On January 22, the Treaty for the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons went into effect. This treaty, which is supported by more than two-thirds of the countries in the world but none of the nuclear states, is groundbreaking in many ways and is a significant step toward nuclear disarmament at a time when the threat of nuclear war is the highest it has ever been. I speak with Seth Shelden of the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons about the treaty, how it came about, what it will do and what people in the United States can do to press our government to ratify it.
Seth Shelden is the United Nations Liaison for the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons (ICAN), the 2017 Nobel Peace Prize-winning coalition working to prohibit and eliminate nuclear weapons. In this capacity, he assists governments in signing, ratifying, and otherwise acceding to the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons, and he represents ICAN in promoting the entry into force and universalization of the treaty.
Mr. Shelden has a background in law. After nearly seven years at the international law firm of Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom, in their Intellectual Property and Technology Group, today he is a partner at the law firm of Farkas & Neurman and an Adjunct Professor at the City University of New York (CUNY) School of Law. In the past, Mr. Shelden has held visiting professorships at the Cardozo School of Law (also as an Adjunct Professor), the University of Latvia (as a Fulbright Scholar), and Toyo University (as a Fulbright Specialist). He also serves on the Board of Directors for the Lawyers Committee on Nuclear Policy.
Mr. Shelden has a J.D. degree from the University of California, Berkeley, School of Law and a B.A. degree, with Honors and Distinction, from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, as well as a certificate of completion in International Nuclear Safeguards Policy from the Middlebury Institute of International Studies.