By Manlio Dinucci
• Not a single nuclear power has agreed to sign the new Treaty banning nuclear weapons. We all appreciate that unilateral disarmament would be a genuine concern for such states. However, Nato, which violates the NPT (the treaty aiming at containing the proliferation of nuclear arms) every day, has gone much further. Last week, it issued a declaration stating (para 7) that atomic bombs are a factor contributing to peace; and there is no way it would contemplate relinquishing these arms, if other states retained them. Furthermore, the wording of the final paragraph is a pre-emptive strike, aimed at destroying the potential of the new Treaty from slipping into the class of treaties that create norms for inter-state relations.
On 20 September, the day after President Trump presents a scenario of nuclear war in the United Nations, threatening to “totally destroy North Korea”, the “Treaty on the Prohibition on Nuclear Weapons”, opens for signature at the United Nations. Voted by a majority of 122 states, this treaty imposes on contracting states: • A prohibition on manufacturing or possessing nuclear weapons; • A prohibition on using or even threatening to use nuclear weapons; and • A prohibition on transferring or receiving nuclear weapons either directly or indirectly.
The overriding aim of the treaty is to completely eliminate nuclear weapons. On the first day itself, the Treaty was signed by 50 states, including Venezuela, Cuba, Brazil, Mexico, Indonesia, Thailand, Bangladesh, the Philippines, the State of Palestine, South Africa, Nigeria, the Congo, Algeria, Austria, Ireland and the Holy See (which ratified it the same day). The Treaty will enter into force, once it has been ratified by 50 states.
But the day on which it opened for signature is the same day Nato resoundingly slammed it. The North Atlantic Council (composed of representatives of the 29 Nato member states)’s declaration made on 20 September, maintains that: “a treaty that is not binding on any state possessing nuclear weapons, will not be effective, nor will it increase security or international peace, but will risk securing the opposite: the creation of divisions and divergences”.
Thus without beating up the bush, Nato makes it clear that: “we will not accept any provision contained in the treaty”.
Thus the North Atlantic Council robs the national parliaments of its member states of their role, depriving them of their sovereignty to reach an independent decision on whether to adhere to the UN Treaty on the Abolition of Nuclear Weapons. Furthermore, Nato announces that: “We will call our partners and all the countries inclined to support the treaty to seriously reflect on its implications” (read: we will blackmail them to ensure they neither sign nor ratify the treaty).