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Thursday
Jul062017

Global nuclear weapons ban negotiations wrapping up at UN

In the midst of an ominous ICBM missile launch by North Korea, negotiations on a nuclear weapons prohibition treaty are set to conclude this Friday at the UN in New York. They follow a UN resolution adopted in October 2016 and approved by 123 nations, although no nuclear weapons state voted in favor. We asked Nuclear-Free Future Award winner, Susi Snyder, of Pax, Netherlands, to explain why a ban matters and how it will work. She wrote:  "A majority of the countries in the world are coming together to create a new unambiguous international law saying that making, having, getting, or using nuclear weapons, or helping anyone to do those things, is illegal. Even without the participation of nuclear-armed states, the ban treaty will have a powerful impact on the decisions of many countries. The ban treaty will delegitimize the possession of these weapons, discourage their spread, and reinforce norms against nuclear weapons. Ban opponents have fought it vigorously because they know it will have real impact. However, states that are not signatories to the other weapons prohibitions treaties often act within their rules. For example, the U.S. follows the landmines ban even though it hasn't signed it." More