THE FIRST MEETING OF STATES PARTIES (1MSP) to the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons (TPNW) will take place in Vienna, Austria from 21 to 23 June 2022.

At this inaugural meeting, States Parties will commit to concrete actions to implement obligations under the Treaty, including on providing assistance to victims of nuclear weapon use and testing, beginning to remediate contaminated environments, and universalising the treaty. It will also be an opportunity for States to discuss some of the treaty’s technical details, including setting a deadline for the elimination of nuclear weapons for nuclear-armed states which join.

Other states which are not parties to the Treaty are invited to attend the Meeting as observers. However, the UK, along with other nuclear powers, is refusing to attend. This has led to citizens in these countries – and in others like Germany where US/NATO nuclear bombs are stored – to call on their governments to not only attend the conference as observers, but to sign up to this internationally ratified treaty.

On Thursday, 16 June, campaigners in capital cities across Europe will be hosting joint actions to alert public opinion to the dangers of nuclear weapons and to call on their leaders to adhere to the TPNW. In London, activists from CND and Trident Ploughshares will take part in a tour of major European embassies, handing in letters to ambassadors calling on their governments to attended the summit. The march will end at Downing Street.

Times and destinations are as follows:

  • 10-10.30am near the Russian Embassy at the junction of Kensington Palace Gardens and Bayswater Road, W8
  • 11-11.30am at the French Embassy at 58 Knightsbridge SW1
  • 12 noon-12.30pm at the German Embassy, 23 Belgrave Square/Chesham Place SW1.
  • 1.30-2pm outside Downing Street.

CND General Secretary Kate Hudson, said: “Since the historic UN Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons came into force in 2021, nuclear weapons have become illegal in the countries that have signed up. The UK is refusing to engage but we want our government to participate.

“By attending 1MSP as observers and then signing up to the TPNW, nuclear states can take concrete steps towards de-escalating world tensions and ensuring a lasting peace. The alternative – a nuclear arms race and further global proliferation of nuclear weapons – would be a disaster for the entire planet.”

Trident Ploughshares spokesperson David Polden said: “With NATO and Russia issuing dangerous nuclear threats against each other over the war in Ukraine, it’s about time that the nuclear powers realised that possessing nuclear weapons does not make them any safer, only risked their annihilation.”

* More information on the Treaty here.

* Sources: Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament and International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons