After campaign is extended, over 12 million signatures calling for nuclear abolition to be submitted to UN in January next year

by Yo Kono, Staff Writer

The Hibakusha Appeal network announced on October 6 that it has collected 12,612,798 signatures during its four-and-a-half-year campaign calling on countries to join the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons (TPNW). Fifty countries and regions are expected to complete the treaty ratification process by the end of this month, reaching the number needed for the TPNW to enter into force. Indicating there is a growing need for signatures, the network has decided to continue the signature campaign until the end of the year and plans to submit the signatures to the United Nations in January next year.

The Hibakusha Appeal started the signature drive in April 2016. The number the network announced represents the total as of September 18. The organization has sent a list of the signatures to the United Nations Office for Disarmament Affairs by email. The number of signatures collected as of the end of March this year was 11,840,000.

At first, the network had set September 18 as the deadline for collecting signatures to coincide with this month’s holding of the First Committee of the United Nations General Assembly (Disarmament and International Security). However, the network extended the deadline to ensure that submission to the United Nations of the signatures, which the network has positioned as a compilation of its activities, would be timed to coincide with the Review Conference of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT). The review conference was originally scheduled to be held this past spring but was postponed until January next year.

The network is scheduled to hold a press conference to introduce the message regarding this situation it receives from the United Nations.

(Originally published on October 7, 2020)