did not make much progress — especially because Russia objected to criticism of its war in Ukraine and its threats to use nuclear weapons.
Nevertheless, the TPNW’s “states parties” had already met in Vienna in June 2022 and produced this action plan to move the TPNW ahead: https://assets.nationbuilder.com/ican/pages/2948/attachments/original/1655993756/Overview_of_the_Vienna_Declaration_and_Action_Plan_-_formatted_.pdf?1655993756
See this good source of information on TPNW: https://banmonitor.org
Here are two ways to support and promote the TPNW: