Holy See ratifies treaty on prohibition of nuclear arms

Ruling Party Urges Peaceful Resolution of N. Korean Nuclear Issue

Ruling Party Urges Peaceful Resolution of N. Korean Nuclear Issue

It was the first legally binding worldwide agreement to comprehensively disallow nuclear weapons with the goal of leading towards their total elimination, but none of the 9 countries believed to have such weapons - United States, Russia, Britain, China, France, India, Pakistan, North Korea and Israel - took part.

By now, there are an additional four "de facto" nuclear powers, namely India, Pakistan, Israel, and North Korea, which also boycotted the treaty.

(There are 193 sovereign states in the UN.) The treaty also prohibited nations from transferring nuclear weapons to one another.

The Treaty will enter into force 90 days after it has been ratified by at least 50 countries. The United States, the United Kingdom and France issued a joint press statement declaring they "have not taken part in the negotiation of the treaty ... and do not intend to sign, ratify or ever become party to it".

As the signature event began, UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres noted that "we can not allow these doomsday weapons to endanger our world and our children's future".

"Although we share the same feelings about nuclear abolition, (the treaty) differs from Japan's approach, so we will not be signing it", Foreign Minister Taro Kono told reporters in NY.

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The adoption of the treaty on July 7, when 122 countries voted in favor of banning atomic weapons for the first time after decades of prodding by atomic bomb victims - known as hibakusha in Japanese - and civil society. During the August 9 memorial service in Nagasaki, the city's outspoken Mayor Tomihisa Taue criticized Abe's government for not joining the treaty, accusing it of making empty promises about achieving a nuclear-free world.

Given the vote margin, the treaty will nearly certainly attain the 50 signatures needed to come into effect. So, what has obtained since the Second World War, is a philosophy of mutually-assured destruction, letting the other side know that if they attack you with nuclear weapons, that the result will be 'everybody will go'. "It has the potential to prevent a nuclear arms race and an escalation of regional and bilateral tensions", he added.

The Vatican, he said, believes "a nuclear test ban, nuclear nonproliferation and nuclear disarmament are closely linked and must be achieved as quickly as possible under effective worldwide control".

The President of the General Assembly said "It will raise awareness about the risks of nuclear weapons".

The Philippine Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) said that the Philippines "is among 121 United Nations member-states that adopted the treaty". If they follow through by ratifying it, the treaty will take effect.

However, nuclear-armed States and most of their allies stayed out of the negotiations. Nuclear powers are also the only United Nations members with permanent Security Council veto power.

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