"The new UN Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons is an important step towards delegitimizing nuclear war as an acceptable risk of modern civilization. Though the treaty will not have the power to eliminate existing nuclear weapons, it provides a vision of a safer world, one that will require great purpose, persistence, and patience to make a reality. Nuclear catastrophe is one of the greatest existential threats facing society today, and we must dream in equal measure in order to imagine a world without these terrible weapons."
The UN treaty places a strong moral imperative against possessing nuclear weapons and gives a voice to some 130 non-nuclear weapons states who are equally affected by the existential risk of nuclear weapons. There is no one solution to this global threat, and there is much more work to be done beyond this treaty to reduce this risk. I call on nuclear-armed states to step up their participation in the fight against the nuclear threat by securing the eight remaining ratifications to enact the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty, extending the New START agreement, continuing the critical work of the Nuclear Security Summits, and avoiding the unnecessary risk posed by introducing destabilizing new nuclear weapons. My hope is that this treaty will mark a sea change towards global support for the abolition of nuclear weapons. This global threat requires unified global action."
Read more about the treaty here.
William J. Perry, a former U.S. Secretary of Defense, recently joined other nuclear and diplomatic experts in writing a letter to President Trump urging diplomatic talks with North Korea; wrote a Politico op-ed on how to make a deal with North Korea; and delivered the 2017 Barnett-Oksenberg Lecture on issues between China and the United States. Perry is the director of the Preventive Defense Project at CISAC.