11 July 2017
Congratulations, civil society activists!
Ambassador Elayne Whyte Gomez of Costa Rica presided the negotations. ©Xanthe Hall
The International Campaign to Ban Landmines congratulates the civil society activism which resulted in 122 nations voting in favour of the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons on 7 July 2017.
Nuclear weapons will now join antipersonnel landmines, cluster munitions, and biological and chemical weapons as weapons that are universally banned by convention.
Almost two-thirds of the world’s states joined the discussions on the convention, which was adopted to a standing ovation by diplomats.
Like for the Mine Ban Treaty and the Convention on Cluster Munitions, activism by civil society was crucial to bring about the will of states to undertake the negotiations, and for their success. Congratulations to our friends and colleagues from the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons, and to the many non-governmental organizations and civil society groups who worked hard to achieve this impressive result.
Prior to negotiations, Nobel Peace Prize co-laureate and ICBL founding director Jody Williams encouraged nuclear ban advocates, focusing on the experience gained in obtaining the global landmine ban, when stating: “Governments say a nuclear weapons ban is unlikely. Don’t believe it. They said the same about a mine ban treaty.”
This indeed proved to be the case!
The International Campaign to Ban Landmines encourages all governments to undertake rapid signature and ratification of the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons.