Treaty banning nuclear weapons takes effect
- 22 January 2021
The first-ever treaty to ban nuclear weapons entered into force on Friday, APA reports citing DW.
The international pact has been ratified by 51 states, though none are nuclear powers.
The UN Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons (TPNW) prohibits its signatories from producing, stockpiling, selling and using nuclear weapons. The International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons (ICAN), which was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 2017, has hailed it as a "milestone." Leo Hoffmann-Axthelm, ICAN's representative in Brussels, told DW that from now on there would be "much more pressure on nuclear powers to finally make good on their old promises to disarm."
Efforts toward nuclear disarmament have stagnated in recent years. Just a handful of powers possess the world's estimated 13,400 nuclear warheads. Some 90% are owned by the US and Russia, with the rest shared among China, France, Britain, Pakistan, India, North Korea and presumably Israel — an undeclared nuclear power. These states have invested a great deal into modernizing their nuclear arsenals to boost effectiveness. Indeed, they seem more interested in modernization than disarmament. However, many of the world's non-nuclear states are no longer willing to accept this situation. In July 2017, 122 states voted in favor of the prohibition treaty being adopted — 51 have since ratified it, which is why it can now enter into force.