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Nuclear Ban Treaty Takes Effect, Sidestepped by Weapons States, Japan
Published in Saudi Press Agency on 22 - 01 - 2021

A U.N. treaty banning nuclear weapons entered into force today, on Friday with 50 signatories having completed their ratification processes by last October, a long-awaited development for atomic bombing survivors and anti-nuclear activists, Kyodo reported.
While participating countries and regions hope that the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons will provide a boost for the global nuclear disarmament movement, the launch of the historic international norm is marred by the absence of nuclear weapons states as well as Japan, the only country that has suffered the devastation of atomic bombings.
Although the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, which took effect in 1970, is a broader platform at the United Nations where over 190 countries and regions including nuclear weapons states discuss ways to promote nuclear disarmament, the new pact is the first prohibiting the development, testing, possession and use of nuclear weapons.
The symbolic message of the nuclear ban accord is significant as it was realized more than 75 years after the advent of nuclear weapons and with the world having long since witnessed their horrific human toll.
The 50 countries and regions include Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand and South Africa.
Still, the effectiveness of the accord appears in question as it will lack the legal authority to require nuclear powers to abolish their arsenals.
The five permanent members of the U.N. Security Council -- Britain, China, France, Russia and the United States, all of which are nuclear powers -- are opposed to the nuclear ban treaty.


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