Decades after the Cold War and the Non-Proliferation Treaty, the world’s nuclear stockpiles remain at dangerously high levels. Of the 14,575 estimated nuclear weapons in the world, the United States and Russia have 92% of the world’s nuclear arsenal. An estimated 1,800 of these nuclear weapons are on hair-trigger alert. As the United States continues to increase military spending, fails to meet obligations set out in the Non-Proliferation Treaty, and refuses to sign the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons, it is more important than ever to hold the government accountable. To learn more and get involved with PANYS in working for nuclear weapons abolition, please sign up for email updates below.
Urge the U.S. to Join the TPNW & Uphold Its Obligations under Current Nuclear Treaties
Every January, PANYS/PAFNYS join with a coalition of organizations to support the goals of the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons (TPNW) and to urge the United States to join the treaty. The TPNW includes a comprehensive set of prohibitions on participating in any nuclear weapon activities, including developing, testing, producing, acquiring, possessing, stockpiling, using, or threatening to use nuclear weapons, and obligates them to provide assistance and environmental remediation for individuals and areas affected by prior nuclear weapons use and testing.
Since the Treaty's entry into force on January 22, 2021, PANYS/PAFNYS have helped organize and participated in the "Roses to Missions" project annually in January to deliver our collective gratitude to the states parties of the TPNW, presenting roses and "Thank You" certificates to the missions of those who have newly ratified the treaty. PANYS/PAFNYS also join our allied organizations in anniversary events and demonstrations at the United Nations in New York City to demand that the United States join the treaty.
In addition to urging the U.S. to join the TPNW, Peace Action New York State urges the U.S. to uphold its obligations under current arms control treaties such as the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT), which requires all states parties commit to pursuing complete disarmament. After more than 50 years, the U.S. must commit to fulfilling its promise to disarm instead of planning for more upgrades to its nuclear arsenal. We also acknowledge that current arms treaties don't go far enough --- yet another reason for us to continue urging nuclear-armed states to join the TPNW.
Oppose Nuclear Escalation & Weapons Upgrades
Peace Action New York State opposes U.S. nuclear triad modernization plans which are estimated to cost nearly $2 trillion by 2046. As part of these plans, the U.S. plans to replace its current arsenal of intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBMs) with an entirely new missile force known as the Ground-Based Strategic Deterrent (GBSD) --- a.k.a. the "Money Pit Missile." The Pentagon is also developing a new class of submarine-launched ballistic missiles (SLBMs) and submarines, as well as a new class of strategic bombers and air-launched cruise missiles (ALCMs). These plans stand in direct opposition to our commitment under the NPT to work toward nuclear disarmament, and create pressure on other nuclear-armed states to upgrade and expand their own arsenals.
Peace Action New York State works to mobilize our statewide network and pressure Congress to oppose wasteful and escalatory nuclear weapons spending. The U.S. must invest its resources in addressing human needs such as hunger, housing, pandemic preparedness, and the climate crisis --- not in developing yet more nuclear weapons that can never be used.
Support Local & Grassroots Campaigns to Oppose Nuclear Weapons & Demand Justice for Affected Communities
Peace Action New York State participates in the "Back from the Brink" Campaign to demand legislation that reduces the threat of nuclear weapons and provides resources for the communities affected by them. In recent years, this has included lobbying our representatives to support the House Resolution to Embrace the Goals and Provisions of the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons (H. Res. 77 of 2023) as well as the People Over Pentagon Act (H.R. 1134 of 2023) seeking to cut the Pentagon budget.
In 2021, PANYS celebrated alongside our allies at NYCAN when New York City adopted Resolution 976 declaring the city a nuclear-weapons-free zone, calling on the U.S. government to join the TPNW, and calling upon the NYC Comptroller to instruct the pension funds of public employees to divest from companies involved in the production and maintenance of nuclear weapons. We also commend the Syracuse Peace Council, a community chapter of PANYS, for their work in getting the city of Syracuse to declare August 6th "Back from the Brink Day" and announce the city's support for the global effort to prevent nuclear war.
Commemorate the Atomic Bombings of
Hiroshima & Nagasaki
Every year, the Peace Action New York State network joins in global commemorations of the atomic bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. On August 6th, 1945, the United States dropped the first atomic bomb on the Japanese city of Hiroshima, killing 80,000 people immediately and another 60,000 in the aftermath due to radiation and injuries — roughly 40% of the city’s pre-bomb population. On August 9th, the US dropped the second bomb on Nagasaki, killing 40,000 people immediately and another 34,000 in the aftermath. Those who survived the blasts are known as Hibakusha. Hibakusha suffered from the damaging effects of radiation (such as cancer), lifelong trauma, and the stigma of being a survivor.
Thanks to the courage of the Hibakusha in sharing their voices, the world will never forget these atrocities. The Peace Action New York State network joins in commemorating these events, and in demanding justice all communities affected by nuclear weapons, including Downwinders and indigenous communities displaced and harmed by nuclear weapons testing. In recent years, Peace Action New York State has also been represented at the annual World Conference Against A&H Bombs in Japan, where we were proud to show solidarity with nuclear weapons survivors and the international peace community.