Tewa Women United Joins Other “Affected Communites” to Call for Nuclear Weapons Ban

Communities from across the world whose health has been harmed and environment contaminated by nuclear testing, use and development — including Tewa Women United — have called on the international community to provide assistance as mandated by the UN nuclear ban treaty.

This past week, the second Meeting of State Parties to the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons (TPNW) was held at the United Nations headquarters in New York. The meeting started on November 27 and concluded on December 1, 2023. The focus of the meeting was to assess the status of the treaty’s implementation and discuss the humanitarian impact of nuclear weapons.

One of the powerful aspects of the TPNW, that no other treaty has ever done, is the recognition of the survivors of nuclear use and testing. States attending the Second Meeting of States Parties heard from survivors of nuclear weapons use and testing, who are still experiencing losses caused by the harm of these weapons, sometimes generations after the initial harm took place.

In the General Debate, a joint nuclear affected community statement endorsed by 26 affected community-led organizations, including Tewa Women United, was presented to the conference. Affected Communities members declared:

“Nuclear weapons do harm every day. From the mining of uranium to the creation of the bomb and the everlasting radioactive waste, our planet carries the scars of so many nuclear sacrifice zones. Nuclear colonialism has disproportionately impacted Indigenous Peoples and marginalized communities. Indigenous Peoples lands were taken. Bodies were used, people were bombed.”

The TPNW is the only treaty that addresses the issues of loss and harm in communities affected by nuclear weapons, and states reiterated their commitment to continue to center these communities in the work going forward.

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