Over 120 UN Member States Adopt Treaty to Ban Nuclear Weapons

Posted July 08, 2017

Israel's Sorek nuclear reactor center near the central Israeli town of Yavne.

The president of the U.N. conference drafting what could be the first treaty to ban nuclear weapons says 129 countries have agreed on the text, which is expected to be formally adopted Friday although all nuclear-armed nations are boycotting the effort. Unfortunately, it won't involve any actual disarmament. "In line with teaching of the Church the Commissions for Justice and Peace in Europe will continue to advocate for non-proliferation and - in fine - the abolition of all nuclear weapons both within the United States and Europe, and globally".

Its 20 articles enumerates the party states' liabilities, procedures of the weapons stockpile declaration and their elimination controlled by the worldwide community and also sets out mechanisms for the treaty's implementation.

Under the 1968 Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty, signed by almost all nations, parties are required to "pursue negotiations in good faith" aimed at advancing nuclear disarmament.

That pact sought to prevent the spread of atomic arms beyond the five original weapons powers - the U.S., Russia, Britain, France and China.

"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.

Still, the treaty serves as a symbolic and legal marker against using nuclear weapons in worldwide warfare, Elayne Whyte Gomez, Costa Rica's ambassador to the United Nations and president of the conference that negotiated the ban told reporters Thursday. "Is there anyone who thinks that North Korea would ban nuclear weapons?"

No regional peace without Pakistan, US senator McCain
He highlighted that Pakistan remained committed to support efforts for durable peace and stability in Afghanistan. The prime minister reiterated his government's commitment to improve relations with Afghanistan and India.

France has already taken concrete, substantial nuclear disarmament measures, in particular by halving its nuclear arsenal, stopping nuclear tests, ratifying the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty and irreversibly closing its facilities which produce fissile material for nuclear weapons.

Ireland, Sweden and Switzerland voted in favor as did Iran, Iraq, Egypt, Kazakhstan and many African and Latin American countries.

The vote, however, was celebrated by arms control groups, who said the treaty was a first real step toward eliminating nuclear arms.

"We will use (the ban) to stop further nukes being made, used or deployed", she said.

"Today's vote shows that a majority of states consider a global prohibition on nuclear weapons to be the best option for protecting the world from their catastrophic effects".

North Korea's nuclear and ballistic missile tests, including its July 3 launch, have become a timely argument for proponents and opponents of the treaty to ban atomic weapons. Not only does the treaty insist that the dangers posed by nuclear weapons "concern the security of all humanity", but it also calls the long-overdue elimination of nuclear weapons "a global public good of the highest order, serving both national and collective security interests".