Monday, July 10, 2017

Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons

The draft Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons has been agreed at the United Nations, and 122 nations voted positively in support (more detail here). The Treaty will open for signatures 20 Sept 2017 and will enter into force 90 days after the fiftieth nation deposits ratification or acceptance - so possibly operational by end 2017.

What's promised?

The Treaty prohibits nations to "Develop, test, produce, manufacture, otherwise acquire, possess or stockpile nuclear weapons or other nuclear explosive devices."

Nations must "declare whether there are any nuclear weapons or other nuclear explosive devices in its territory or in any place under its jurisdiction or control that are owned, possessed or controlled by another State."

The nuclear weapons states have criticized the Treaty, joined by satellite governments (such as Japan) that tacitly allow nuclear weapons of military allies to be based on their territory.

Remember that Nuclear Non-Proliferation has been based on a fundamental agreement -- that the nuclear states would cut-down and eventually eliminate their nuclear arsenals. In exchange, other states agreed not to seek nuclear weaponry. But little has been done to cut nuclear stockpiles. Nuclear-armed states have refused to disarm. Perhaps the new treaty will help draw attention to nuclear bullying and make our world safer.