|Right now in New York at the NPT Review Conference, governments are discussing what has happened the last five years on nuclear disarmament and trying to negotiate an agreement on what should happen in the coming period.
At this point, it is still very much unclear what the outcome will be or whether there will be an agreement at all.
An overwhelming majority of governments have expressed great concerns over the catastrophic humanitarian consequences and the increasing risk of use of nuclear weapons, and are calling for nuclear weapons to never be used again, under any circumstances.
Over 80 states have endorsed the Austrian Pledge, committing to work for a new legally binding instrument to prohibit and eliminate nuclear weapons, and many more states are joining this call.
Meanwhile, a small number of governments –in particular those with nuclear weapons themselves– are vigorously opposing progress. They oppose references to the catastrophic humanitarian impact that any use of nuclear weapons would cause and any attempts to acknowledge that the stockpiles of nuclear weapons pose a risk to people around the world.
What we are witnessing in New York right now is that the will of the majority to move forward is being blocked by a small minority who is desperate to preserve the status quo.
Since the review of the NPT operates by consensus, it is highly unlikely that the outcome document will reflect the views of the majority of states parties. It will instead center around the lowest common denominator, with vague formulations that allow nuclear-armed states to stall for another five years.
The ongoing negotiations at the Review Conference have made is clear there is a strong political will among many states to move forward with negotiating a new treaty to prohibit nuclear weapons, even if the nuclear weapon states refuse to participate.
ICAN is expecting that a government or a group of government will announce the start of a process to negotiate a new treaty prohibiting nuclear weapons by the 70th anniversary of Hiroshima and Nagasaki.
But we need to do everything we can to make this happen. Make sure your government endorses the Austrian Pledge and declare that it is ready to join such negotiations. Check out our new Twitter action tool here, where you can send tweets directly to your foreign ministry.