United Nations conference adopts treaty banning nuclear weapons


Some critics of the treaty, including the United States, publicly rejected the entire effort, calling it misguided and reckless, particularly when North Korea is threatening a nuclear-tipped missile strike on American soil.

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

More than 120 countries have approved the first-ever treaty banning nuclear weapons at a UN meeting boycotted by all nuclear-armed nations. Unfortunately, it won't involve any actual disarmament.

She told a news conference at UN Headquarters that with the treaty the world is "one step closer" to a total elimination of nuclear weapons. As the first nation to develop nuclear weapons, and the only one ever to actually use them, the United States has a particularly important role to play in these discussions, but how can the US have an impact on them if it does not even participate?

The final text is thus largely symbolic, though it does add at least a little momentum to the global disarmament movement.

Its 20 articles enumerates the party states' liabilities, procedures of the weapons stockpile declaration and their elimination controlled by the global community and also sets out mechanisms for the treaty's implementation. The U.S. cannot lead the push for nuclear non-proliferation on the Korean peninsula while it spends billions to maintain one of the world's two biggest nuclear arsenals.

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 International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons (ICAN) said Thursday it was "overwhelmingly positive about the draft treaty", adding: "We are on the cusp of a truly historic moment-when the international community declares, unambiguously, for the first time, that nuclear weapons are not only immoral, but also illegal".

"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.

It is a text unsuited to the worldwide security context, characterized by growing tensions and the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction, as shown, inter alia, by the North Korea nuclear threat.

Iran, which signed an agreement with six major powers in 2015 to rein in its nuclear program, was among the countries that voted for the treaty.

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.

"We will use (the ban) to stop further nukes being made, used or deployed", she said. The Bishops also said that spending resources on building nuclear weapons was a wastage of money, rather countries should utilise the budgets on sustainable development projects. "The indiscriminate and disproportionate nature of nuclear weapons, compel the world to move beyond nuclear deterrence", the declaration reads.