51 countries to sign UN treaty outlawing nuclear weapons

2017-09-22 12:34
United Nations headquarters in Geneva. (Richard Juilliart, AFP)

United Nations headquarters in Geneva. (Richard Juilliart, AFP)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

United Nation - With the North Korean nuclear crisis looming large, 51 countries on Wednesday were to sign a new treaty outlawing nuclear weapons that has been fiercely opposed by the United States and other nuclear powers.

The treaty on the prohibition of nuclear weapons was adopted by 122 countries at the United Nations in July following negotiations led by Austria, Brazil, Mexico, South Africa and New Zealand.

None of the nine countries that possess nuclear weapons - the United States, Russia, Britain, China, France, India, Pakistan, North Korea and Israel - took part in the negotiations.

UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres formally opened a signing ceremony at the United Nations, hailing it as a milestone as the first multilateral disarmament treaty in more than two decades.

But Guterres acknowledged that much work was needed to rid the world of its stockpile of 15,000 atomic warheads.

"Today we rightfully celebrate a milestone. Now we must continue along the hard road towards the elimination of nuclear arsenals," said Guterres.

The treaty will enter into force when 50 countries have ratified it.

Brazilian President Michel Temer was the first to sign the treaty during the ceremony held on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly.

The signing ceremony came a day after President Donald Trump threatened to "totally destroy North Korea" if the United States is forced to defend itself or its allies.

READ: At UN, Trump threatens 'total destruction' of North Korea

North Korea has triggered global alarm over its rapidly-progressing drive to develop nuclear weapons, following its sixth and most powerful nuclear test and the firing of two intercontinental ballistic missiles.

Nuclear powers argue their arsenals serve as a deterrent against a nuclear attack and say they remain committed to the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT).

The United States, Britain and France have dismissed the treaty as being out of step with the realities of the global security and argue the North Korea crisis shows that nuclear deterrence is still needed.

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

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

Read more on:    united nations

Join the conversation!

24.com encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.
NEXT ON NEWS24X

Inside News24

 
/News
Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.




Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.