Diplomacy International nato

Growing Hope for Humanity: 65 Countries in Vienna Say No to Atomic Weapons in TPNW Declaration

(Image by World without Wars and without Violence)

By Rafael de la Rubia / Pressenza

In Vienna, a total of 65 countries with many others as observers and a large number of civil organisations, on Thursday 24 June and for three days, aligned themselves in the face of the threat of the use of atomic weapons and committed themselves to work for their elimination as soon as possible.

This is the synthesis of the first conference of the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons (TPNW), which, with the rejection of NATO and the nine nuclear powers, ended last Thursday in the Austrian capital.

The TPNW conference was preceded by other events such as the ICAN Nuclear Ban Forum – Vienna Hub, the Conference on the Humanitarian Impact of Nuclear Weapons and the Aktionsbündnis Für Frieden Aktive Neutralität Und Gewaltfreiheit. It was a week of celebration of disarmament, collaboration and seeking understanding instead of confrontation.

In all cases, the common denominator was the condemnation of nuclear threats, escalating war tensions and increasing confrontational dynamics. Security either belongs to all and for all or it will not work if some want to impose their vision on others,

This is a clear reference to Russia’s stance on its invasion of Ukraine and that of the US, which through NATO continues to tighten the noose in a dynamic whereby it seeks to remain the world’s commander-in-chief in a changed world. We have now entered a regionalised world where no one can impose his or her will on others alone.

We breathe a new climate in relations

The climate, treatment and consideration with which the debates, exchanges and decisions were conducted during the TPNW days is very remarkable. There was a great deal of consideration and respect for the points of view of others, even if they were contrary to one’s own, with technical stops to seek agreements and the like. Overall, the conference chair, Alexander Kmentt of Austria, did a good job of navigating and resolving the not inconsistent differences and diverse perceptions, and finally managed to tactfully bring them to a successful conclusion. It was a skilful exercise in finding compromises and a common position. On the part of the countries, there was both firmness and flexibility in the face of situations that needed to be dealt with.

Observers

The presence of observers and numerous civil society organisations gave a different atmosphere to the meetings and discussions.

The presence of observers from Germany, Belgium, Norway, the Netherlands, Australia, Finland, Switzerland, Sweden and South Africa, among many others, was noteworthy, indicating the attention that this new field is generating in the world, in these complicated times when confrontation is a daily occurrence.

It should also be noted that the presence of civil society organisations generated an atmosphere of relaxation, familiarity and connection where the institutional was not at odds with the everyday and common sense. This could be one of the characteristics of the Vienna Summit, “the summit of common sense”.

We have a Plan of Action

One of the characteristics of the final declaration is that it was adopted together with a Plan of Action with an ultimate goal: the total elimination of all nuclear weapons.

As long as these weapons exist, given the growing instability, conflicts “greatly exacerbate the risks that these weapons will be used, whether deliberately or by accident or miscalculation”, the text of the joint resolution warns.

A complete ban on nuclear weapons

President Kmentt underlined the goal of “achieving a complete ban on all arsenals of mass destruction”, stating that “this is the only way to be certain that they will never be used”.

To this end, two TPNW conference chairmanships are already planned, the first one being held by Mexico and the next one by Kazakhstan. The next TPNW meeting will be chaired by Mexico at the United Nations Headquarters at the end of November 2023,

The TPNW is a further step towards the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT), to which many countries are adhering. There was a need to break the deadlock and inoperability of the NPT afterwards decades in which it has served not for elimination, but to expand countries and further develop the sophistication of nuclear weapons. President Kmentt himself stressed that the new treaty, which entered into force only a year and a half ago, is a “complement to the NPT”, as it was not conceived as an alternative to it.

In the final declaration, the TPNW countries recognise the NPT “as the cornerstone of the disarmament and non-proliferation regime”, while “deploring” threats or actions that could undermine it.

Over 2000 participants

The numbers of the movers and shakers at the TPNW conference are: 65 member states, 28 observer states, 10 UN international organisations, 2 international programmes and 83 non-governmental organisations. A total of more than a thousand people among whom World without Wars and Violence participated as a member of ECOSOC with representations from Germany, Italy, Spain and Chile.

In total, more than 2,000 people attended the 4 events that took place over the 6 days.

We believe that a very important step has been taken in the direction of a new world, which will surely have other nuances and protagonists. We believe that these agreements will help considerably in its progress and realisation.

Rafael de la Rubia
Rafael de la Rubia

Spanish Humanist. Founder of the Organization World without Wars and Violence and spokesperson of the World March for Peace and Nonviolence theworldmarch.org

13 comments

  1. Sometime in the late ’60s (aka, the literal good old days in the U.S.), my mother took me to something called the National Conference on New Politics at some big hotel in downtown Chicago. The idea was to form a new, national political party that would be substantially to the left of the Democratic Party. The Conference was infiltrated by federal agents provocateur, and they caused it to degenerate into fighting about all sorts of trivial and irrelevant issues.

    Just a cautionary tale here. The system that must be overthrown is large, has its tentacles in everything, is devious, and is insidious. Much better to focus on winning hearts & minds in order to get the vast majority of the people to withdraw all support from this rotten system, starting with refusing to buy all their crap. This will not be easy either, but it presents a far more likely path to success than trying to overthrow a ubiquitous, seemingly omnipotent system.

    1. This is why I am convinced that nothing will change until that system is weakened by the collapse of empire. When there are no longer unlimited resources to devote to confounding all opposition and the rest of the world is strong enough to fight the US simply by saying ‘no.’ The developments since the Ukraine invasion are dangerous but if the US doesn’t nuke anyone (it would definitely be the US to strike first) it can only be good for the rest of the world and will provide opportunities for progressive forces in the US eventually. Eventually.

  2. As the US and NATO do everything possible to provoke the third world war and bring death and destruction to us all in mushroom clouds of nuclear hellfire, as we stand on the brink of annihilation with madmen and psychopaths at the controls, I find out there is a growing hope for humanity because of a meaningless declaration….

    I am so relieved.

    1. Come on Just, having the declaration is better than not having it. I don’t see anyone deluding themselves into thinking that this alone is going to eliminate nuclear weapons.

  3. Jeff, I think both things can happen at once. Even us poor people have choices. So, where do I spend my USDA EBT card? At farmer’s markets supporting local growers, and since I’m still a flesh eater, only with producers who are practicing regenerative and organic farming. Does my EBT go as far as when buying from grocery stores, not usually, but with the price increases, they are almost equivalent and the plus side is I’m supporting my health and my environment, which is priceless. I don’t care if I have less to eat, only enough.

    1. And if public health wasn’t also controlled by private interests, more poor people would be educated about health and that where their food comes from matters a great deal in a pandemic prone world.

    2. @Paula
      Sure, you can try both at once, but consider the limitation of finite resources. Best to properly prioritize & triage, not to was time & effort on unwinnable battles.

      As to consumption, the idea is to stop buying things you don’t need, which is almost everything except for food. Americans are the biggest consumers on Earth. First and foremost, that hyperconsumption is wrecking the planet and killing all the life here. Second, it supports all the evils that the left complains about.

      1. The US has grown far poorer over the past quarter-century. We lost multi-millions of jobs, poverty has continued to grow, consumption continues to fall.

  4. the reverse is true—DPRK is proof; had Libya, Iraq, Syria, Taliban, Vietnam etc had nukes USA never would have invaded

  5. Meanwhile, as the Democrats work hard to set the stage for nuclear world war…

  6. Ironically it was nukes in hands of Soviets (Russia) in 1948 (tested in 1949) what prevented all out nuclear war against Soviets and Chinese communists fighting civil war in 1948.

    All the plans of US military nuking 50 biggest Russian cities (est.100 million dead) have been now declassified for all to see.

    It was western “liberal” regimes salivating for total world domination with nukes devoid of Soviet Union and Chinese interference that purposefully developed nuclear weapon from the beginning designed to specifically destroy Soviets and their military power west help to create.

    Ironically so called scientific geniuses of the world of physics, turned useful idiots and accomplices to Human extermination holed up in Los Alamos NM including few European Nobel prize winners like Bohr, many of them Jews, behaved like stupid, naive little children who believed in a fairy tales.

    One of those fairy tales was a tale that their work is aimed to defeat Nazi Germany nuclear program ran by Werner Heisenberg while in fact importance of Heisenberg’s group work was dismissed by Hitler and effectively defunded with no chance to producing practical nuclear fission devise at all due to lack of basic component I.e. heavy water.

    The western intelligence knew that as early as 1942. In 1942-1945 Germany had no means of delivery of such atomic bomb even if it was built and was available.

    Nuclear fission technology should not have been developed at all. Period.

    That constitutes proof that scientists are political morons who cannot be trusted. Covid fairy tail and Paranoia confirms necessity to remove scientists from pedestal and treated them as dangerous fools experimenting on humanity.

    Nuclear technology has no other purpose but extermination of humanity .

    And please don’t give me that crap of “Peaceful application of nuclear technology” as it was always a lie.

    The so called civilian nuclear power plant narratives were just a way to cover up their real function of initial production stage of lightly enriched nuclear material to be fed into electric gas centrifuges, hogs of electric power, for further enrichment into a weapon’s grade. The nuclear waste problem only occurs because of specificity of strict military design of all reactors in a weapon production chain where no environmental provisions were being made at all.

    Russian and Soviet scientist both embraced this lie of peaceful use of nuclear power.

    Now when evil of nukes came out of pandora box and will make real global warming following by global freezing.

    Good news is that few cockroaches will definitely survive as they deserve it. We don’t.

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