In December 2013, the United Nations General Assembly designated September 26 as the International Day for the Total Elimination of Nuclear Weapons. Pugwash observes this date as an important contribution to continuing the long-standing commitment and activities of our organization, in support of the spirit of the GA resolution A/RES/68/32 toward “enhancing public awareness and education about the threat posed to humanity by nuclear weapons and the necessity for their total elimination”. The resolution also called “for the early conclusion of a comprehensive convention on nuclear weapons to prohibit their possession, development, production, acquisition, testing, stockpiling, transfer and use or threat of use, and to provide for their destruction.”
Less than four years later, the successful conclusion of a legal instrument prohibiting nuclear weapons has been achieved. The Ban Treaty is consistent with the goals of the international community and has moreover done much to raise awareness of the continuing threat posed by these weapons. Pugwash welcomes the Ban Treaty as complementary to the existing framework of the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, providing an ‘effective measure’ toward nuclear disarmament. In this light, we welcome the 53 States that have signed the treaty and we urge all other states to do so without hesitation in order to promote a world without nuclear weapons.
Pugwash also welcomes the most recent Conference on Facilitating Entry into Force of the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty on September 20. The CTBT is an essential component of the ultimate goal of the elimination of nuclear weapons and an effectively verifiable route to nuclear disarmament. We wholeheartedly endorse the activities of the Preparatory Commission in performing outreach and support of the entry into force of this treaty, and strongly recommend that those eight remaining Annex II countries ratify the treaty at the earliest opportunity.
On this international day for the total elimination of nuclear weapons, we remind governments everywhere and all citizens of the world who have a right to a world free of nuclear weapons to “remember your humanity, and forget the rest.”
Sergio Duarte, President of Pugwash
Paolo Cotta-Ramusino, Secretary General of Pugwash
26 September 2017