A short rally, a long caravan—what better way, in the time of coronavirus, to celebrate the first anniversary of the “entry into force” of the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons?
The treaty by now has been ratified by 59 countries, inc. Peru, Nigeria, and Ireland. Those 59 (a few more are close to ratification) have made the treaty part and parcel of their own laws. They’ve agreed it is illegal to develop, test, produce, manufacture, transfer, possess, stockpile, use or threaten to use nuclear weapons. Bravo!
The International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons (ICAN), of which PeaceWorks-KC is a member, campaigns to stigmatize, prohibit, and eliminate nuclear weapons. “With ICAN’s leadership, countries around the world are celebrating the treaty’s ‘entry into force’ a year ago,” says PeaceWorks Co-Chair Henry Stoever. “We’re holding our rally and caravan because this treaty is significant!”
The treaty was passed by the United Nations in July 2017, and ICAN won the 2017 Nobel Peace Prize for writing the treaty and pushing for its passage by the UN. The treaty needed to be ratified by 50 countries before reaching the status of “entry into force.”
In PeaceWorks-KC, we surprised ourselves last Jan. 22 by gathering about 70 persons for an outdoor rally to welcome the international treaty into force. We waved the flags of the 51 ratifying countries and rallied at Mill Creek Park, close to the horse fountain on the Plaza.
This year, we’ll park at the lot behind businesses at 46th and Main at 12:45 pm Sat., Jan. 22, and quickly decorate our cars. We’ll go down the stairs to Mill Creek Park, have a brief rally, and clamber back into our cars.
Our caravan will go through the Plaza to Westport, KU Med Center (we’ll wave to people going into the med center and holler thanks for caring for coronavirus patients), 39th St., Main, and 31st St. We’ll then go south on Troost, waving to people at 31st and Troost at bus stops and Reconciliation Ministries. We’ll proceed to Rockhurst U and UMKC, then roll over to State Line where some of us will grab lunch at a drive-through. Join us!
If you have questions, call Henry at 913-375-0045, or email email@example.com.
The treaty, not yet ratified by a nuclear weapons state (such as the US), takes on the moral force of other declarations, such as the 2010 Convention on Cluster Munitions and the 1999 Mine Ban Treaty (MBT), says ICAN. For example, Textron and Orbital ATK, two companies that were producing cluster munitions in the US (which is not a party to the CCM), have stopped production since the CCM’s entry into force. And the mutual fund Eventide Asset Management, based in the US, has excluded cluster munitions from its investments. Concerning the MBT, countries that have not adopted it, such as Egypt, have adopted explicit policies against producing landmines.
For info on the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons, see icanw.org.