United Nations set to ban all nuclear weapons

European and US bishops call for elimination of nuclear weapons globally

"This is something historic for humanity", said Ambassador Elayne Whyte Gómez of Costa Rica, president of the UN Conference that negotiated the treaty.

India had explained its abstention on the resolution saying that it was "not convinced" that the proposed conference could address the worldwide community's expectation for a comprehensive instrument that would ban nuclear weapons.

The United States, along with Britain and France, say they will never become party to a global treaty that was endorsed by 122 countries at the United Nations headquarters in NY.

Francis is joined by numerous other Catholic leaders including Pope Benedict XVI, Pope John Paul II, Pope John XXIII and Pope Paul VI who all opposed the development of nuclear weapons.

He's urging the Turnbull government to sign the treaty when it opens in September, insisting Australia is on the wrong side of history.

The Permanent Representatives of the US, UK and France issued a joint statement saying that they "have not taken part in the negotiation of the treaty and do not intend to sign, ratify or ever become party to it.This initiative clearly disregards the realities of the worldwide security environment". On Tuesday, North Korea test-fired an intercontinental ballistic missile for the first time, in violation of United Nations resolutions prohibiting it from developing nuclear and ballistic missile technology.

That NPT limited nuclear weapons to the five nations that constituted the original nuclear powers: the U.S., Russia, Britain, France and China. "Importantly, other states possessing nuclear weapons and nearly all other states relying on nuclear deterrence have also not taken part in the negotiations".

"This initiative clearly disregards the realities of the global security environment", the statement says.

"Today's vote shows that a majority of states consider a global prohibition on nuclear weapons to be the best option for protecting the world from their catastrophic effects".

The treaty addresses this concept of deterrence, as a major provision prohibits the threat of using nuclear weapons.

Iran was among the numerous countries that backed the treaty.

Legally, with the adoption of this treaty, there have been so far worldwide treaties banning all three types of weapons of mass destruction, namely nuclear weapons, chemical weapons, and biological weapons, Nga said. According to her, prohibition of nuclear arms is the first step in eradicating them.

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

US Ambassador Nikki Haley said March 27 when talks began on the nuclear weapons ban treaty that "there is nothing I want more for my family than a world with no nuclear weapons, but we have to be realistic". "This is taking the first step towards elimination".

"For decades USA policy has been based on deterrence, on the idea that nuclear weapons are so bad that no one would ever use them".

But the nuclear triumvirate of the United States, Britain and France made clear after the vote that they have no interest in the pact.



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