100 signatures reached
To: Prime Minister and Parliament
Nuclear Treaty Ban
The Ursuline Sisters UK have created this campaign to urge the UK Government to rethink their stance on nuclear weapons and sign the “Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons”.
Why is this important?
The Ursuline Sisters UK have created this campaign to urge the UK Government to rethink their stance on nuclear weapons and sign the treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons.
The treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons was adopted on 7 July 2017 and has been ratified by its 50th State Party therefore it entered into force on 22 January 2021. However, none of the nine nuclear weapon states have signed or ratified the treaty, including the UK.
The UK signed the Chemical Weapons Convention in January 1993 and ratified the Biological and Toxin Weapons Convention in March 1975, so why not sign the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons? Pope Francis himself has signed the treaty on behalf of the Vatican State. The Catholic Bishops of English and Wales have petitioned Parliament to sign. Most Christian and interfaith leaders in England have also given strong backing to the treaty.
Ever since the city of Hiroshama was obliterated by a single bomb in 1945, our world conscience has been ill at ease. Hundreds of thousands of innocent civilians died and countless more had their lives blighted by the horror, by sickness and by loss. Those engaged in nuclear weapon manufacture, development and training are also exposed to long term ill health including cancer and genetic damage.
A modern day nuclear war is unthinkable. Casualties from a major nuclear war between two of the nuclear powerhouse countries would reach hundreds of millions of people. The simple reality is that the international community could never hope to deal with the impact of nuclear weapon use. Less than 1% of the world’s nuclear weapons could disrupt the global climate and threaten as many as two billion people with starvation in a nuclear famine.
Having nuclear weapons as a sabre rattling is very costly and it is becoming less and less possible to justify the huge costs involved in maintaining and developing them. In March 2007 alone, the UK Parliament voted to renew the country's Trident nuclear submarine system at a cost of £20bn. In March 2021, the British government reaffirmed their commitment to upgrading and maintaining Trident as a continuous at-sea deterrent. Billions of pounds are being mis-spent annually, money that could be reinvested to alleviate the suffering of the poorest and most vulnerable of our society.
We urge the UK Government to rethink their stance on nuclear weapons and sign the treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons.