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NUKEWARS
122 countries adopt global treaty banning nuclear weapons
By Carole LANDRY
United Nations, United States (AFP) July 7, 2017


US, Britain, France say nuclear ban treaty 'disregards realities'
United Nations, United States (AFP) July 7, 2017 - The United States, Britain and France on Friday rejected a newly-adopted global treaty banning nuclear weapons, saying it "clearly disregards the realities" of international security such as the threat from North Korea.

In a joint statement, the three nuclear powers recalled that they had boycotted negotiations on the treaty and have no intention of joining it.

The treaty outlawing nuclear weapons was adopted by 122 countries at the United Nations on Friday despite the boycott by the nuclear powers and their allies.

"This initiative clearly disregards the realities of the international security environment," said the statement from the three ambassadors.

The Western powers said the treaty fails to address the security concerns of the nuclear states who maintain that their atomic stockpiles serve as a deterrent against a nuclear attack.

The treaty will create "even more divisions at a time when the world needs to remain united in the face of growing threats, including those from the DPRK's (Democratic People's Republic of Korea's) ongoing proliferation efforts," they said.

"This treaty offers no solution to the grave threat posed by North Korea's nuclear program, nor does it address other security challenges that make nuclear deterrence necessary," they added.

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 or the vote.

The United States, France and Britain said they remain committed to the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT), which seeks to prevent the spread of atomic weapons but also puts the onus on nuclear states to reduce their stockpiles.

The treaty providing for a total ban on developing, stockpiling or threatening to use nuclear weapons will be open for signatures as of September 20 and will enter into force when 50 countries have ratified it.

A global treaty banning nuclear weapons was adopted at the United Nations on Friday despite opposition from nuclear powers Britain, France and the United States which said it disregards the reality of dealing with international security threats such as North Korea.

The treaty was adopted by a vote of 122 in favor with one country -- NATO member The Netherlands -- voting against, while Singapore abstained.

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 or the vote.

Even Japan -- the only country to have suffered atomic attacks, in 1945 -- boycotted the talks as did most NATO countries.

Loud applause and cheers broke out in a UN conference hall following the vote that capped three weeks of negotiations on the text providing for a total ban on developing, stockpiling or threatening to use nuclear weapons.

Within hours of its adoption, the United States, Britain and France rejected the treaty and said they have no intention of joining it.

"This initiative clearly disregards the realities of the international security environment," said the UN ambassadors from the three countries.

"This treaty offers no solution to the grave threat posed by North Korea's nuclear program, nor does it address other security challenges that make nuclear deterrence necessary," they said in a joint statement.

North Korea marked a worrying milestone in its drive to develop nuclear weapons when it tested its first intercontinental ballistic missile this week.

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

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.

- Delegitimizing nuclear weapons -

Led by Austria, Brazil, Mexico, South Africa and New Zealand, 141 countries joined in drafting the treaty that they hope will increase pressure on nuclear states to take disarmament more seriously.

Ireland, Sweden and Switzerland voted in favor as did Iran, Iraq, Egypt, Kazakhstan and many African and Latin American countries.

"We have managed to sow the first seeds of a world free of nuclear weapons," said Costa Rica's ambassador, Elayne Whyte Gomez, the president of the UN conference that negotiated the treaty.

The International Committee of the Red Cross hailed it as a "historic step towards delegitimizing" nuclear weapons and declared the adoption "an important victory for our shared humanity."

Welcoming "an important step" towards a nuclear-free world, UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said the treaty reflects growing "awareness of the catastrophic humanitarian consequences" of a nuclear war.

Disarmament campaigners say the treaty will increase the stigma associated with nuclear weapons and have an impact on public opinion.

"The key thing is that it changes the legal landscape," said Richard Moyes, director of the British-based organization Article 36.

"It stops states with nuclear weapons from being able to hide behind the idea that they are not illegal."

"It is beyond question that nuclear weapons violate the laws of war and pose a clear danger to global security," said Beatrice Fihn, director of the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons.

The treaty will be open for signatures as of September 20 and will enter into force when 50 countries have ratified it.

NUKEWARS
UN set to adopt treaty outlawing nuclear weapons
United Nations, United States (AFP) July 7, 2017
A global treaty banning nuclear weapons is set to be adopted at the United Nations on Friday despite opposition from the United States, Britain, France and other nuclear powers that boycotted negotiations. Supporters describe the treaty as a historic achievement but the nuclear-armed states have dismissed the ban as unrealistic, arguing it will have no impact on reducing the global stockpile ... read more

Related Links
Learn about nuclear weapons doctrine and defense at SpaceWar.com
Learn about missile defense at SpaceWar.com
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Learn about the Superpowers of the 21st Century at SpaceWar.com


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