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Over 120 nations adopt first treaty banning nuclear weapons

08 July 2017

NATO, the United States and all other nations possessing nuclear weapons have boycotted the effort. The Draft of the UN Treaty to ban nuclear weapons would commit signers to "never use nuclear weapons and never develop, manufacture, or otherwise acquire, possess or stockpile nuclear weapons or other nuclear devises".

"We feel emotional because we are responding to the hopes and dreams of the present and future generations", said Ambassador Elayne Whyte Gómez of Costa Rica, who serves as the President of the conference that negotiated the treaty in response to a mandate given by the UN General Assembly.

"The nuclear weapons states' boycott of the ban treaty negotiations", Carter said last month, "illustrates a denial of medical science", referring to "empirically known consequences of the use, testing, and development of these weapons on human lives".

In response to questions, Ms. Whyte Gómez stressed the importance of putting an worldwide legal norm in place as a first step towards achieving a nuclear-weapons-free world, explaining that when conditions later become ripe for those nuclear-armed States to join, an architecture by which to do so exists. Nikki Haley, the US Ambassador to the United Nations claimed that as a mother, a daughter and a wife she couldn't support the writing of this treaty, blithely ignoring the fact that as a women, she, and all those who share her gender, will be disproportionately affected by any nuclear detonation. 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. In 1970, 25 years later and 47 years ago, the United Nations finally had a treaty to pave the way for disarmament and to prevent proliferation to other countries (which failed on both counts).

This slowing of the disarmament movement began during Barack Obama's last term, coinciding with the collapse of relations between the USA and Russian Federation.

Whatever you want to point to as the reason-the much-condemned Russian adventurism in Ukraine, or maybe the 2012 passage of the Magnitsky Act sanctioning Russia for human rights abuses, a law that outraged Putin and inspired a vicious ban on American adoption of Russian children-communication between Russia and the United States had long ago dropped to nearly nil. The Netherlands, which hosts USA nuclear weapons, was the only exception and it voted against the treaty.

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.

"In the twenty-first century, we can no longer pretend that these doomsday devices are instruments of security".

Within hours of its adoption, the United States, Britain and France rejected the treaty and said they have no intention of joining it. It is time we disposed of these expensive white elephants.

Beatrice Fihn, executive director of the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons, said 15,000 nuclear weapons around the world have not deterred Pyongyang's nuclear ambitions and a new approach is needed, starting with prohibition as a first step.

Preaching temperance from a barstool never works.

Setsuko Thurlow, who was a 13-year-old student in Hiroshima when a US nuclear bomb destroyed the city, said survivors "have worked all our lives to make sure that no other human beings should ever again be subjected to such an atrocity".

Over 120 nations adopt first treaty banning nuclear weapons