Nuclear Weapons Will Be Illegal by International Law

New Haven Sunday Vigil (every Sunday 12-1 p.m. at Broadway, Park and Elm streets, NH)

The Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons [TPNW] opened for signature at United Nations headquarters in New York on Sept. 20, 2017. On Oct. 24, 2020, the treaty reached its 50th ratification, meaning that on Jan. 22, 2021, it will enter into force.

Nuclear weapons are the most destructive, inhumane, and indiscriminate weapons ever created. Both in the scale of the devastation they cause and in their uniquely persistent, spreading, genetically damaging radioactive fallout, they are unlike any other weapons. A single nuclear bomb detonated over a large city could kill millions of people. The use of tens or hundreds of nuclear bombs would disrupt the global climate, causing widespread famine.

This is a historic milestone for this landmark treaty. Prior to the TPNW’s adoption, nuclear weapons were the only weapons of mass destruction not banned under international law, despite their catastrophic humanitarian consequences. Now, with the treaty’s entry into force, we can call nuclear weapons what they are: prohibited weapons of mass destruction, just like chemical weapons and biological weapons.

— International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons, https://www.icanw.org/. (ICAN is the international campaign to stigmatize, prohibit & eliminate nuclear weapons, a coalition of non-governmental organizations promoting adherence to and implementation of the United Nations nuclear weapons ban treaty.)

AND YET…

In the middle of a global pandemic, with all the desperate human needs it has created, General Dynamics’ Electric Boat Shipyard in Groton began construction in October of the first of two initial Columbia class ballistic missile submarines. Like its Ohio class predecessors, the fleet is designed to carry nuclear weapons. Several sections of these deadly weapons conveyors will be produced at Newport News Shipbuilding in Virginia. The Pentagon is spending 9.5 billion dollars from our taxes to produce these first two in a planned fleet of twelve. All of Connecticut’s Senators and Representatives have repeatedly lobbied for these contracts for many, many years. They never broach the issue of Connecticut’s economic dependency on an industry that produces weapons of mass destruction.

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