January 24, 2023; Contact: Adam Zikri at firstname.lastname@example.org
War Prevention Initiative: Doomsday Clock shows the world closer to nuclear war – the time for denuclearization is now.
PORTLAND, OR The War Prevention Initiative is deeply concerned with the ever-growing, imminent threat of nuclear destruction on a global scale. According to world renowned scientists and experts of the Bulletin of Atomic Scientists, we are at the most dangerous moment in time since its Doomsday Clock was launched in 1947. In 2020, the clock moved from 2 minutes to midnight to a hundred seconds. With the Russian invasion of Ukraine (and Russia’s overt threats of deploying their nuclear arsenal on any nation[s] daring to intervene), rising tensions between North Korea, South Korea and the U.S., alongside further developments of nuclear-weapons programs by other nuclear capable states, the risk has never been greater. The clock has now been set with only 90 seconds to midnight— the closest humankind has been at the brink of a nuclear apocalypse. The people of the world must join the efforts to turn back the clock— there’s no time to waste. The Doomsday Clock must be the motivation for all people all over the world to rally behind the plan to prohibit, stigmatize and eliminate nuclear weapons through the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons. The G7 meeting in Hiroshima set on May 19th, 2023 is a chance for national leaders of nuclear armed/endorsing states to prevent a global catastrophe. Anything less than a strategy and agreement to total denuclearization with all other nuclear-armed states will be unacceptable given the context that we would be facing if otherwise.
We are part of the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons (ICAN) and together with our 650 partner organizations, governments, cities, parliamentarians, trade unions, faith-based communities, scientists, we have a strategy of global denuclearization of weapons in four steps:
In 2021, nuclear weapons became comprehensively illegal under international law through the entry into force of the UN Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons in 2021. Only two years later, 92 countries have signed the treaty and 68 have ratified it, and we are working to persuade the rest of the world to join them.
Following the prohibition, we are now developing a strong norm against nuclear weapons to make them as unacceptable as other banned weapons like land mines and cluster bombs. ICAN’s work to delegitimise these weapons has enabled and encouraged recent high-level statements condemning all nuclear threats from TPNW states parties, the G20, President Xi of China, Chancellor Scholz of Germany and NATO Secretary General Stoltenberg. What is needed now is for condemnation of threats to be followed by concrete steps to eliminating nuclear weapons.
Nuclear-armed states and their allies need to get round the table to discuss how they will disarm, now. It has been done before. After the Cuban missile crisis and the close calls in the early 1980s, we saw an international treaty to stop proliferation and action to reduce nuclear arsenals, through agreements like the Strategic Arms Reduction Treaties and unilateral disarmament measures by the U.S. and Russia. Now we need to finish the job. The TPNW provides a framework for new negotiations and the 2023 G7 leaders summit in Hiroshima provides the opportunity to kickstart that process.
The final step is the elimination of nuclear arsenals. History demonstrates that reductions and elimination of different types of weapons has followed negotiations. The Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons provides a verifiable pathway for nuclear-armed states to eliminate their arsenals.
We, at War Prevention Initiative, strongly advocate for a total global disarmament of nuclear weapons. Those weapons are the pinnacle of a militarized security paradigm. Instead of providing security, they make everyone less secure by threatening all life on the planet. We stand firmly with ICAN and others whose ultimate goal is the abolition of nuclear weapons in the shared movement to end “the existential threat of nuclear weapons– before it ends us”.