United Nations Adopts Historic Nuclear Weapons Ban Treaty, 122 Member States Sign On 

July 7, 2017 New York City: Today, the UN has finished negotiations on a treaty to ban nuclear weapons. The treaty recognizes the limited strategic impact of the continued existence of nuclear weapons, the risks of their continued existence, and the gross humanitarian consequences of their development, testing and use.

The representative of Palestine stated, “The seats here are filled by those who want to send an unequivocal message to those whose seats are empty”. One of those empty seats was the United States, who along with other nuclear powers and their allies, boycotted the conference.

Peace Action New York State, a grassroots peace organization with over 5,000 supporters statewide, is disappointed in the lack of U.S. participation in the UN negotiations and hopes to see U.S. representatives show an increased commitment to nuclear disarmament.

“Despite the promises of past administration, the United States has 6,970 nuclear weapons, and spends approximately $61.3 billion per year on maintaining the arsenal – 20 times the cost of the U.S. commitment to the Paris Climate Deal, and 15 times the funding gap of the global refugee crisis. The United States is considering modernizing its nuclear arsenal, with $1.2 trillion in costs over 30 years,” said Kate Alexander, the Director of Policy and Outreach at Peace Action New York State. “These costs are unnecessary and dangerously erode our nation’s fiscal and national security priorities.”

“The continued existence of nuclear weapons perpetuates Cold War security doctrines much of the world is moving past, while locking the United States, Russia and North Korea into predictable but insecure patterns of aggression.  This treaty is a global call to move past MAD theories of nuclear deterrence and towards a secure world that is free of nuclear weapons.”

122 Member States signed onto the treaty today. The full text of the treaty is available here: http://www.undocs.org/en/a/conf.229/2017/L.3/Rev.1