Japan rejects nuclear ban treaty; survivors to keep pushing

Clay Curtis
October 28, 2020

Terumi Tanaka, a survivor of the August 9, 1945, Nagasaki bombing who has long campaigned for a nuclear weapons ban, said he has not given up hope.

Sharon Dolev, Executive Director of the Middle East Treaty Organisation said, "Entry into force of the TPNW shows the power of civil society when they decide to achieve what they consider possible despite the superpowers trying to push back".

The International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons (ICAN), the 2017 Nobel Peace Prize-winning coalition whose work helped spearhead the nuclear ban treaty, called the development a "historic milestone".

The treaty "represents a meaningful commitment towards the total elimination of nuclear weapons, which remains the highest disarmament priority of the United Nations", Dujarric quoted Guterres as stating. "Governments, global organisations and civil society are sending a clear message to nuclear-armed states that they have lived in fear of fallout for far too long, and want tangible action on disarmament now".

"The United Nations was formed to promote peace with a goal of the abolition of nuclear weapons", Fihn said.

David Swanson, author of several books arguing for a ban not just on nuclear weapons but to war itself, and a U.S. director of the global organization World Beyond War, explains how the new UN treaty against nuclear weapons, by making the weapons illegal under worldwide law under a UN Charter that the USA is both an author of and an early signatory to, will help the popular global movement to eliminate these ultimate weapons of mass destruction. The Treaty also prohibits the deployment of nuclear weapons on national territory and the provision of assistance to any State in the conduct of prohibited activities.

Francesco Rocca, president of the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies, said: "The simple reality is that the international community could never hope to deal with the consequences of a nuclear confrontation. What we can not prepare for, we must prevent".

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The Dalai Lama ended by saying, "A nuclear-free world is in everyone's interest".

There are over 14,000 nuclear bombs in the world, thousands of which are ready to be launched in an instant, Rocca said. We know that it's not easy.

While the USA wants to rework the deal to include China and cover new kinds of weapons, Russian Federation is willing to extend the agreement for five years without any new conditions - and each side has repeatedly shot down the other's proposals. Among countries voting in favor was Iran.

Atomic bomb survivors, who have long worked to achieve the treaty, renewed their call for Japan to become a signatory.

But some experts have questioned the effectiveness of the nuclear ban treaty as it does not involve any of the five permanent members of the U.N. Security Council - Britain, China, France, Russia and the United States, all of which are nuclear power states.

"I remained in my chair and put my head in my hands and I cried tears of joy", she said in a statement.

It contains provisions for assistance to those affected by nuclear weapons testing and use, as well as for environmental remediation of areas affected by nuclear weapons testing and use - a welcome development for the Pacific, a region that has been irreparably harmed by more than 350 full scale nuclear weapon detonations conducted by Britain, France and the U.S. since 1 July 1946. "Therefore, I take the opportunity to urge all governments to work to implement this treaty, so that the world becomes a safer place for us all".

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