Power by treaty is no power

Letters to the Editor

Power by treaty is no power

Wednesday, January 27, 2021

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Dear Editor,

I was shocked to see a headline saying Jamaica welcomes the ban on nuclear weapons by the United Nations. I don't know what this means, but I can say this means nothing.

The UN has no power to ban any weapon whatsoever. Yes, they can pass all the treaties they want, but if the countries that are the players decide they are not playing ball then these treaties mean nothing.

To me, a treaty must mean something, and especially with an organisation such as the UN. I think that when the UN drafts and votes on a treaty it must have the power to bring to an end whether it's a conflict, weapons ban, or a dictatorship. But as far as I see, no one respects the UN because it just doesn't have any power to enforce these treaties or agreements.

If there was a treaty to ban nuclear weapons, where is the signature of Russia, the United States, China, France, Britain, Israel, Pakistan, North Korea, and India?

When we talk about banning something, one must have the means to make sure that such a thing no longer exists; they must have the capacity to go in and remove them and destroy them, which the UN does not have and would never be allowed to do by those countries that possess nuclear weapons.

So, while I was shocked to see that headline, I then realised that this is a feel-good headline, because it really means nothing, Russia can't even get the US to stay in nuclear treaties. The new US Administration just sign a new extension of the New START (Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty) treaty, but Russia said it will have to look at the details first before it agrees to anything because of the US's previous actions.

So, to say there is a ban via treaty, to me, is inaccurate, because it does nothing about those nukes the US and Russia are developing right now as we speak, which goes to show that the UN has no power to stop them.

Robert Clarke


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