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Syracuse Peace Council's Committee Marks 1st Day of UN Treaty for the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons

John Smith / WAER News

The Syracuse Peace Council’s Nuclear-Free-World committee joined with other groups across the world today to mark day one of the UN Treaty for the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons.  The treaty signed by at least 122 countries in 2017 - and ratified by 51 - effectively makes it illegal to have a nuclear arsenal under International Law.  Local Member Diane Swords explains more rules as to how the treaty should effectively shut down and disarm nuclear programs.

“It outlaws the development, manufacture, testing, possession, transfer, acquisition, stockpiling, use or threat of use, control or receipt, stationing or deployment of nuclear weapons.  It also bans providing assistance in these activities.”

Swords says another treaty ratified in 1992 - the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty - resulted in all U-S states ceasing to perform nuclear tests and is proof that treaties can be powerful.  History Professor and Author Dr. Vincent Intundi wrote “African Americans Against the Bomb.”  He grew up on Syracuse’s North Side and now resides in Maryland.

”When we look at who we have threatened to use nuclear weapons… from using them on Japan but, then also in the Middle East threatening to use them Vietnam and Korea; consistently with the people of color.” 

The professor adds the intersections between race and nuclear weapons and who it affects are very apparent such as the first atomic bombs dropped on Hiroshima.  For national coverage from NPR click here.  

John Smith has been waking up WAER listeners for a long time as our Local Co-Host of Morning Edition with timely news and information, working alongside student Sportscasters from the Newhouse School.