Scientists welcome draft UN nuclear ban treaty

Media release, 23 May 2017

Scientists for Global Responsibility (SGR) warmly welcomes the publication yesterday of a draft UN treaty on the prohibition of nuclear weapons.

This draft is the result of negotiations involving 132 nations, which addresses the legal gap which currently exists whereby some weapons of mass destruction – such as chemical and biological weapons – are covered by ban treaties, but nuclear weapons are not. This new treaty is a critical next step on the road to eliminating nuclear weapons.  

The draft text of the treaty requires nations never to develop, manufacture, test, possess or use nuclear weapons.

Much evidence has been gathered, including by SGR, on the immense and indiscriminate suffering that these weapons would cause should they ever be used again in war. This evidence also covers global and long-lasting impacts. Such evidence has been essential in helping to build support for this treaty among so many governments.

Unfortunately, the UK, along with many of the other nuclear weapons nations, are opposing this treaty, despite 75% public support for the UK to take part.

Dr Philip Webber, Chair of SGR, said “Far from keeping us secure, thousands of nuclear weapons put us all at risk every day. SGR therefore calls on the UK government to follow through on its stated commitment to multilateral nuclear disarmament by supporting this treaty, and joining it once it is adopted.”

The next step in the UN process is the reconvening of negotiations to finalise the treaty, beginning on 15 June in New York.

Contact: Dr Philip Webber: 07929 827322


  1. The text of the draft UN treaty on the prohibition of nuclear weapons can be downloaded from:
  2. Scientists for Global Responsibility (SGR) is an independent UK membership organisation of about 750 natural scientists, social scientists, engineers, and other professionals in related areas. It was formed in 1992. SGR’s work is focused on a range of issues, including security and disarmament, climate change, sustainable energy, and who controls science and technology? For more information, see /
  3. SGR’s work on nuclear weapons can be found at:
  4. Opinion poll data on support for the nuclear ban treaty can be found here:

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