This week’s 75th anniversary of the bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, with 250,000 killed and many more suffering
terrible effects on their health, is a sombre reminder of the appalling destruction of nuclear weapons and should spur
international efforts to eliminate them.
“With rising global tensions and the retreat by many governments from international negotiations and multilateral
solutions, the risks of nuclear conflict are very real. This sad anniversary must give impetus to getting nuclear
weapons countries around the table to bring an end to the possibility of a nuclear holocaust, by decommissioning
existing arsenals and stopping the production of new nuclear weapons. In addition to the risk of annihilation, the sheer
cost of maintain these arsenals is unacceptable. The money spent on them should be put to socially and economically
useful purposes, including conversion of facilities to peaceful purposes,” said ITUC General Secretary Sharan Burrow.
The existing framework for nuclear arms control and reduction is close to total collapse, with the US and Russian
withdrawal from the INF Treaty on intermediate-range nuclear forces. Some discussions between the two largest nuclear
weapons powers have begun, on replacing the START nuclear arms reduction treaty, however China and other nuclear armed
states are not part of the talks. The US has announced withdrawal from the Open Skies Treaty, which allows aerial
monitoring of arms facilities in other countries, claiming that Russia was not complying with its obligations under the
“The world simply must be rid of all weapons of mass destruction, for security today and for future generations. That is
why support for the Non-Proliferation Treaty is so vital, and why all countries should ratify the treaty to ban all
nuclear weapons,” said Burrow.
The 2017 UN Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons has already been ratified by 40 countries, and will come into
force when 50 countries have ratified it https://www.un.org/disarmament/wmd/nuclear/tpnw/
To see the video from Sharan Burrow: https://youtu.be/Rhuiq1V6IrU