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Let’s Eliminate Nuclear Weapons, Before They Eliminate Us

InDepth news, By Thalif Deen

UNITED NATIONS (IDN) — When UN Secretary-General António Guterres congratulated States Parties to the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons (TPNW) on the successful conclusion of their first meeting in Vienna, his warning was dead on target.

“Let’s eliminate these weapons before they eliminate us,” he said pointing out that nuclear weapons are a deadly reminder of countries’ inability to solve problems through dialogue and collaboration.

“These weapons offer false promises of security and deterrence—while guaranteeing only destruction, death, and endless brinksmanship,” he declared, in a video message to the conference, which concluded on June 23 in the Austrian capital.

Guterres welcomed the adoption of the Political Declaration and Action Plan, which will help set the course for the Treaty’s implementation—and are “important steps toward our shared goal of a world free of nuclear weapons”.

Alice Slater, who serves on the boards of World Beyond War and the Global Network Against Weapons and Nuclear Power in Space, told IDN : “On the heels of a precedent-shattering First Meeting (1MSP) of the States Parties to the new Treaty for the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons in Vienna, the dark clouds of war and strife continue to plague the world.”

“We are enduring continued violence in Ukraine, new nuclear threats issued by Russia including a possibility of sharing nuclear weapons with Belarus, in the context of tens of billions of dollars in armaments being poured into Ukraine by the US, and a brutal and careless rush to expand the boundaries of NATO to include Finland and Sweden despite promises given to Gorbachev that NATO would not expand east of Germany, when the wall came down and the Warsaw Pact was dissolved.”

She said the news in the Western Media has been unrelentingly critical of Putin and has barely mentioned the new treaty to ban the bomb, despite the stunning Declaration issued in Vienna.

The States Parties, she pointed out, proposed thoughtful plans to move forward on establishing various bodies to deal with the many promises of the treaty including steps for monitoring and verifying the total elimination of nuclear weapons under a limited time frame, with full cognizance of the relationship between the TPNW and the Non-Proliferation Treaty.

“They provide for the development of unprecedented victims assistance for the dreadful suffering and radiation poisoning visited upon so many poor and indigenous communities during the long, horrible and devastating era of nuclear testing, weapons development, waste pollution and more”, said Slater who is also the UN Representative for the Nuclear Age Peace Foundation.

Dr M.V. Ramana, Professor and Simons Chair in Disarmament, Global and Human Security, Graduate Program Director, MPPGA, School of Public Policy and Global Affairs at the University of British Columbia, Vancouver, told IDN the meeting of the States parties to the TPNW offers one of the few positive ways forward from the dangerous nuclear situation that the world is confronting.

“Russia’s attack on Ukraine and its nuclear threats have served as reminders of the fact that as long as nuclear weapons exist, they can be used, albeit under rare circumstances.”

As famed truth teller/whistle blower Daniel Ellsberg has pointed out over the decades, nuclear weapons can be used in two senses: one of exploding them over an enemy target (as happened in Hiroshima and Nagasaki) and the other sense of threatening to explode them if the adversary did something that was not acceptable to the possessor of the nuclear arsenal, Dr Ramana said…………………………………..

According to ICAN, the Vienna meeting also took a number of decisions on practical aspects of moving forward with implementation of the Treaty which was adopted on June 23, 2022.

These included:…………………………..more https://www.indepthnews.net/index.php/armaments/nuclear-weapons/5435-let-s-eliminate-nuclear-weapons-before-they-eliminate-us

July 11, 2022 - Posted by | 2 WORLD, weapons and war

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