Member Cities' Activities
Event in Vienna, Austria celebrating entry into force of the TPNW
January 22, 2021
Report by Mr. Thomas Hajnoczi, the Executive Advisor for Mayors for Peace
Due to the pandemic a planned large event by the Austrian Foreign Ministry to celebrate the entry into force of the TPNW had to be downsized to journalists only. Foreign Minister Alexander Schallenberg explained the importance of this landmark treaty. A prohibition of nuclear weapons has been overdue 75 years after Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Finally, in cooperation between civil society and states the legal norm has been established that nuclear weapons are illegal. Nuclear weapons cannot protect, they can only destroy. Heightened tensions are no excuse for the present modernization of nuclear weapons, but make nuclear disarmament measures even more urgent.
A video on the TPNW and a second one with a simulation of the effects of a nuclear bomb dropped over Vienna were shown (see below for both videos). The latter was criticized by opposition parties as untimely, while people feel already threatened by the pandemic. Media reports resulted in about 200,000 viewings of this video. Minister Schallenberg underlined in parliament that the threat of nuclear weapons is very real and has to be brought to public knowledge. The closest nuclear weapons are stationed 60 km from Austria.
After the media event civil society representatives were invited to watch the videos and celebrate with the Austrian disarmament diplomats.