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Letter: US should live up to its deal to end nuclear weapons worldwide
09282017 NUCLEAR TEST 1946
An underwater atom bomb blast is seen in the lagoon of the Bikini Atoll Islands on July 25, 1946. - photo by Associated Press

Last week, a treaty prohibiting nuclear weapons was brought before the United Nations. Before the day was over, 50 sovereign nations had signed on. More are joining them. The next step is ratification, and the votes are there to do it.

But who cares? The nuclear nations, a mere nine in number, will never give up their weapons. Don’t be so sure. Consider our closest ally. Originally Great Britain rejected the following:

  • 1993: The Chemical Weapon Convention
  • 1996: The Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty
  • 1997: The Mine Ban Treaty
  • 2008: The ban on Cluster Munitions

But eventually they signed each one of them rather than become a pariah in the world of public opinion. When the public becomes aroused, they can change the course of history.

The 2017 Treaty in the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons represents years of work by people from around the world and has support from hundreds of organizations. The Vatican was one of the early signatures. 

Great Britain, France and the U.S. have joined together to state they did “not intend to sign, ratify, or ever become a party” to a nuclear weapons ban. However, by making such a statement, they violate a commitment they made when they signed and ratified the Non-Proliferation Treaty of 1968. Article 6 of the NPT says signatures are committed to pursue nuclear disarmament “in good faith.” 

Once again, the U.S. is refusing to honor its own treaties, and as far as I can see the public knows nothing about it. Why isn’t this story reaching the media? 

Joan King

Sautee

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