Women’s Action for New Directions Executive Director, Megan Amundson, made the following statement regarding the Nuclear Ban Treaty negotiations, which will take place in two sessions at the United Nations in 2017; one beginning today and going through the week to draft the treaty and the other from June to July over a three week period to negotiate the treaty.
“Women’s Action for New Directions (WAND), which was founded as a women’s nuclear disarmament organization, supports the effort at the United Nations to make nuclear weapons illegal under international law. The militarization of U.S. foreign policy -- including the reliance on nuclear weapons that would indiscriminately kill civilians -- is unacceptable. These policies have created conditions at home where, for example, politicians have consistently provided the Pentagon over half of all monies appropriated by Congress each year while shortchanging investments in social safety net programs and diplomacy. Moreover, the secrecy and undemocratic nature of nuclear weapons have undoubtedly contributed to a society in which questioning the use of the military and weapons of war is seen as unpatriotic.
“While the nuclear weapons-possessing states continue to cling to their weapons of mass destruction, WAND stands with the nuclear have-nots who are unwilling to wait for incremental progress. It is not quite enough for the United States to claim progress on reducing the numbers of weapons since the Cold War peak given that it and the other nuclear-armed states are investing anew in their nuclear arsenals. For its part, the United States will spend $1 trillion dollars over thirty years to sustain and rebuild a nuclear arsenal that the military says exceeds security requirements.
“As an organization that works within a nuclear weapons-state, we have a duty to support all efforts to delegitimize nuclear weapons and expose their dangers to the public to ensure that they are never used again. We are greatly disappointed that the United States refuses to attend the nuclear ban treaty negotiations, stating that the idea was ‘unrealistic.’ Most efforts worth pursuing start out as unrealistic - until people sit at the table and negotiate.”