50 nations sign UN nuclear ban treaty opposed by big powers

Fifty countries on Wednesday signed a treaty to ban nuclear weapons, a pact that the world’s nuclear powers spurned but supporters hailed as a historic agreement nonetheless.

“You are the states that are showing moral leadership in a world that desperately needs such moral leadership today,” Beatrice Fihn, executive director of the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons, said as a signing ceremony began.

Before the day was out, 50 states as different as Indonesia and Ireland had put their names to the treaty; others can sign later if they like. Guyana, Thailand and the Vatican also have already ratified the treaty, which needs 50 ratifications to take effect among the nations that back it.

They would be barred from developing, testing, producing, manufacturing, otherwise acquiring, possessing or stockpiling nuclear weapons “under any circumstances.”

More than 120 countries approved the new nuclear weapons ban treaty in July over opposition from nuclear—armed countries and their allies, who boycotted negotiations.

The U.S., Britain and France said the prohibition wouldn’t work and would end up disarming their nations while emboldening “bad actors,” in U.S. Ambassador Nikki Haley’s words.

(Image Source: AP)

Dibyaudh Das for TheNewsmakers