129 countries set to approve nuclear ban treaty

Posted July 08, 2017

More than 120 countries have approved the first-ever treaty banning nuclear weapons at a UN meeting boycotted by all nuclear-armed nations.

The treaty was adopted by a vote of 122 in favor with one country - NATO member The Netherlands - voting against, while Singapore abstained.

"We feel emotional because we are responding to the hopes and dreams of the present and future generations", said Ambassador Elayne Whyte Gómez of Costa Rica, who serves as the President of the conference that negotiated the treaty in response to a mandate given by the UN General Assembly.

"The adoption of the nuclear weapons ban treaty marks an historic turning point in the centuries-old battle to eliminate all weapons of mass destruction", said Jeff Carter, executive director of Physicians for Social Responsibility.

"The world has been waiting for this legal norm for 70 years,"said Whyte Gomez, referring to the nuclear bombs the US dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki in 1945 during World War II".

"This treaty offers no solution to the grave threat posed by North Korea´s nuclear program, nor does it address other security challenges that make nuclear deterrence necessary", they said in a joint statement.

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"It stops states with nuclear weapons from being able to hide behind the idea that they are not illegal".

That pact sought to prevent the spread of atomic arms beyond the five original weapons powers - the U.S., Russia, Britain, France and China. Four others known or suspected to possess nuclear weapons - Pakistan, India, Israel, and North Korea - also refused to partake.

"A world with no nuclear weapons is the only safe world".

The next priority stages in nuclear disarmament are the negotiation of a treaty banning the production of fissile material for the manufacture of nuclear weapons, and the swift introduction of the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty.

As a result, the two countries who maintain about 90 percent of the world's warheads have stopped talking about nuclear reduction, and the rest of the world-which was promised disarmament-has noticed, leading to protest moves like this new treaty ban. In this respect, a treaty banning nuclear weapons risks affecting the security of the Euro-Atlantic region and global stability.

Beatrice Finn, director of the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons has stated that "Nuclear weapons are morally unacceptable".

She asked whether anyone thought North Korea would give up its nuclear weapons, arguing that Pyongyang would be "cheering" a nuclear ban treaty and Americans and others would be at risk.