Jan. 22 is a historic day. It’s the day that the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons entered into force and became part of international law.
The Treaty bans the development, testing, manufacture, acquisition, stockpiling, transfer, stationing, or threatened use of nuclear weapons. It also contains positive provisions for cleanup and assistance to victims of nuclear weapons use or testing.
This year marks the TPNW’s first anniversary after coming into force. In cities and towns across the USA, there will be hundreds of celebrations to mark this momentous occasion.
In Livermore, there will be banners, bells and celebratory noisemakers, and a public reading of the Treaty’s key provisions, at 9 a.m. on Friday, Jan. 21, near the Livermore Lab West Gate.
The Treaty is the aspiration of humanity and represents the future direction of our world. 122 states parties, the majority of the world’s countries, adopted this treaty. 59 have completed its ratification, with Peru being the most recent last month.
The TPNW is gathering momentum. While it binds countries that have ratified its provisions, it also contains a broader power to change global norms.
The United States opposes the TPNW. But history teaches us that the U.S. and other countries have come into compliance over time with international agreements they originally forswore.
It is to this outcome that I dedicate my time and my banner this Jan. 21.