News Release

More Than 40 Nations Sign Nuclear Ban Treaty in First Hour


Reuters reports today: “Dozens of countries signed a treaty to ban nuclear weapons on Wednesday amid tensions over North Korea’s nuclear and missile tests, although the United States, Britain, France and others boycotted the event at the annual United Nations gathering of world leaders.

“The treaty on the prohibition of nuclear weapons will enter into force 90 days after 50 countries have ratified it. …

“‘There remain some fifteen thousand nuclear weapons in existence. We cannot allow these doomsday weapons to endanger our world and our children’s future,’ U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said as he opened the treaty for signing.

“Earlier this month North Korea conducted its sixth and largest nuclear weapons test. U.S. President Donald Trump told the 193-member U.N. General Assembly on Tuesday that if threatened, the United States would ‘totally destroy’ the country of 26 million people and mocked its leader, Kim Jong Un, as a ‘rocket man.’

“The treaty was adopted in July by two-thirds of the 193 U.N. member states after months of talks, which the United States, Britain, France and others skipped.”

The International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons states: “Forty-five nations have now signed the UN #nuclearban. Three of these nations have also ratified it.”

Meanwhile, NPR reports “Stanislav Petrov, ‘The Man Who Saved The World,’ Dies At 77.” “In 1983, he was on duty when the Soviet Union’s early warning satellite indicated the U.S. had fired nuclear weapons at his country. He suspected, correctly, it was a false alarm.”

The following analysts are among the speakers at the No War 2017 conference in Washington, D.C. which begins Friday and will be live streamed.

SUSI SNYDER, snyder at, @susisnyder
Snyder is nuclear disarmament program manager at the group Pax in the Netherlands and just wrote the piece “42 countries sign the nuclear ban treaty.” She said today: “Forty-two states signed the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons in the first hour after it opened for signature. This demonstrates the overwhelming urge of the international community to outlaw and eliminate all nuclear weapons without delay.”

She said today of Petrov: “I think that is one of the best descriptions written about him: ‘Few people know of him… Yet hundreds of millions of people are alive because of him. The actions of Stanislav Petrov, a retired Soviet military officer, prevented the start of a worldwide nuclear war and the devastation of much of the Earth.” See trailer for documentary, “The Man Who Saved the World” with Kevin Costner.

ALICE SLATER, alicejslater at
Slater is the New York Director of the Nuclear Age Peace Foundation, and serves on the Coordinating Committee of World Beyond War. In July, she wrote the piece “Democracy Breaks Out at the UN as 122 Nations Vote to Ban the Bomb” for The Nation.