The United Nations has announced that 50 countries have ratified a UN treaty to ban nuclear weapons triggering its entry into force in 90 days, a move hailed by anti-nuclear activists but strongly objected by america and the other major nuclear powers.
As of Friday, the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons, referred to as the TPNW, had 49 signatories, and UN officials said the 50th ratification from Honduras had been received.
“This moment has been 75 years coming since the horrific attacks on Hiroshima and Nagasaki, and the founding of the UN which made nuclear disarmament a cornerstone,” said Beatrice Fihn, executive director of the International Crusade to Abolish Nuclear Weapons, the 2017 Nobel Peace Prize-winning coalition whose work helped spearhead the nuclear ban treaty. “The 50 countries that ratify this Treaty are showing true leadership in setting a new international norm that nuclear weapons aren’t just immoral but unlawful.”
“The United Nations was once formed to raise peace with a goal of the abolition of nuclear weapons,” Fihn said.
“This treaty is the UN at its best — working closely with civil society to cause democracy to disarmament.”
The 50th ratification came on the 75th anniversary of the ratification of the UN Constitution, which officially established the United Nations and is celebrated as UN Day. UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres commended the 50 states and saluted “the instrumental work” of civil society in facilitating negotiations.
America had written to treaty signatories saying the Trump administration believes they made “a strategic error” and urging them to rescind their ratification. America letter, obtained by The Associated Press, said the five original nuclear powers – america, Russia, China, Britain and France – and The usa’s NATO allies “stand unified in our opposition to the potential repercussions” of the treaty.
It says the treaty “turns back the clock on verification and disarmament and is dangerous” to the half-century-old Nuclear Non-proliferation Treaty, thought to be the cornerstone of global non-proliferation efforts.
“The TPNW is and will remain divisive in the international community and risk further entrenching divisions in existing non-proliferation and disarmament fora that offer the only realistic prospect for consensus-based progress,” the letter said.
“It would be unlucky whether the TPNW were allowed to derail our ability to work together to address urgent proliferation.”