A new United Nations treaty will soon enter into force, one which will make nuclear weapons illegal in the countries that sign it.

The Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons (TPNW) will now officially become international law on January 22nd after 50 countries ratified the agreement, with a further 84 signing it.

Shamefully the UK government refused to even participate in the treaty talks and now says it will never sign. But that will not stop us from making progress. From its founding meeting, CND has championed the global abolition of nuclear weapons. This treaty is a victory for grassroots campaigning and our anti-nuclear movement. The 2017 Nobel Peace Prize was even awarded to ICAN – of which CND is a partner – for its tireless work in campaigning for this momentous achievement.

What will it mean when the TPNW enters into force?

The terms of the TPNW only apply to the countries that have signed and ratified the agreement. And although the nine nuclear-armed states currently state they will not support it, the treaty is a significant pointer towards changing international attitudes to nuclear weapons. Previous treaties prohibiting chemical and biological weapons helped to stigmatise them in the minds of the public. This is now taking place with nuclear weapons.

This historic agreement will no doubt generate international momentum towards global nuclear abolition. The treaty is a breakthrough in international disarmament efforts and will be of enormous support in achieving the goal that most of the world shares: that there is no place for these weapons of mass destruction.

Alongside raising awareness of the TPNW, CND will continue to work with all our partners in Parliament and across civil society to oppose the replacement of Trident.

What can I do to support the campaign?

Sign the petition

  • The challenge now is to get the nuclear-armed states – including the UK – to sign the treaty. Sign our petition calling on the government to get rid of its nuclear weapons and support this treaty: we’ll be presenting your signatures at a later date.

Nuclear Ban Communities

Join CND

  • Since 1958 CND has been the voice for the millions of people in this country who want to prevent nuclear Armageddon. It’s more important than ever to join CND, to stand with us as we prepare to mark this momentous achievement and renew our determination to achieve a world without nuclear weapons.

Ask your MP to sign an Early Day Motion

  • Working with our partners in Parliament, CND is lobbying the British government to support the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons and work towards the global elimination of nuclear weapons. Use our lobby tool to ask your MP to sign EDM1072.

Local action

  • We’re asking CND supporters and groups across the country to arrange a banner drop in your local area on January 22nd. Due to Covid-19 restrictions, large groups will not be able to gather together to celebrate but a wave of action across the country will mean we can still celebrate this important day together. Use an existing anti-nuclear banner you may have or paint or sew your own with a new message and choose a good spot to unfurl on the day. And remember to send us your photos (pressoffice@cnduk.org) so we can share on social media!


  • CND has published a briefing on the treaty to explain its background and relevance. Click here to view on online version or you can order printed copies from the CND office. We also have leaflets and petitions available if you would like to organise a street stall or arrange to distribute these in your local area (contact information@cnduk.org).

Display a poster