No countries with nukes adopted the UN's "historic" nuke ban

European and US bishops call for elimination of nuclear weapons globally

European and US bishops call for elimination of nuclear weapons globally

More than 120 countries have approved the first-ever treaty banning nuclear weapons at a UN meeting boycotted by all nuclear-armed nations.

Netherlands, the only NATO member state to participate in the proceedings, voted against the treaty while Singapore abstained.

Whyte Gomez, Costa Rica's U.N. ambassador in Geneva, said 129 nations signed up to help draft the treaty, which represents two-thirds of the 193 member states.

The treaty explicitly says countries can not "develop, test, produce, manufacture, otherwise acquire, possess, or stockpile nuclear weapons or other nuclear explosive devices".

Not part of the treaty negotiations, however, were the world's nuclear powers, including the United States, France, the United Kingdom and Russian Federation - all permanent members of the U.N. Security Council - who argued that the treaty was unrealistic and that countries like North Korea would not cooperate.

Tragically, human error or miscalculation could lead to a humanitarian catastrophe", the Bishops said in a joint declaration, titled "Nuclear Disarmament: "Seeking Human Security", on Thursday (6 July).

The United States has joined a small group of global outliers on Friday after a historic United Nations treaty to ban nuclear weapons was adopted by a majority of the world's nations.

The final draft treaty requires all countries that ratify "never under any circumstances to develop, test, produce, manufacture, otherwise acquire, possess or stockpile nuclear weapons or other nuclear explosive devices".

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"It stops states with nuclear weapons from being able to hide behind the idea that they are not illegal". Four others known or suspected to possess nuclear weapons - Pakistan, India, Israel, and North Korea - also refused to partake.

The U.S., Britain and France along with other nuclear powers instead want to strengthen the almost half-century-old Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty, considered the cornerstone of global nonproliferation efforts.

She added that the hibakusha, survivors of nuclear bombs, have been the driving force in the creation of the nuclear weapons prohibition treaty.

Daryl Kimball, the executive director of the Washington-based Arms Control Association, applauded the treaty as a way to "delegitimize nuclear weapons and strengthen the legal and political norm against their use". Once 50 states have completed that process the treaty becomes global law.

"There are many more steps to come in order to secure a world without nuclear weapons, but today the world took a step in the right direction", she continued.

"The Secretary-General hopes that this new treaty will promote inclusive dialogue and renewed worldwide cooperation aimed at achieving the long overdue objective of nuclear disarmament", Stéphane Dujarric added.

She asked if anyone thought North Korea would give up its nuclear weapons, stressing that North Koreans would be "cheering" a nuclear ban treaty - and Americans and others would be at risk.

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