Nuclear Disarmament Treaty Adopted Without Nuclear States

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Nuclear Disarmament Treaty Adopted Without Nuclear States

Nuclear weapons now join biological and chemical weapons, land mines and cluster munitions that are now explicitly and completely banned under global law.

Meanwhile, though Moscow has not commented on the draft treaty, the Kremlin maintains a formidable nuclear arsenal to ensure the survival of the Russian state. Negotiations began in March and ended Friday.

Loud applause and cheers broke out in a United Nations 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.

Impatience is growing among many non-nuclear states over the slow pace of disarmament, along with worries that weapons of mass destruction will fall into the wrong hands.

India, along with the nuclear-armed countries of US, Russia, Britain, China, France, Pakistan, North Korea and Israel, skipped the negotiations, PTI reported.

The activists of the disarmament believe that the treaty of Friday stigmatisera more nuclear weapons and will have an impact on public opinion.

In a controversial move, the text bans the threat of use of nuclear weapons, in line with a call from many nations including Brazil and Iran.

The last such success was the 1996 adoption of the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty, which prohibits the testing of nuclear devices - though it, too, has yet to go into effect.

The 122 representatives to the United Nations voting in favor did not include any of the world's nine nuclear armed countries. "This is the beginning of the end of nuclear weapons".

The new treaty was negotiated remarkably quickly - just four weeks of meetings over the first six months of 2017. The US now has an estimated 7,000 nuclear warheads, second only to Russian Federation.

The Philippines is among 122 countries that voted in favor of the treaty to ban nuclear weapons. Their confidence in nuclear weapons incites proliferation. And while the new draft treaty would purport to legally ban nuclear weapons, it is largely symbolic. She emphasized that the prohibition mechanism needed to be clear, and include a mandate for countries that posses nuclear arms to destroy them within a definite period of time.

The decades-old NPT seeks to prevent the spread of atomic weapons but also puts the onus on nuclear states to reduce their stockpiles.

This 1968 treaty in particular makes the States responsible for the reduction of their inventories.

"Since this is a negotiation, no delegation can leave having gained everything they asked for from their national perspective", noted Ms. Whyte Gómez, while adding that she was confident that "the final draft has captured the aspirations of the overwhelming majority of those participating in the conference, including civil society, whose enthusiasm, knowledge and collective experience have been a key driver of this process".

"To ban nuclear weapons now would make us and our allies more vulnerable, and would strengthen bad actors like North Korea and Iran who would not abide by it", Nikki Haley, the USA ambassador to the United Nations, told reporters at the outset of negotiations for the treaty in March.

Matthew Bolton, Ph.D., is associate professor of political science at Pace University and director of its International Disarmament Institute.

Thus, while "global titans" such as Malta, Togo and Tonga might have voted to adopt this nuclear weapons ban, it will continue to remain a fantasy.

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