Statement on the opening for signature of the Nuclear Ban Treaty

The Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons leading to their elimination will be open for signature on September 20, 2017, at the United Nations Headquarters in New York. This instrument was adopted last July 7, 2017, by 122 States after intense negotiations. It is obviously consistent with the Treaty on the Non-proliferation of Nuclear Weapons and in fact provides a path toward nuclear disarmament and the abolition of nuclear weapons as requested by Article VI of the NPT, in fulfilment of a longstanding aspiration of the international community. The very first Resolution of the General Assembly, in 1946, already called for the elimination of all weapons of mass destruction, particularly nuclear weapons. The other two categories of weapons of mass destruction – biological and chemical – have already been outlawed by multilateral treaties. The time to step up efforts on nuclear disarmament is now. Pugwash calls on all States to take this important step toward the achievement of peace and security for all nations and peoples by signing the Prohibition Treaty and working for its ratification and early entry into force.

Sergio Duarte, President of Pugwash
Paolo Cotta-Ramusino, Secretary General of Pugwash

Update, 20 September 2017

After UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres declared the Treaty open for signature, dignitaries from 49 States signed and five more will do the same by the beginning of the coming week. The Holy See and Thailand also deposited their instruments of ratification at the same time. Many civil society organizations were present, including Pugwash.

Sergio Duarte, President of Pugwash, NYC