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Monday, 17 July 2017 07:26

The U.N. just passed a treaty outlawing nuclear weapons. That actually matters.

Written by  Nina Tannenwald

 

On July 7, the United Nations adopted the first treaty imposing a total ban on nuclear weapons. This Nuclear Prohibition Treaty covers all aspects of nuclear weapons, including their use and threat of use, testing, development, possession, sharing and stationing in a different country.

It provides a pathway for countries with nuclear weapons to join and destroy their nuclear arsenals. One hundred twenty-two nations — all non-nuclear — voted to adopt the treaty. Only the Netherlands voted against doing so, and Singapore abstained.

But the nine nuclear-armed countries — Britain, China, France, India, Israel, North Korea, Pakistan, Russia and the United States — boycotted the negotiations. So did all NATO members (except the Netherlands) as well as Japan and South Korea, all of which are protected by U.S. nuclear weapons. Although there was jubilation in the negotiating hall after the successful vote, the United States, Britain and France announced in a joint statement, saying, “We do not intend to sign, ratify or ever become party to it. … clearly disregards the realities of the international security environment,” including the growing threat of North Korea’s nuclear and missile programs.

[The U.S. wants to stop North Korean missiles before they launch. That may not be a great idea.

Read more at WashingtonPost

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