The Case for Risk Education and Dissemination Provisions in the Nuclear Weapons Ban Treaty
Gathering in New York this year, the majority of the world’s countries will negotiate a treaty banning nuclear weapons (meeting 27-31 March and 15 June to 7 July). Deeply concerned by the catastrophic humanitarian consequences of nuclear detonations – whether intentional or accidental – the UN General Assembly called for a new, humanitarian approach to nuclear disarmament. Humanitarian disarmament treaties (such as the 1907 Hague Conventions, Landmine and Cluster Munition Bans, and Explosive Remnants of War Protocol) differ from other arms control and nonproliferation treaties. In addition to having a humanitarian framing and strong prohibitions, they often include positive provisions such as educational and awareness-raising measures that encourage states, civil society and international organizations to ensure respect for the norms set by the treaties and limit harm caused by the weapons they address.
In this two-pager, I make the case for including risk education as one such harm-limiting positive provision in the nuclear weapons ban treaty text.