A historic event of tremendous importance for humankind, the Treaty to Ban Nuclear Weapons (TPNW), will go into effect on Jan. 22, 2021. The TPNW makes it illegal under international law to develop, test, and produce nuclear weapons. It has been ratified by 51 nations, with more to follow. The nine nuclear powers and their allies opposed it.
The TPNW applies only to the countries that ratify it. However, countries that possess nuclear weapons will be impacted. Already 36 financial institutions based in Australia, in several European countries, and in the United States adopted a policy that prevents any financial involvement in nuclear weapon producing companies. Likewise, investment funds are considering divesting from nuclear weapon producing companies.
Most important will be the actions that citizens of nuclear possessing countries will take. The U.S. plans to modernize its entire nuclear arsenal over the next 30 years at a cost of $1.5 trillion. Is it necessary, and can we afford it? We are experiencing a national emergency. Small businesses close, people lose their jobs and homes, and many are waiting in lines for food.
We need to let Senators Menendez and Booker and Representatives Gottheimer and Sherrill know that we want them to fund people’s needs and to support international agreements that provide true security instead of investing in nuclear weapons that can end life as we know it.