Treaty banning nuclear weapons opens for signature at UN

Treaty banning nuclear weapons opens for signature at UN

Noting that nuclear-armed states possess an estimated 15,000 nuclear weapons, Guterres expressed hope that the treaty would re-invigorate disarmament efforts.

But the nuclear powers want no part of it.

Scores of police were soon on the scene but did not appear to be intent on brining the protest to a quick end.

The Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons, or the Nuclear Weapon Ban Treaty, is the first legally binding worldwide agreement to comprehensively prohibit nuclear weapons, with the goal of leading towards their total elimination.

Its treaty office said 51 countries were expected to sign on the opening day.

The Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons was adopted on July 7 and established a comprehensive set of prohibitions on participating in any nuclear weapon activities.

"Now we must continue along the hard road towards the elimination of nuclear arsenals", Guterres told representatives from the 42 countries that, in signing, pledged never to acquire, develop, test, use or threaten to use such weapons.

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"At a time when the world needs to remain united in the face of growing threats, in particular the grave threat posed by North Korea's nuclear programme, the treaty fails to take into account these urgent security challenges", the 29-nation alliance said.

He added that countries needed to trust each other when they say that they have destroyed all their nuclear weapons.

Speaking on how to get the nearly 60 countries who boycotted the adoption of the treaty convinced to join the treaty, including the problems associated with the enforcement, Onyeama said it was a question of exposed strategy and trust.

"No country wants to be the first to give up".

Many world leaders have dedicated a portion of their speeches to the General Assembly this week to addressing the North Korean nuclear threat.

"So, it means that those countries that do, have to be willing to open themselves up to complete verification by worldwide body".

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