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Nuclear Weapon Prohibition Treaty



Sirens wail, telephones ring, people are running around in a panic. During a nuclear attack, every second counts. If you’re lucky, you have about 45 seconds to find shelter. Once the missile is launched, its irreversible.
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An attack on a medium-sized city with one of the smallest nuclear bombs would kill about 100,000 people. Hospitals would be over capacity, the Red Cross would be unable to help, emergency services would be shattered.

Those who survived the first blast would likely become ill and could die a slow and painful death from radioactive contamination. Depending on the weather, a large area can remain uninhabitable for years.

The economic impact would be devastating. For decades, survivors, their children and grandchildren would be have health problems and be at risk.

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The risk of such an attack is greater than you might think - and it's getting worse. Tensions between the US and Russia - the two largest arsenals - are growing. The simmering conflict between India and Pakistan is always close to boiling over. All of the nuclear armed countries are expanding the killing capacity of their arsenals.

Even if nuclear weapons are not used, they are still dangerous: the production of nuclear weapons leaves a contaminated legacy for countless generations. Nine countries have nuclear weapons.
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6370 nuclear weapons


290 nuclear weapons

North Korea

25 nuclear weapons


140 nuclear weapons


150 nuclear weapons

United States

5800 nuclear weapons

United Kingdom

215 nuclear weapons


300 nuclear weapons


80 nuclear weapons

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Did you know that there are US nuclear weapons in Belgium, Germany, Italy, Turkey and the Netherlands? Yes, also in the Netherlands...

There are 20 nuclear weapons at the Volkel air base in Noord-Brabant. A squadron of Dutch air force pilots train to drop these bombs from Dutch fighter jets. The bombs will be replaced soon with a new version. The technical changes, like the new guided tail kit, or the variable yield, might make some commanders think they aren't really all that bad. But, even the smallest nuclear bomb is still tremendously more destructive than any conventional weapon. Nuclear weapons are closer and riskier than you might think. 
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Here in the Netherlands, PAX collected signatures from tens of thousands of people who wanted a national law making nuclear bombs illegal.

PAX also provided information leading to the majority of the Dutch parliament's decision to ask the government to remove the American nuclear weapons stationed here. Public opinion polls consistently show that no matter what party, what age, what background - Dutch people don't like nuclear weapons.
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And that's just in the Netherlands. Across the globe people are talking about the consequences of nuclear weapons and their governments are committing to get rid them once and for all.

In 2017, a comprehensive treaty banning all nuclear weapons was adopted at the United Nations. Many countries have already signed and ratified the treaty, and it will become international law on 22 January 2021.
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The ban on nuclear weapons is a major step towards a nuclear weapon-free world. The more countries that join the nuclear weapons treaty, the greater the impact. That is why it is important that we call on countries, including the Netherlands, to join the treaty.

With the treaty now in place, lots of banks and pension funds are also banning their investments in nuclear weapons, showing that this is unacceptable for everyone, all the time.
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The nuclear weapons ban treaty came about largely through the efforts of a group of campaigners called ICAN (The International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons). ICAN received the Nobel Peace Prize in 2017 for its work to remind the world about the catastrophic humanitarian consequences of nuclear weapons and toward creating this treaty.

The Nobel Prize Committee recognized the danger posed by nuclear weapons: "Nuclear weapons are a permanent threat to humanity and life on Earth."
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Winning the award was a huge recognition for ICAN as a whole, but also for PAX. PAX has been a leader in the ICAN campaign, we coordinate the efforts to get the financial sector to end investments in companies that make nuclear weapons, and we've worked hard in the Netherlands for the nuclear weapons ban. Because of our citizen initiative, the Netherlands was the only country with nuclear weapons on its soil that participated in negotiating the nuclear ban treaty.
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And now? What's next? The nuclear weapons treaty is here, but not all countries have signed it. 75 years after nuclear weapons were invented it's time to get every country, including the Netherlands on board.

One way to build that pressure is to get banks and pension funds to stop investing in nuclear weapon producers. PAX is working on this and a lot more, and we need your help! Your voice matters. With your support, we can bring the nuclear weapons ban treaty to life.

Help us get rid of these terrible weapons once and for all. Go to and join!
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