UN: 122 countries adopted Non-Proliferation Treaty except for nuclear-armed states

08/07/2017

A global treaty banning nuclear weapons was adopted at the United Nations on Friday despite opposition from nuclear powers Britain, France and the United States which said it disregards the reality of dealing with international security threats such as North Korea.
The treaty was adopted by a vote of 122 in favor with one country — NATO member The Netherlands — voting against, while Singapore abstained.
None of the nine countries that possess nuclear weapons — the United States, Russia, Britain, China, France, India, Pakistan, North Korea and Israel — took part in the negotiations or the vote.
Even Japan — the only country to have suffered atomic attacks, in 1945 — boycotted the talks as did most NATO countries.
Loud applause and cheers broke out in a UN conference hall following the vote that capped three weeks of negotiations on the text providing for a total ban on developing, stockpiling or threatening to use nuclear weapons.
The decades-old NPT seeks to prevent the spread of atomic weapons but also puts the onus on nuclear states to reduce their stockpiles.
Impatience however is growing among many non-nuclear states over the slow pace of disarmament as are worries that weapons of mass destruction will fall into the wrong hands.
Delegitimizing nuclear weapons
Led by Austria, Brazil, Mexico, South Africa and New Zealand, 141 countries joined in drafting the treaty that they hope will increase pressure on nuclear states to take disarmament more seriously.
Ireland, Sweden and Switzerland voted in favor as did Iran, Iraq, Egypt, Kazakhstan and many African and Latin American countries.
“We have managed to sow the first seeds of a world free of nuclear weapons,” said Costa Rica’s ambassador, Elayne Whyte Gomez, the president of the UN conference that negotiated the treaty.
The International Committee of the Red Cross hailed it as a “historic step towards delegitimizing” nuclear weapons and declared the adoption “an important victory for our shared humanity.”
Welcoming “an important step” towards a nuclear-free world, UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said the treaty reflects growing “awareness of the catastrophic humanitarian consequences” of a nuclear war.
Disarmament campaigners say the treaty will increase the stigma associated with nuclear weapons and have an impact on public opinion.
“The key thing is that it changes the legal landscape,” said Richard Moyes, director of the British-based organization Article 36.
“It stops states with nuclear weapons from being able to hide behind the idea that they are not illegal.”
“It is beyond question that nuclear weapons violate the laws of war and pose a clear danger to global security,” said Beatrice Fihn, director of the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons.
The treaty will be open for signatures as of September 20 and will enter into force when 50 countries have ratified it.
Except for America, Russia, China and other nuclear-armed nations
“These states are sending a message. They are expressing their profound frustration that the U.S., Russia, China and other nuclear-armed states have not fulfilled previous political and legal commitments," said Daryl Kimball, executive director of the Arms Control Association, a Washington-based advocacy group, who attended the session.
He noted those countries have failed to live up to the terms of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty of 1970, in which they pledged, among other things, to take steps toward complete disarmament. "It's a reminder that the U.S. and Russia are possessors of the world’s largest arsenals,” Kimball said. “Are they going to lead or are they going to engage in a second Cold War?”
President Donald Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin, who met Friday at the G-20 Summit in Germany, control about 3,000 nuclear weapons between them. They “hold the state of the world in their hands,” Kimball said.
But the nuclear triumvirate of the United States, Britain and France made clear after the vote that they have no interest in the pact.
In a joint statement, their governments said they do not consider the ban legally binding — or a new “development of customary international law" — and that the treaty's entire premise “disregards the realities of the international security environment.”
“We do not intend to sign, ratify or ever become party to it. Therefore, there will be no change in the legal obligations on our countries with respect to nuclear weapons,” their statement said.
Nonetheless, the treaty — which prohibits the possession and use of nuclear weapons — sends an important signal to nuclear powers that the weapons are not supported by the majority of the world’s nations, advocates say./.


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All comments [ 12 ]


John Smith 9/7/17 21:20

The Non-Proliferation Treaty embodies the commitment of the vast majority of the world's states to prevent the spread of nuclear weapons into the possession of additional countries.

Gentle Moon 9/7/17 21:21

The goal of the NPT is important because every additional state that possesses nuclear weapons represents an additional set of possibilities for the use of nuclear weapons in conflict ( bringing immense destruction and risk of escalation ), as well as additional possibilities and temptations for the acquisition of nuclear weapons by still further states and by terrorists.

LawrenceSamuels 9/7/17 21:22

The existence and strength of the NPT itself are important because the goal of preventing proliferation cannot be attained by one or a few states acting alone.

Jane smartnic 9/7/17 21:23

Any government concerned about the dangers from the use of nuclear weapons by either states or terrorists, as all governments ought to be, should be doing everything in its power to strengthen the NPT and nothing to weaken it.

yobro yobro 9/7/17 21:25

Despite cases of nuclear smuggling and continuing interest of terrorist groups in acquiring nuclear weapons, no thefts of enough fissile material to build a bomb are believed to have taken place.

Love Peace 9/7/17 21:26

The success of the non-proliferation regime to date could understandably give rise to speculation that we have seen the end of nuclear proliferation–that the number of nuclear-armed states will remain capped at single digits.

MaskOf Zero 9/7/17 21:26

But recent international developments suggest that such an optimistic assessment may be premature and that continued success cannot be taken for granted.

Only Solidar 9/7/17 21:27

The Trump administration inherits a global nuclear non-proliferation regime that has been more effective and durable than many observers expected, but the regime may now be coming under stress.

Pack Cassiopian 9/7/17 21:28

In close coordination with its regional partners, the United States should take a more assertive approach to countering destabilizing Iranian behavior.

Deck Hero14 9/7/17 21:29

While national and multilateral export controls have played a major role in impeding transfers of proliferation-sensitive items, the performance of many national control systems remains uneven, with shortfalls both in technical capacity and political will.

This treaty adoption proves that power nations do not care about general interests of the globe, they just care about themselves!

John Smith 10/7/17 19:33

Do not hope those countries like America, France, China... to do something better for the humankind like this agreement.

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