United Nations Nuclear Weapons Ban Treaty Continues to Gather Strength

On Wednesday, September 19th, the landmark Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons had been signed by almost half of all countries in the world after a ceremony at the United Nations General Assembly in New York where Sri Lanka acceded to the Treaty and the Bahamas signed it. 

This means 93 states have now signed, ratified or acceded to the Treaty that outlaws nuclear weapons and all nuclear weapons-related activity.

The Treaty was negotiated in 2017 and entered into force in 2021.  It is the first multilateral agreement to ban nuclear weapons in a comprehensive manner and establish a framework for their elimination.

Melissa Parke, the Executive Director of the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons, or ICAN, said, “The growing support for the [Treaty] brings added authority to what is already the strongest international norm against the worst weapons of mass destruction.  This is sorely needed at this moment when the war in Ukraine and escalating tensions in the Korean peninsula have brought the world closer to nuclear war than at any time since the height of the Cold War.”

Speaking of Sri Lanka and the Bahamas, Ms Parke added, “Any use of nuclear weapons would be an unparalleled humanitarian and environmental catastrophe and these two countries are to be praised for doing their part to prevent these horrific weapons from ever being used in conflict again.”

With the Bahamas’ signature, adherence to the Treaty by Caribbean states is now almost universal.  Sri Lanka’s accession sends an important disarmament message to its nuclear-armed neighbors in South Asia, India and Pakistan.

The Treaty bans countries from developing, testing, producing, manufacturing, transferring, possessing, stockpiling, using or threatening to use nuclear weapons, or allowing nuclear weapons to be stationed on their territory.  It also prohibits countries from assisting, encouraging or inducing anyone to engage in these activities.  https://www.icanw.org/the_treaty

In November, the second meeting of state parties to the Treaty will be held at the United Nations.  https://www.icanw.org/tpnw_second_meeting_of_states_parties  Key areas of the Treaty will be discussed, which include disarmament, increasing risks, the humanitarian consequences of nuclear weapons and related issues.

Also up for discussion are the two verification pathways for a nuclear-armed state, like the United States of America, to join the Treaty.  The two pathways are:  elimination of a state’s arsenal and then joining the Treaty; or join the Treaty first and then eliminate the state’s arsenal.

For more information, please visit the ICAN website at https://www.icanw.org/.  CCNS is an ICAN Partner Organization.


  1. Friday, September 22nd from noon to 1 pm MT – ***  NEW LOCATION DUE TO RECONSTRUCTION OF GUADALUPE BRIDGE.  ***  Join the weekly peaceful protest for nuclear disarmament on the corners of Alameda and Sandoval in downtown Santa Fe with Veterans for Peace, CCNS, Nuclear Watch NM, Loretto Community, Pax Christi, Nonviolent Santa Fe, and others.

 Come and visit with us about planning Defuse Nuclear War events (Sept. 24 – 30 Week of Action) and the Back from the Brink campaign.   Pick up Back from the Brink materials to prevent nuclear war.  https://preventnuclearwar.org/   


  1. Friday, September 22, 2023 from 5 to 7 pm MT – NM Environment Department hybrid public meeting to present the changes made to the draft hazardous waste permit as represented in the proposed 10-year final permit for the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant (WIPP). The public is invited to ask questions to NMED and WIPP representatives and make public comments.  

 For more information, see the August 15, 2023 public notice.  https://hwbdocuments.env.nm.gov/Waste%20Isolation%20Pilot%20Plant/230818.pdf and Stop Forever WIPP at https://stopforeverwipp.org/

Three ways to attend the public meeting:

Carlsbad in-person location:  Skeen-Whitlock Bldg., 4021 National Parks Hwy.

Santa Fe in person location:  Larrazolo Auditorium, NMED Harold Runnels Bldg., 1190 St. Francis Drive (between Cordova and Alta Vista).

Link to WebEx Public Meeting found here: WebEx Renewal Public Meeting.

Three ways to submit public comments:  

NMED Public Comment Portal: https://nmed.commentinput.com/?id=G5E7C

Email to Megan.McLean@env.nm.gov

Postal Mail:         Megan McLean, Acting WIPP Group Program Manager

                              Hazardous Waste Bureau – NM Environment Department

                              2905 Rodeo Park Drive East, Bldg. 1

                              Santa Fe, NM  87505-6303

For more information and because of the long-standing problems NMED is having with its website, go to the Permittees (DOE and SIMCO) websites at:  https://wipp.energy.gov/2023-information-repository-documents.asp and

https://simco-llc.us/ (where no notice is posted).


  1. Tuesday, September 26th United Nations International Day for the Total Elimination of Nuclear Weapons Day. Achieving global nuclear disarmament is the highest disarmament priority of the United Nations.  It was the subject of the General Assembly’s first resolution in 1946, which established the Atomic Energy Commission (dissolved in 1952), with a mandate to make specific proposals for the control of nuclear energy and the elimination of atomic weapons and all other major weapons adaptable to mass destruction.  To learn more:  https://www.un.org/en/observances/nuclear-weapons-elimination-day



  1. Tuesday, September 26th from 2 to 3:30 pm – LANL In-Person and Virtual (link not posted yet) Public Meeting and 45-day Public Comment Period about proposed Copper Water Quality Criteria for the Pajarito Plateau at the Cities of Gold Hotel, Pojoaque, NM. LANL is proposing new water quality criteria for copper for surface waters in accordance with U.S. EPA nationally recommended criteria for protection of aquatic life.  A draft report and additional information is available at https://n3b-la.com/public-meeting-copper-water-quality-criteria-for-pajarito-plateau/  Comments are due by Thursday, November 9, 2023 to N3BOutreach@em-la.doe.gov .



  1. Thursday, September 28th from 10 am MDT – Speak out in person or virtually to protect water from Boeing’s chemicals from the Santa Susana Field Laboratory at the public hearing before the Los Angeles Regional Water Quality Control Board about Boeing’s proposed NPDES Permit. For more information:  https://parentsagainstssfl.com/events   



  1. Tuesday, October 3rd from 5:30 to 7:30 pm – WIPP in-person and virtual Community Forum and Open House at the Skeen-Whitlock Building, 4021 National Parks Hwy, Carlsbad, NM. As of September 21st, no information about the meeting is available on at wipp.energy.gov and the phone number listed in the newspaper ads are to a medical services company.  To register one must use a QR code.



  1. Help reach 2,500 petition signatures! Sign the Tewa Women United petition to Protect Vulnerable NM Communities:  Halt Radioactive Tritium Release from LANL.  LANL is proposing to vent four flanged tritium waste containers (FTWCs) by September 30, 2023 (the end of the fiscal year).  https://tewawomenunited.org/2023/08/its-happening-again-petition-to-halt-lanls-planned-tritium-release

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