Reader's View: Duluth, other cities can support nuclear treaty

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In October, a 50th nation ratified the UN Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons. In January, the treaty will become international law, prohibiting participating parties from developing, possessing, testing, using, or threatening to use nuclear weapons; allowing nuclear weapons to be stationed on their territory; or assisting others in engaging in such activities.

All nine nuclear-weapons nations boycotted the proceedings that led to the treaty, and not one has signed or ratified the treaty. There are some 13,400 nuclear weapons held by those nine countries, with 3,720 nuclear weapons deployed (that is, ready to be launched) and the rest in storage. The risk of a nuclear war from an accident, miscalculation, planned or unauthorized attack, or nuclear terrorism remains high.

If a nuclear war occurs, I fear for my grandchildren that the results would block the sun's rays and result in a climate winter. Experts and leaders say the current U.S. nuclear policy is a disaster waiting to happen. Time is running out.

Minnesota’s U.S. Sens. Amy Klobuchar and Tina Smith and 8th Congressional District Rep. Pete Stauber must join the Parliamentarian Pledge to support the treaty. Ten members of the U.S. House have taken that pledge in addition to supporting the treaty.

Congress should save and extend the New Start Treaty, retiring all our land-based nuclear weapons and stressing diplomacy in the safe and firm management of the disposal of nuclear weapons.


Cities should support the UN Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons. In the U.S., 37 cities have indicated support, but not one is in Minnesota. The U.S. Conference of Mayors supports the treaty.

I urge cities, including Duluth, to support the treaty and the advice of the U.S. Conference of Mayors.

Larry Spears


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