Friday, January 22, 2021


The Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons came into force today, making the development, possession, use or threat of use of nuclear weapons illegal in international law. Every nuclear-armed state is now a criminal regime. The corporations and scientists who design, build and maintain their illegal weapons are now criminals under international law, as are the soldiers who prepare them and the generals and political leaders who threaten to use them. There are no trial and extradition procedures - yet. But that's only an amendment or optional protocol away. And the mere fact of illegality will influence behaviour, particularly by corporate suppliers. To see how this works, we just have to look at the landmine and cluster weapons treaties, which faced similar opposition and boycotts from militaristic states, who have gradually been forced to conform to those treaties even if they still refuse to be parties to them. And hopefully the same will happen to the nuclear powers.