Achieving a nuclear weapons ban

To avert a humanitarian catastrophe of unprecedented proportions, nations must intensify efforts to outlaw and eliminate nuclear weapons.

An understanding of “the devastation that would be visited upon all mankind by a nuclear war” was the motivating force behind the adoption of the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty in 1968. Article VI of the agreement obliges all nations to negotiate in good faith for total nuclear disarmament under strict and effective international control. More than four decades on, however, this provision remains largely unfulfilled. At an important review of the treaty in May 2010, governments warned that catastrophic humanitarian consequences could result from continued failure to act.


A universal prohibition

The most effective, expeditious and practical way to achieve and sustain the abolition of nuclear weapons would be to negotiate a comprehensive, irreversible, binding, verifiable treaty – a nuclear weapons convention – bringing together all the necessary aspects of nuclear disarmament and non-proliferation. Negotiations should begin without delay and progress in good faith and without interruption until a successful conclusion is reached. Such an approach is supported by the vast majority of people and governments worldwide.

A nuclear weapons convention could take any number of forms. Most likely, the treaty would oblige nations to disarm according to a series of progressive phases, beginning with taking their nuclear weapons off high-alert status. Preferably, it would also ban the production of fissile materials and stipulate that existing stocks be eliminated or placed under secure international control. An international monitoring system and dedicated agency could be established to verify compliance with all provisions of the treaty.

  • sheen

    «Si Gandhi y Martin Luther King hijo estuvieran vivos hoy, formarían parte de ICAN».

    Martin Sheen Actor y activista

  • bankimoon

    «Felicito a ICAN por trabajar con tanto compromiso y creatividad en pos de un mundo libre de armas nucleares».

    Ban Ki-moon Secretario General de la ONU

  • yokoono

    “We can do it together. With your help, our voice will be made still stronger. Imagine peace.”

    Yoko Ono Artist

  • jodywilliams

    “Governments say a nuclear weapons ban is unlikely. Don’t believe it. They said the same about a mine ban treaty.”

    Jody Williams Nobel laureate

  • desmondtutu

    “With your support, we can take ICAN its full distance – all the way to zero nuclear weapons.”

    Desmond Tutu Nobel laureate

  • herbiehancock

    “Because I cannot tolerate these appalling weapons, I whole-heartedly support ICAN.”

    Herbie Hancock Jazz musician

  • hansblix

    “I am proud to support the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons.”

    Hans Blix Weapons inspector

  • dalailama

    “I can imagine a world without nuclear weapons, and I support ICAN.”

    Dalai Lama Nobel laureate