I was delighted to hear, on Sunday (25 October 2020), that Honduras has become the 50th country in the world to ratify the United Nations Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons and that the treaty will therefore come into force on 22nd January 2021.

This treaty is a major victory for grassroots campaigning, for the anti-nuclear movement and all peace loving people.

Prior to the Treaty’s adoption, nuclear weapons were the only weapons of mass destruction not banned under international law, despite their catastrophic humanitarian consequences. Never before have nuclear weapons been illegal.

Despite this, the news that the treaty will come into force in January is only the latest stage in the struggle to free our world from the threat of nuclear weapons.

Shamefully, the UK government has for three years refused to even participate in the treaty talks.

We urgently need others to join in the ongoing campaign to make them do so. In particular, we need local authorities, like Cumbria County Council, South Lakeland District Council and Lancaster City Council to respond positively to the International Campaign for the Abolition of Nuclear Weapons (ICAN)’s Cities Appeal.

They need to welcome the treaty and to recognise that any use of nuclear weapons, whether deliberate or accidental, would have catastrophic, far-reaching and long-lasting consequences for people and the environment.

Philip Gilligan

Rose Hill Grove, Sandside