CSOs urge Ghana government to expedite ratification of treaty prohibiting nuclear weapons
Some Civil Society Organisations (CSOs), with a focus on peace and security, have called on the government to fast-track Ghana’s ratification of the United Nations Treaty Prohibiting Nuclear Weapons (TPNW).
According to the CSOs, this would ensure the State’s full commitment to the terms of the treaty and help maintain global peace and security.
The CSOs include the Foundation for Security Development in Africa (FOSDA), Women International League for Peace and Freedom (WILPF) and the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapon (ICAN).
Speaking at a CSO workshop on the treaty, in Accra, Mrs Theodora Anti, Executive Director of FOSDA, said the ratification of the treaty prohibiting nuclear weapons, had become more urgent considering threats of nuclear war by some states.
She indicated that, with Ghana’s pedigree in maintaining global peace and security, her ratifying the TPNW would strengthen the treaty and ensure its universality.
“Ghana is a leading country or state when it comes to global peace and security, and it has been a leader in negotiating for this treaty prohibiting nuclear weapons. It has shown a lot of goodwill and interest, and looking at the way things are going now, especially with the Russia-Ukraine war, and the threats of nuclear war, it is apparent and more than ever before in human history.
“And so, we are calling on Ghana as an international peace and security promoter to ratify the treaty to promote its universalisation. It is very important,” she said.
Mrs Anti added that “the more states ratify the treaty, the more universalised it becomes and the more deterring it is for non-state parties to use nuclear weapons.”
The purpose of the workshop was to sensitise and build the capacity and knowledge of CSOs and state institutions on the treaty and the humanitarian consequences of the use of nuclear weapons.
Also, it sought to build and strengthen voices against nuclear proliferation.
It was attended by CSOs, state and government institutions including the Ghana Atomic Energy Agency, Ministry of the Interior, Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Regional Integration, Media Foundation for West African and the Ghana Red Cross Society.
The UN in its General Assembly Meeting in July 2017 adopted the TPNW.
The treaty, among other things, was to prohibit States from developing, testing, manufacturing, acquiring, possessing or stockpiling nuclear weapons or other nuclear explosive devices.
Ghana is among more than 60 states that are signatories to the treaty, however, more than five years since signing the treaty on September 20, 2017, the country is yet to ratify it to make it binding.
Mrs Anti urged CSOs to continue to impress on the Government until it ratified the TPNW.
Dr Ayo Amaale, President, Women International League for Peace (WILPF), said nuclear weapons remained the number one threat to the existence of humanity and the planet.
Dr Amaale said although the use of nuclear weapons was widely recognised as being inhumane, and despite an international agreement reached some 40 years ago to further the goal of disarmament, some states continue to aspire to possess them as a symbol of their power.
It is estimated that more than 19,000 nuclear weapons exist while nine States including; United States, Russia, China, India, United Kingdom, Pakistan, Israel, and North Korea, are armed with nuclear weapons.
Dr Amaaley warned that the consequences would be dire for even generations yet unborn if nothing were done to prevent the proliferation of nuclear weapons.
Meanwhile, Mr Barima Asirifi, Desk Officer, TPNW at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Regional Integration, said government recognised the importance of the treaty and assured that it would do everything within its power to ratify the treaty within the shortest possible time.
He, therefore, appealed for cooperation of all stakeholders to realise that.