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Why US and Russia Should Join Nuclear Weapons Ban Treaty

The threat of nuclear war hangs over the world as the conflict in Ukraine becomes more tense. The UN Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons (TPNW), which calls for the abolition of these devastating weapons, holds the answer.

As a result of President Kennedy's foresight and tenacity, the Partial Test Ban Treaty was signed in 1963, essentially outlawing atmospheric nuclear tests. Kennedy emphasised the responsibility to safeguard future generations from the debilitating health impacts of radiation while emphasising the catastrophic repercussions of nuclear weapons. Bipartisan backing and public pressure helped the deal pass.

The TPNW, which is currently in effect and has many signatures, completely outlaws nuclear weapons and any actions related to them, including the threat of using them. Although the pact has been rejected by major nuclear powers like the US and Russia, it provides a critical framework for the universal ban on nuclear weapons. By joining the treaty, these nations would demonstrate their commitment to the well-being of all humanity and set an example for other nuclear-armed states to follow.

People everywhere face an existential threat from nuclear weapons. Nuclear war's devastating immediate and long-term consequences would result in the death of countless innocent people and leave survivors with life-altering illnesses. The US and Russia can take serious action to shield future generations from the unfathomable horrors of nuclear war by joining the TPNW.

Pope Francis has defended the TPNW vehemently, branding even the mere possession of nuclear weapons sinful. The Pope's power, strengthened by the backing of UN Secretary-General António Guterres, can be helpful in pressuring the US and Russia to start talks and make a commitment to ratifying the treaty. Bilateral talks with nuclear-armed states would pave the way for global disarmament and a renewed dedication to peace.

All nuclear-armed nations giving up their nuclear arsenals would free up significant funds that might be used to tackle urgent global issues. The enormous resources currently used to maintain and upgrade nuclear weapons may be better used to finance crucial domestic programmes, advance sustainable development, battle climate change, and foster international peace and cooperation.

It is crucial to avoid using nuclear weapons in light of the risks posed by the conflict in Ukraine. The United States and Russia have the chance to lead the world towards a more secure, nuclear-free future by ratifying the UN Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons.


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