On 22 January the United Nations Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons became law. With that, the 51 countries that have so far joined the treaty committed to an absolute and permanent ban on the bomb.
Although we live in challenging times, we have been given a glimpse of a brighter future.
“It is the first global agreement to comprehensively prohibit these weapons and it brings us a closer to a safer, nuclear-weapons-free world,” says Tara Gutman, a legal advisor with our International Humanitarian Law team. “It signals the beginning of the end of nuclear weapons.”
In all the countries that have joined it is now illegal to use, develop, test or stockpile nuclear weapons, and to threaten to use nuclear weapons or allow them to be installed or deployed on their territory. As well, the treaty commits countries to clearing contaminated areas and helping victims.
For 75 years, the International Red Cross Red Crescent Movement has called for the prohibition and elimination of nuclear weapons. This call has been heard.