The United Nations Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons puts a stop to nuclear weapon activity by any country that signs up to it. For example, once it has signed the nuclear ban treaty, no country can be forced to base another country’s nuclear missiles on its territory. The Treaty comes into international law ninety days after the fiftieth state (Honduras) ratified it – and we reach that milestone on Friday 22nd January.
Quakers in Britain welcome the Treaty, having long campaigned to rid the world of nuclear weapons. The BYM website quotes Meeting for Sufferings in 1955: “To rely on the possession of nuclear weapons as a deterrent is faithless; to use them is a sin.”
Not enough people know about the Treaty coming into force and you can help to publicise it: for example you could put a poster in your window. We have the striking design above from CND, and two from the Movement for the Abolition of War, one landscape and one portrait, all easy to download and print at home. For even greater impact, you could take a picture of your window and email it to email@example.com.
The UK has so far refused to sign the Treaty and there is some way to go before nuclear weapons are removed from Britain. We need to keep the pressure up on the Government to make that happen. There is a virtual lobby of Parliament on Friday: you could write to your MP, or ask for a Zoom call. (CND is co-ordinating such requests: find out more here.)
There is also a Quaker-supported Thanksgiving Service hosted by the Network of Christian Peace Organisations (Quaker Peace & Social Witness is a member). Click here for the Zoom link to the service which begins at 11.30am on Friday 22nd January. And at 12 noon that day, Coventry Cathedral will ring its peace bell.