The Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons entered into force on 22 January 2021. More than 70 years after Hiroshima and Nagasaki, the Treaty, for the first time, is creating a ban under international law on the most terrible weapon of mass destruction ever created by the human race. Foreign Minister Alexander Schallenberg described the entry into force of the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons as historic:
With this, we are turning the page today. The most malicious weapon ever invented by the human race is now down for the count. This is a big step forward – towards a world free of nuclear weapons,
said Schallenberg at the press conference to mark the entry into force of the Treaty.
The risk of a nuclear incident has not diminished with the end of the Cold War, and a ban on nuclear weapons is more important today than ever, Schallenberg stressed. There are more than 13,000 nuclear weapons worldwide. States with the relevant know-how have increased. Billions have also been invested in the development of new, even more effective nuclear bombs.
Statistically, an accident will happen in one of the nuclear arsenals. The effects would be horrific. Nuclear weapons are a danger to humanity: before they destroy us, we must destroy them,
warned the Foreign Minister.
The inherent threat posed to all humanity by the use of or by an accident involving nuclear weapons is also illustrated by two short films presented by Schallenberg on the occasion of the entry into force of the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons.
In the midst of a new nuclear arms race, the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons – TPNW sets a milestone for disarmament and security. Austria is one of the key initiators of the Treaty. 90 days after ratification by the 50th signatory state, the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons will enter into force on 22 January 2021.