United Nations set to adopt treaty prohibiting nuclear weapons

Jul 7, 2017 09:17 IST

The United Nations on 6 July 2017 announced that the Member States will adopt a legally-binding treaty prohibiting nuclear weapons.

The treaty will be adopted on 7 July 2017. It will be the first multilateral nuclear disarmament treaty to be concluded in more than 20 years.

The treaty is described as a historic achievement. However, the nuclear-armed states have dismissed the ban as unrealistic, arguing it will have no impact on reducing the global stockpile of 15000 nuclear weapons.

United Nations set to adopt treaty prohibiting nuclear weapons

Key highlights

As per the draft text, the treaty covers the full range of nuclear-weapons-related activities, prohibiting undertaking by any State party to develop, test, produce, manufacture, acquire, possess or stockpile nuclear weapons or other nuclear explosive devices.

The prohibitions also include any undertaking to use or threaten to use nuclear weapons or other nuclear explosive devices.

The treaty will be open for signature to all States at the United Nations Headquarters in New York on 19 September 2017.

The treaty will enter into force 90 days after the 50th instrument of ratification, acceptance, approval or accession has been deposited.

The draft treaty also includes various pathways for nuclear-armed States to join. For instance, a State must first eliminate its nuclear weapons programme prior to joining. That State would then need to cooperate with the UN International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) in verifying the correctness and completeness of its nuclear inventory.


Led by Austria, Brazil, Mexico, South Africa and New Zealand, 141 countries have taken part in three weeks of negotiations on the treaty.

UN hopes that it will increase pressure on nuclear states to take disarmament more seriously.

However, none of the nine countries that possess nuclear weapons, the United States, Russia, Britain, China, France, India, Pakistan, North Korea and Israel, took part in the negotiations.

Source: UN

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