The UN Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons (TPNW) which enters into force today. The International Trade Union Confederation – Asia Pacific (ITUC-AP) congratulates the entry into force of the treaty, as a result of global campaigns staged by Hibakusha (the victims of the use of nuclear weapons), along with citizens all over the world organised by international non-governmental groups. Shoya Yoshida, the General Secretary of the ITUC-AP, hopes that this will be a major step towards the total elimination of nuclear weapons.
It is of great concern that Asia and the Pacific is the only region in which annual growth of military expenditure has been continuous since 1989, and the growth of 51 per cent over the decade 2010-19 is by far the largest of any region. Shoya Yoshida said: “If each of the countries had allocated part of their military expenditure to a policy to secure universal access to social protection and adequate living wages, the lives of more people could have been saved during the current COVID-19 pandemic.” ITUC-AP calls for reductions in military spending as well as the conversion of military industries into civil and sustainable industries to revitalise public services and public investment, and create decent jobs.