Swiss Parliament requested that the government join the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons

Posted: 20th December 2018


Last week, Swiss Parliament requested that the government join the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons without delay. And while this may sound like low-hanging fruit given Switzerland’s historic humanitarian tradition, it actually took a lot of behind-the-scenes work by our talented Swiss campaigners. Today, I want to share their story with you, and ask you to help us empower our campaigners to take on such opportunities in 2019.

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While Switzerland was among the states that voted to adopt the Nuclear Ban Treaty in July 2017, the government dragged its feet on the matter of signature and ratification. This prompted our Swiss campaigners, Annette, Maya and Mia, to develop a new campaign targeted at Swiss Parliament. Thanks to their energy, perseverance and two small contributions from the ICAN 1000 Day Fund, they succeeded in getting both the Lower and Upper chambers of Swiss Parliament to pass a motion calling on the government to sign the Nuclear Ban Treaty as fast as possible [1].

Beatrice Fihn and ICAN Switzerland Campaigner Maya Brehm at Swiss Federal parliament in October 2018Donate to ICAN

This fantastic result comes down to the hard work of dedicated individuals. Annette, Maya and Mia have full time jobs and pretty busy lives of their own, but also share a strong commitment to seeing the Nuclear Ban Treaty become binding International Law – and Switzerland playing its due role in this.  As Maya puts it: “the last few months have been pretty intense: speaking with Members of Parliament, coordinating with other civil society actors, strategizing and crafting policy messages, pushing press releases out and keeping our supporters informed – all in two or three languages! But what I will remember the most is how many people, from all walks of life, stand ready to support this cause. We could not have done it without their kind encouragement, invaluable advice and timely help!”

And all the hard work paid off. “Together with the over 25’000 people who signed our petition we are extremely happy about the Parliament’s decision. The people do not want a nuclear umbrella! So, the next step is clear: Waiting is not an option. The Federal Council must immediately sign the TPNW.”

Maya’s is just one of many inspiring stories from our campaigners around the world. Around the world, there are 532 organisations in our network that put their energy and time into getting their country to sign and ratify the Nuclear Ban Treaty. In 2019, we want to hit the 50-state mark that will bring the Treaty into force and make nuclear weapons illegal under international law. And to achieve that, we’re raising an additional $25000 to empower campaigners like Maya, Annette and Mia. So far we have raised $11000. Will you help us reach $25000?

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Thank you!

Beatrice Fihn
Executive Director
International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons

Find out more – call Caroline on 01722 321865 or email us