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Write to your MP: Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons


You will no doubt have heard the news that the United Nations (UN) 2017 Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons (TPNW) has just been ratified by its 50th state party, and will therefore legally enter into force in 90 days, on 22 January 2021 for signatory countries.

The Treaty bans nuclear weapons production, testing, possession and use, along with other activities that could enable and assist anyone to acquire or use these weapons of mass destruction ever again.

Dr Rebecca Johnson, WILPF UK member and ICAN founder, stated that “this treaty is the culmination of 75 years of humanitarian activism, from the “Hibakusha” and indigenous survivors of nuclear weapons and testing to the Aldermaston marchers and Greenham Common Peace Women who helped to ban nuclear testing and get cruise missiles banned and off the roads.” And Ben Donaldson, from UNA-UK, expressed pride that the TPNW reached its 50th ratification on UN Day, exactly 75 years on from the founding of the United Nations and first uses of nuclear weapons against the cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

However, we all know that we have a lot more work to do now to make this Treaty work.

As well as banning the activities and practices that make nuclear acquisition, proliferation and use possible, the TPNW provides two legal pathways by which nations holding nuclear weapons, like the UK, can eliminate their arsenals.

From 2021 onwards, TPNW State parties will work on establishing a strong legal framework to build adaptable verification systems and oversee nuclear disarmament compliance and implementation.  

I recognise that our government did not take the opportunity to join the negotiations that led to the TPNW, but in the UK we now have a new opportunity to eliminate the last of the weapons of mass destruction.

UK nuclear weapons are an insignificant part of the world’s arsenal, but their cost is crippling to a country faced with the Covid-19 pandemic. Please urge the UK Government to take a lead among the nuclear-armed states and start negotiations to join the TPNW.

I look forward to hearing from you and remain engaged in observing your work as the Member of Parliament for my constituency.

In Peace,