CMU Professor Explains Significance of New Nuclear Weapons Treaty

Friday, the Biden administration announced plans to try to extend the START Nuclear Arms Treaty with Russia, limiting the number of active nuclear warheads.

But there’s another treaty that 51 other countries ratified.

It’s known as The Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons.

Hope May is a professor at Central Michigan University.

She says the ratification of The Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons is a significant step toward, hopefully, one day getting rid of nuclear weapons, worldwide.

“Really, a country who signs on to this treaty, can have nothing to with nuclear weapons. Nor can there be, there’s actually a clause, there cannot be anything happening on the countries territory that assist,” explained May.

The treaty builds on a movement known as ‘Peace through Law’, an idea that caught the attention decades ago of CMU’s 4th president E.C. Warriner.

It’s part of the reason Professor May and CMU honor’s students brought an exhibit on the difficult and sometimes complicated history of nuclear weapons.

“The purpose of the exhibit is always, it’s education, education not only about the bombings and effects and how these weapons are different, these are a different kind of weapon. This is a process of changing consciousness, this is a process of education,” said May.

Despite countries like the united states not signing on to this treaty, it’s at least a move toward making sure scenes like these don’t happen again.

“I think this begins a process of shifting the dialogue.  I think for now we look at this treaty of the beginning of a different narrative about nuclear weapons, of a beginning of a process of a wider understanding of the humanitarian impact of something that we don’t talk about,” said May.

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