Preventing Nuclear War

Hibakusha Rebellion


 In July 2017, most of the countries without nuclear weapons (122 of them) formally launched a rebellion against the nuclear powers that be. They opened polite, diplomatic hostilities by adopting the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons(TPNW). Ignoring bribes, threats and intense efforts at suppression, these courageous countries sent a clear message to the nuclear-armed states. That message was:

“Enough already. You promised fifty years ago to negotiate in good faith to achieve total nuclear disarmament, and so far, you have spent exactly zero seconds doing that. You have no right to kill billions of innocent bystanders for any reason whatsoever, and you could easily end up killing us all. We abhor and reject that capability, so we are hereby declaring your obscenely dangerous nuclear weapons illegal. Now, please put them down gently and liberate us from the threat of sudden annihilation.”

This message is being confirmed and strengthened at the government level. So far, 70 countries have signed the treaty; 23 have ratified it. Below I will append a list that came out yesterday (June 28, 2019) from ICAN (International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons) of statements by other countries regarding their progress toward ratification. The treaty needs 50 ratifications to go into effect. However, whether the treaty goes into effect or not, it will have no significant impact on the nuclear threat if it continues to be ignored at the grassroots level. Only with overwhelming public support in all countries, including the nuclear-armed nations, will the treaty do what we want it to do – liberate us from the threat.

PEAC Institute, in collaboration with Hidankyo (the national organization of survivors of Hiroshima and Nagasaki), 47 peace organizations in Japan, ICAN, Peace Action, IPPNW, PSR, Vanderbilt Republic, and a growing list of collaborators in the US and elsewhere, is launching a new campaign to lift the nuclear issue into public visibility. We call this campaign the Hibakusha Rebellion because the hibakusha(survivors of Hiroshima and Nagasaki) started it with a petition they want you to sign. When we join the Hibakusha Rebellion, we are supporting the survivors’ plea to get rid of nuclear weapons before the last of them dies. We are also supporting the 122 non-nuclear rebel nations. And, we are:

--representing the 100% global consensus that nuclear war is a bad idea

--rebelling against the idea that we need nuclear weapons to protect ourselves

--asserting the need for cooperation to solve urgent, global problems. 

The problem of nuclear weapons is not just the weapons. It’s the mindset behind them—the selfish, cutthroat competition that has already turned our precious, miraculous planet into a barely livable hell for more than half the human population, while extinguishing other species at a rate of 250 per day, filling the environment with plastic and poisons, acidifying the oceans, and filling the air with greenhouse gases that threaten to disrupt the climate beyond our ability to adapt. It may be hard to grasp, but nuclear weapons are the easiest global problem we face. Nine countries could solve it in a week or two if they decided to do so. They don’t even try because their leaders and so many of their people are still so deeply entranced by competition and animosity.  Clearly, we need new leaders who can actually solve problems. For that, we need greater public awareness of international interdependence and the way all our problems are connected. For that, we need a revolution based on nonviolent love of self, friends, enemies. Stay tuned.


Progress towards ratification of the TPNW

  • Algeria: The ratification process is well advanced.
  • Bolivia: The ratification has been approved by the legislature and president.
  • Botswana: “We look forward to becoming a state party to this treaty in the near future, once internal consultations are concluded.” (October 2018)
  • Cambodia: Cambodia indicated in April 2019 that it will take the necessary steps to ratify the TPNW.
  • Central African Republic: “The internal procedure for ratifying the [TPNW] is in progress.” (October 2018)
  • Chad: Foreign minister indicated (before the September 2018 signing ceremony) that the process for signature is under way. It did not happen in 2018 due to a scheduling conflict, but the political will is here for this year. 
  • Comoros: The process of ratification was delayed due to internal political unrest, but it is likely to take place by September.
  • Democratic Republic of the Congo: “The government is currently working on its ratification.” (October 2018)
  • Ecuador: The national assembly of Ecuador unanimously approved ratification of the TPNW in April 2019 and it has been signed by the president.
  • Ghana: Ghana indicated in May 2019 that “internal mechanisms are well advanced” towards ratification of the TPNW, and should be completed by the second half of 2019.
  • Grenada: “The cabinet of ministers has recently approved the signing of the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons.” (September 2017)
  • Guatemala: Guatemala indicated in April 2019 that it hopes to ratify the TPNW soon. It has passed the first and second readings in the national congress.
  • Honduras: Honduras indicated in May 2019 that it is in the process of ratifying the TPNW.
  • Ireland: Ireland indicated in May 2019 that it intends to ratify the TPNW “imminently”. A bill to give effect to the TPNW has been included on a list of priority legislation for the parliament’s summer session of 2019.
  • Jamaica: “Jamaica is pleased to have signed the treaty in December of 2017 and, like others, will continue our efforts towards ratification as soon as possible, in order to support its entry into force.” (October 2018)
  • Kazakhstan: The lower house of the Kazakh parliament approved ratification of the TPNW in May 2019 and the upper house in June 2019.
  • Laos: “The Lao PDR signed this important treaty in September last year and is now going through internal process for its ratification.” (October 2018)
  • Malawi: “Malawi is fully committed to the treaty and is looking forward to ratifying it with an intention to become a state party to the treaty as soon as possible.” (October 2018)
  • Namibia: The ratification process is well advanced.
  • Nepal: “The national parliamentary process is under way for [the TPNW’s] early ratification.” (October 2018)
  • Nigeria: Nigeria is committed to act promptly on its ratification as soon as the new government is in place (from the end of June).
  • Paraguay: “The Paraguayan delegation was one of the first signatories to the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons, currently under legislative review constitutional procedures prior to its eventual approval and ratification.” (October 2018)
  • Philippines: “The Philippines also champions the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons, or ban treaty – a positive step towards nuclear disarmament – and thus we are working towards its ratification.” (October 2018)
  • St Vincent and the Grenadines: The ratification process is well advanced.
  • Sudan: “We would like to renew our support for the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons, which we took part in drafting and voting on, and we look forward to signing and ratifying this treaty very soon.” (October 2018)
  • Tanzania: Tanzania indicated in April 2019 that it is “in the process” of signing and ratifying the TPNW.
  • Trinidad and Tobago: “Trinidad and Tobago were pleased to be among the states that supported this historic treaty and we are working diligently to sign and ratify in short order.” (October 2018)

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