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Wednesday, 18 September 2019

Ratify Treaty On The Prohibition Of Nuclear Weapons, NLC Tells FG

The Nigeria Labour Congress NLC has appealed to the Federal Government to ratify the treaty on The Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons TPNW which was passed by 122 countries at the United Nations General Assembly on 7 July 2017.

The Treaty which is the first legally binding international agreement to comprehensively prohibit nuclear weapons, with the goal of leading towards their total elimination, requires the signature and ratification by at least 50 countries to come into effect.

In a letter written by the President of NLC Ayuba Wabba and addressed to the minister of foreign affairs, Geoffrey Onyeama, organized Labour in Nigeria expressed appreciation for Nigeria’s longstanding position in favour of nuclear disarmament, as well as its consideration of the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons.

The letter went ahead to say, “Today, nuclear arsenals are being modernised and new nuclear weapons are being developed. For the coming years, it is estimated that governments will spend over 100 billion USD annually on nuclear weapons. At the same time, the world’s fragile arms control architecture built over five decades is collapsing. In light of the heightened tensions among nuclear-armed States, it is more important than ever that world leaders speak out against nuclear weapons and work together to strengthen international legal norms against their use, threatened use, development, and retention by any State.

“Trade unions are committed to a world free of weapons of mass destruction and to general disarmament, as the maintenance and strengthening of peace is a precondition for economic progress and social justice. In addition to the immediate threat that nuclear weapons represent to the existence of humankind, the enormous cost of a renewed nuclear arms race is a shameful waste of precious human, natural and capital resources that should be redirected to reverse climate change, eliminate poverty and address other social and economic needs.

“The TPNW lays the foundations for a world free of nuclear weapons. It offers a pathway forward at a time of great global tension and crisis.  It complements the Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT), and offers the best hope of moving us from a world with nearly 14,000 nuclear weapons to zero nuclear weapons. This is an urgent humanitarian necessity. President of the International Committee of the Red Cross Peter Maurer and UN Secretary-General António Guterres have both acknowledged the importance of this Treaty in making progress for a nuclear weapons-free world. 

“On the 26 of September 2019, a high-level ceremony for signatures and ratifications for the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons will be held during leaders’ week at the United Nations General Assembly. All governments have been invited to participate at this ceremony by the co-sponsoring governments: Austria, Brazil, Indonesia, Ireland, Mexico, New Zealand, Nigeria, South Africa and Thailand.

“The Nigeria Labour Congress calls on the Nigerian government to participate in this historic event by signing and or submitting its instrument of ratification of the TPNW, indicating in advance its intention to do so to the UN Office for Legal Affairs at the United Nations Headquarters in New York.
“We look forward to hearing your response on our government’s intentions with relation to the 26 of September Signing and Ratification Ceremony.” the letter concluded.

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