July 7, 2017, UN Headquarters in NYC. 122 countries meeting at the United Nations conference in New York adopted a Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons, the first multilateral legally-binding instrument for nuclear disarmament.
The treaty “prohibits a full range of nuclear-weapons-related activities, such as undertaking to develop, test, produce, manufacture, acquire, possess or stockpile nuclear weapons or other nuclear explosive devices, as well as the use or threat of use of these weapons”.
It will enter into force 90 days after 50 countries have ratified it. The Treaty was adopted with 122 votes in favor, one against (Netherlands) and one abstention (Singapore).
69 nations did not participate in the negotiations and vote, among them all of the nuclear weapon states and all NATO members except the Netherlands.
U.S. Ambassador Nikki Haley, British Ambassador Matthew Rycroft and French Ambassador Francois Delattre said in a joint statement that their countries do “not intend to sign, ratify or ever become a party” to the treaty.
“This initiative clearly disregards the realities of the international security environment,” they said. “Accession to the ban treaty is incompatible with the policy of nuclear deterrence, which has been essential to keeping the peace in Europe and North Asia for over 70 years.”
Totally different points of view came from those who organized the conference and those who voted in favor:
“The treaty represents an important step and contribution towards the common aspirations of a world without nuclear weapons,” the spokesperson for Secretary-General António Guterres said following its adoption.
“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 treaty will be open for signature to all States at UN Headquarters in New York on September 20, 2017.
Source of information – UN Multimedia – http://www.unmultimedia.org/
UN Photo/Manuel Elias and J. Gattini’s photo