RTÉ Brainstorm – Can a new UN treaty help to ban nuclear weapons?

Whitaker Institute member Professor Ray Murphy, of the Conflict, Humanitarianism and Security cluster, has written a new piece for RTÉ Brainstorm. The article explores whether a new UN treaty can work to ban nuclear weapons.

Can a new UN treaty help to ban nuclear weapons?

A Bulava missile launched by the Russian Navy Northern Fleet's Project 955 Borei nuclear missile cruiser submarine Yuri Dolgoruky in 2018. Photo: Getty Images

Opinion: while none of the current nuclear powers are willing to ratify it, the UN treaty is a major achievement on the road to disarmament

In 2017, Ireland played a leading role when 122 countries at the UN voted to approve the text of a proposed international treaty banning nuclear weapons. The Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons came into effect yesterday and marks a watershed on the road to nuclear disarmament. Among its achievements is the absolute rejection of the premise of nuclear deterrence and exposing the hypocrisy behind commitments to disarmament among so called nuclear power states.

The treaty outlaws the use or threat to use nuclear arms, and prohibits states that sign up to its commitments from allowing “any stationing, installation or deployment of any nuclear weapons or other nuclear explosive devices” on their territory. Ireland and Austria played a major role in the campaign to have it adopted. Continue reading…