For immediate release: June 22, 2022
Contact: Sofia Rose Wolman, firstname.lastname@example.org
While Global Support Keeps Growing for the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons, U.S. Boycotts First Meeting of States Parties
U.S. Representatives and Archbishop Speak Out in Support of the Treaty
The historic First Meeting of States Parties to the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons is now underway in Vienna, Austria, and will run through June 23 without the participation of the United States or any other nuclear-armed country.
In the U.S., pressure is building on the Biden Administration to engage the Treaty. Today, June 22, at 10:30 a.m. ET, Rules Committee Chairman Jim McGovern (D-MA) will host a press conference at the House Triangle, U.S. Capitol Building with members of Congress calling on the U.S. and countries around the world to join the TPNW. (If you plan to attend the press conference, please RSVP to McGovern.Press@mail.house.gov. It will also be live-streamed on Twitter: https://twitter.com/repmcgovern and Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/RepJimMcGovern).
Adding to the calls, The Most Reverend John C. Wester, Archbishop of Santa Fe, New Mexico, issued a statement this week in support of the 1MSP to the TPNW. He said, “From the heart of the U.S.’ nuclear weapons research and production complex here in New Mexico, I call upon the United States and other nuclear-armed states to attend the First Meeting and future meetings as observers, to bear witness to the need for nuclear disarmament and take this first small step toward signing, ratifying, and implementing the Treaty.”
Leading up to the 1MSP, more than one hundred fifty civil society organizations representing hundreds of thousands of citizens have written to President Biden calling for the U.S. to sign, ratify and implement the TPNW. (link to letter)
Meanwhile, support for the Treaty in the international community continues to grow. On Monday, June 20, 2022, three nations – Cabo Verde, Grenada, and Timor-Leste – deposited their TPNW ratification papers with the United Nations, pushing the list of States Parties to 65 and counting. (The full list of 86 signatory states and 65 states parties is at https://www.icanw.org/signature_and_ratification_status).
In a significant break with the US/NATO bloc, Germany, The Netherlands, and Belgium— three of the five NATO countries that host deployed U.S. nuclear weapons – are attending the 1MSP as observers, along with close U.S. allies Norway and Australia.
Experts are available for interview, with information upon request.
Overview of the TPNW
The Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons, which represents the only viable path to the total elimination of nuclear weapons, was adopted at the United Nations in July 2017, following three global Conferences on the Humanitarian Impact of Nuclear Weapons. The TPNW entered into force on January 21, 2021. Currently 65 U.N. member states have ratified, and a total of 86 have signed the TPNW. None of the nine nuclear-armed states have signed or ratified the TPNW, even as the five nuclear-armed states that are parties to the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty undermine their commitments to disarmament enshrined in that 1970 treaty.
The first Meeting of States Parties will advance the TPNW’s mission to eliminate nuclear weapons, and lead the international response to the increased risk of nuclear conflict and catastrophe.
The UN in Vienna will livestream the public sessions of the conference through webcasts at https://meetings.unoda.org/section/tpnw-msp-1-2022_webcast/.
To find out what will be covered during the 1MSP, the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons (ICAN) has a new backgrounder here, and there’s an overview of ICAN policy recommendations here.