We, the undersigned African affiliate members of 1985 Nobel Peace Laureate International Physicians for Prevention of Nuclear War (IPPNW), the IPPNW Africa Representatives for the 2017 Nobel Peace Laureate International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons (ICAN), together with Junior Doctors of Africa Network and our other partners in civil society, hereby call upon the governments of all African countries to urgently sign and ratify the United Nations Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons(TPNW) that opened up for signing on 20th September 2017.
In acknowledging the unique position Africa holds in seeing the potential for a world without nuclear weapons, having taken an active role in the negotiations for the TPNW, being home to some of the only nations to voluntarily give up nuclear weapon programs, we believe that our governments must act fast to consolidate our position and continue in that same vein of unified support of the nuclear ban treaty.
Africa and her citizens stand at the cusp of a monumental threat that could trigger devastating climate change and a nuclear famine endangering billions of lives around the world. We all stand vulnerable to the well documented humanitarian consequences of nuclear weapons’ use. This threat cannot be neutralized with more nuclear weapons but rather with acknowledgment of the evidence that tactics such as deterrence and nuclear posturing have failed.
We applaud the African countries that have so far signed the treaty and further, not only urge all governments to sign and ratify the treaty urgently but also to encourage nuclear weapon and nuclear dependent states to enter into multilateral negotiations to eliminate their nuclear weapons and come into compliance with the prohibitions spelled out in the Treaty. Significant reductions in nuclear weapon stockpiles and the removal of nuclear weapons from high alert positions, so as to ensure international peace and security, would be a good start.
Further, with glaring evidence of failure of current strategies to slow down the acquisition, investment in, modernization and threat of use of these vile indiscriminate weapons, we believe it is indeed time to end the scourge of nuclear weapons. Now more than ever with the threat of nuclear war looming over us all, the safety of the human civilization must take precedence and sobriety must lead the path to complete elimination. Africa was there when the historic treaty came to life and Africa must emerge as one of the leading supporters of a morally irrefutable treaty to prohibit nuclear weapons, now already signed by more than 50 states. We urge our governments to start the process of putting in place respective national legislation to prohibit and criminalize the manufacture, investment in, testing, deployment, threat and use of nuclear weapons.
Finally, Africa is home to one-fifth of the World’s youth and we ask that African governments acknowledge this important demographic and as such support youthful participation in this process. We also urge that our governments educate and empower the youth through meaningful disarmament education programs in the hope of securing a nuclear-free and peaceable future for all.
Find the pdf and signed version on the link below