Treaty banning nuclear weapons approved at UN


Ajit Kumar AJIT KUMARWISDOM IAS, New Delhi.




More than 70 years after the world witnessed the devastating power of nuclear weapons, a global treaty has been approved to ban the bombs, a move that supporters hope will lead to the eventual elimination of all nuclear arms.

The treaty was endorsed by 122 countries at the United Nations headquarters in New York on July 8, 2017 after months of talks in the face of strong opposition from nuclear-armed states and their allies. Only the Netherlands, which took part in the discussion, despite having US nuclear weapons on its territory, voted against the treaty.

India and other nuclear-armed nations —— the United States, Russia, Britain, China, France, Pakistan, North Korea and Israel had not participated in the negotiations. India had abstained from voting on that resolution. The Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK) did not join the talks either
Under the new treaty, signatory states must agree not to develop, test, manufacture or possess nuclear weapons, or threaten to use them, or allow any nuclear arms to be stationed on their territory.

Importance

The Nuclear Weapons Ban is an initiative to prohibit the use, possession, development, testing, deployment and transfer of nuclear weapons under international law. Unlike prior efforts at comprehensive nuclear disarmament, notably the proposed Nuclear Weapons Convention, a treaty banning nuclear weapons would not include dismantlement and disarmament verification procedures. As such, its proponents argue, the negotiation of a ban treaty does not require the participation of the nuclear weapons possessors.

Advocates of a ban treaty believe that nuclear weapons are incompatible with international law. First, as a consequence of their destructive power and radioactive fallout, nuclear weapons inherently violate several articles of the Geneva Conventions meant to protect the victims of international conflicts. Second, many non-nuclear weapons states and disarmament advocates believe that states possessing nuclear weapons have been unwilling to pursue good-faith negotiations mandated by the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT).

Proponents see the nuclear weapons ban treaty as a measure to close this perceived “legal gap” in international law, and to encourage an international norm against nuclear weapons. Opponents characterize the initiative as unrealistic political grandstanding which could weaken the NPT.

Treaty on The Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons

Article 1 Prohibitions
1. Each State Party undertakes never under any circumstances to:
(a) Develop, test, produce, manufacture, otherwise acquire, possess or stockpile nuclear weapons or other nuclear explosive devices;
(b) Transfer to any recipient whatsoever nuclear weapons or other nuclear explosive devices or control over such weapons or explosive devices directly or indirectly;
(c) Receive the transfer of or control over nuclear weapons or other nuclear explosive devices directly or indirectly;
(d) Use or threaten to use nuclear weapons or other nuclear explosive devices;
(e) Assist, encourage or induce, in any way, anyone to engage in any activity prohibited to a State Party under this Treaty;
(f) Seek or receive any assistance, in any way, from anyone to engage in any activity prohibited to a State Party under this Treaty;
(g) Allow any stationing, installation or deployment of any nuclear weapons or other nuclear explosive devices in its territory or at any place under its jurisdiction or control.



Saturday, 08th Jul 2017, 06:27:20 PM

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