On June 7, I joined a group of friends at the gates of the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory to raise our banners and our voices against the mounting threat of nuclear weapons. But that is only half the story.

Equally, I was at the Lab to extol a solution to this threat, the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons.

122 countries voted in favor of the treaty’s adoption at the U.N. in 2017. The TPNW entered into force in January 2021. Each country has its own procedures for treaties. The TPNW has already garnered 86 signatories, with 62 states parties having completed ratification, the most recent being this month. The treaty is continuing to grow and represents a positive future for humanity.

The TPNW provides a comprehensive set of prohibitions on participating in nuclear weapons activities (development, testing, production, etc.)

States parties to the TPNW agree to be bound by the treaty’s provisions. Unfortunately, the nine nuclear weapons holding states, including the U.S., are not yet among these parties.

So, how do we get from here to there? What practical steps might Americans take to maneuver out from under a nuclear Sword of Damocles and onto a path of nuclear elimination?

We can start by calling on the Biden Administration to send an observer to the upcoming First Meeting of TPNW States Parties in Vienna, Austria June 21-23.

Never heard of the TPNW or the states parties’ meeting? You are not alone. Despite its growing international importance, the TPNW is rarely mentioned in local or national U.S. media, including here in the Tri-Valley. And, that fact leads to the second step to be taken.

Let’s call on the media, including our Independent newspaper, to focus on this beacon of hope. In the TPNW, we all have a way out of the nuclear dilemma. The possibility of a worldwide solution to the nuclear weapons threat is real.

For information on ways each of us can help, visit https:/trivalleycares.org. To read the text of the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons, go to https://wwwicanw.org/tpnw_full_text.

Mary Perner,