By Lawrence Wittner
On January 22, 2021, the UN Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons (TPNW) entered into force. The treaty bans a broad range of nuclear activities, including developing, testing, producing, acquiring, possessing, stockpiling, and using or threatening to use nuclear weapons. It also prohibits the deployment of nuclear weapons on national territory and prohibits assistance to any nation or group of individuals in the conduct of prohibited activities.
How did this landmark agreement emerge? For decades, peace and disarmament groups had pressed hard for nuclear disarmament and had secured numerous treaties that reduced the number of nuclear weapons in the world substantially. Nevertheless, despite the obligation of the nuclear powers, under the Nonproliferation Treaty of 1968, to divest themselves of their nuclear arsenals, nine nuclear powers retained thousands of nuclear weapons — with 13,400 remaining today — and continued to develop and deploy new nuclear weaponry.
[The rest of this piece can be read on the Citizens for Global Solutions website.]