Dear IPB Family and Friends,

Call me ‘party spoiler’ if you like. I don’t mind, but I feel it is my duty, as HUFUD President an IPB member, to express my thoughts on what you call a ‘historic day’ and ‘this milestone toward nuclear disarmament’.

To begin with, although 120 countries may have initially ‘supported’ the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear, only 86 countries signed it in 2017, and now only 51 countries ratified their approval of the Treaty.

As you can see from the list below, these are all countries that have never presented a nuclear threat to the world. Many of those countries are suffering poverty, hunger, disease, homelessness, unemployment and illiteracy on unprecedented levels.

Antigua & Barbuda, Austria, Bangladesh, Belize, Benin, Bolivia, Botswana, Cook Islands, Costa Rica, Cuba, Dominica, Ecuador, El Salvador, Fiji, Gambia, Guyana, Holy See, Honduras, Ireland, Jamaica, Kazakhstan, Kiribati, Laos, Lesotho, Malaysia, Maldives, Malta, Mexico, Namibia, Nauru, New Zealand, Nicaragua, Nigeria, Niue, Palau, Palestine, Panama, Paraguay, St Kitts and Nevis, St Lucia, St Vincent & Grenadines, Samoa, San Marino, South Africa, Thailand, Trinidad & Tobago, Tuvalu, Uruguay, Vanuatu, Venezuela, Vietnam.

In some of the signatory countries people haven’t even heard of nuclear weapons.

Your claim that “the road to a world free of nuclear weapons is now wide open!” is to me an unreachable dream, whilst the countries that imposed nuclear weapons on us, continue to oppose the Treaty. We should not forget the United Nations five ‘permanent’ members of the “INSECURITY” Council, are the 5 nuclear countries par excellence: USA, UK, France, Russia and China.

We should also not forget Switzerland, host to the UN’s European headquarters, is also host to the UN’s own Nuclear Research Centre (CERN) in Geneva.

We should ask ourselves why most of Europe, the Middle East,  Latin America, Canada, Israel, Australia and Japan refuse to sign the Treaty.

Finally, assuming, in an ideal world, we get rid of all nuclear weapons, the victims of the nuclear explosions in Hiroshima and Nagasaki, survivors and their families, plus the “generations of activists that have tirelessly raised awareness about the humanitarian impact of nuclear weapons,” will be happy with the millions who die every year from machine guns, bullets, grenades, landmines, bombs, rockets, torpedoes, laser beams and torture? Or, will they think it is OK for over 3 million people to die every year, half of them children under 5, from starvation or lack of medical care, because their Governments are forced by the military industry to spend their reserves or loans on the above listed “Toys of Death”

Are all those peace lovers and activists happy with the nearly 70 million refugees and over 10 million slaves created by the “traditional” military industry, without making or firing a nuclear bomb?

UN Secretary General diplomat Antonio Guterres says what generations of UN Secretary Generals have said over the last 75 years, that “the commitment towards the total elimination of nuclear weapons, remains the highest disarmament priority of the United Nations”. The most important – the key word – here is “remains”. Any UN Secretary must be able to use it.

I end up by saying that I am an optimist and do believe peace in the world is possible, but this will only come after we have achieved the universal abolition of Militarism. The day politicians have no armed forces at their disposal to organise wars that only suit their personal agenda. Then, we will all live in peace, justice and equality.

I would very much welcome your comments,

In Peace,
Alberto Portugheis
President HUFUD