Nuclear weapons: ITUC calls for governments to ratify ban treaty

The International Trade Union Confederation (ITUC) is calling on governments to sign and ratify the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons (TPNW), on the eve of a special signing ceremony for the Treaty at the UN in New York this week. The Treaty was adopted by the UN in July 2017, with a vote of 122-1, and requires ratification by 50 countries for it to come into force. So far 70 countries have signed it and 26 have completed ratification.

“The horror of nuclear conflict is a real threat as long as nuclear weapons exist, and global tensions involving states that have nuclear weapons are rising. The world must learn the lessons of the catastrophic effects of the Hiroshima and Nagasaki bombs, and consign nuclear weapons to the dustbin of history. The Prohibition Treaty finally makes nuclear weapons illegal on humanitarian grounds, as is already the case for chemical and biological weapons and certain other munitions. We call on all countries to ratify this treaty,” said ITUC General Secretary Sharan Burrow.

Currently the world spends over US$100bn per year on nuclear weapons, and there are signs that at least some of the nuclear weapons states are modifying their arsenals.

“The weakening of multilateralism is having profound and negative impacts on the fight against global warming, on the world economy and in other areas where only joint solutions can work. It is also weakening arms control and disarmament measures, with potentially devastating results. The collapse of the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty portends a new nuclear arms race, while the 23-year-old Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty has still not come into force – more than 2,000 nuclear weapons tests have taken place since 1945, with devastating human and environmental impacts. While these agreements, and the 191-country Non-Proliferation Treaty are crucially important, it is time for the world to stop producing nuclear weapons altogether and decommission those that exist. The alternative to total, multilateral and verified nuclear disarmament may be too terrible to contemplate. It would be a morally repugnant legacy to leave for future generations to clean up,” said Burrow.

For more information: