Nuclear Weapons 740 - The Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons Goes Into Force In January of 2021 - Part 4 of 5 Parts

Part 4 of 5 Parts (Please read Part 1, 2 and 3 first)
     A third mistake that critics of the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons make is to say that there is no way to address concerns about compliance. In fact, Article Eleven of the treaty clearly explains exactly what members of the treaty should do if they have concerns about compliance. If a member of the treaty has concerns about the compliance of another member’s implementation of the treaty, the two members may attempt to resolve the dispute by discussing it amongst themselves. Failing resolution by that route, they can bring the matter up in a meeting of all the members for the group to consider.
     Concerns about compliance with an international treaty are common and certainly not unique to this treaty. Concerns about treaty compliance do not suggest that this particular treaty is any less legitimate or valuable than other treaties which have had compliance disputes. Members of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty often raise concerns about the compliance of nuclear-weapon nations with regard to their obligations under the treaty to pursue nuclear disarmament under Article Six during meeting of nations that are members of that treaty. Similarly, nations that are members of the Chemical Weapons Convention have condemned Russian and Syrian violations of the Convention at their meetings.
      These examples demonstration that international treaties have value because they help reinforce international norms. These treaties also provide a forum to discuss and condemn violations of international standards of peace and security. Obviously, since the treaty under discussion here has not entered into force yet, there can be no non-compliance with the treaty.
      A fourth mistake made by critics of the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons is the false claim that the treaty will only affect the nations that have joined it. When nations implement their obligation to help victims of nuclear weapons use and testing, their actions will have a lasting impact beyond those member nations. Currently, there is no international standard for victim assistance to those who have been impacted by the use and testing of nuclear weapons. There is also no international standard on how to judge whether a nuclear-contaminated site has been adequately remediated. Signatories working on the provisions of the treaty will assist in providing research and experience in these fields which can be applied beyond the nations that have joined the treaty.
      Nations that are not part of the treaty will still be able to contribute to these important measures. The United States is one of the biggest donors to Mine Action which is a project that facilitates clearance of land mines even though the U.S. is not a signatory to the Mine Ban Treaty. Mounir Satouri is a French member of the European Parliament. He has expressed the desire to encourage European Union members to contribute to victim assistance and environmental remediation measures under the treaty even if they have not actually joined the treaty yet.
     The treaty will continue to add members and become part of the international system beyond January when it enters into force. The norms and standards established by previous weapons bans have impacted banks, private companies and government policies in countries that have not joined the treaty. This same process will continue with the norms for nuclear prohibition. The adoption of the treaty has already compelled a Dutch pension fund to divest from any companies involved in nuclear weapons. More divestments can be expected after the treaty takes full legal effect.
Please read Part 5

Geiger Readings for Nov 19, 2020

Latitude 47.704656 Longitude -122.318745

Ambient office = 90 nanosieverts per hour

Ambient outside = 81 nanosieverts per hour

Soil exposed to rain water = 79 nanosieverts per hour

Blueberry from Central Market = 64 nanosieverts per hour

Tap water = 123 nanosieverts per hour

Filtered water = 104 nanosieverts per hour

Nuclear Weapons 739 - The Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons Goes Into Force In January of 2021 - Part 3 of 5 Parts

Part 3 of 5 Parts (Please read Part 1 and 2 first)
     A second common mistake made by critics of the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons is the claim that NATO members cannot join the treaty. One critic recently argued that membership in NATO and the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons would have to be “mutually exclusive.” While it is true that to be a fully compliant member in both of these treaties would necessitate a few policy adjustments, dual membership is entirely possible.
     The Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons does not contain any prohibition for a member to be involved in any military alliances or exercises with other nuclear-armed nations as long as there is not a significant nuclear dimension to those alliances and exercises. NATO states, “NATO is committed to arms control, disarmament and non-proliferation, but as long as nuclear weapons exist, it will remain a nuclear alliance.”
     Legal experts explain that if a NATO member decided that it would like to join the treaty, they can do so and remain in NATO as long as the member renounces any participation in the nuclear dimension of the NATO alliance and states that is does not support activities prohibited by the treaty. There is a precedent where existing members of NATO have added text to alliance documents which signal the disagreement of that member with certain NATO policies.
     A NATO member could announce that it has changed it policies and adjust its behavior in order to be compliant with the treaty’s provisions. Exactly how the NATO member would have to make changes to its behavior to be in compliance with the treaty would, of course, vary by country and would be need to be determined in consultation with existing treaty members.
     Historically, different members of NATO have taken different positions on controversial weapons without destroying the alliance. There are already policies that diverge inside NATO with respect to the extent of member participation in the nuclear aspects of the alliance. For instance, some NATO members host U.S. nuclear weapons inside their borders while other members do not allow any nuclear weapons inside their territories under any circumstances. Some members of NATO opposed the banning of landmines and cluster munitions, but this opposition did not prevent these prohibitions from being accepted by the international community. The U.S. pressured other countries to not participate in the negotiations for the treaty banning cluster munitions, but the acceptance of the ban did not destroy the NATO alliance.
     Dozens of former leaders of NATO members recently demanded that their countries join the treaty. They did not say that do so would have any impact on their membership in NATO or injure the alliance in any way. NATO’s status as a nuclear alliance has certainly evolved over time. Obviously, NATO will have to continue to evolve to take into account the changing international landscape.
Please read Part 4