United Nations member countries approve global nuclear treaty

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More than 120 United Nations member states on Thursday adopted a treaty to categorically prohibit nuclear weapons although the world's nuclear powers boycotted the entire process.

"It's been seven decades since the world knew the power of destruction of nuclear weapons and since day one there was a call to prohibit nuclear weapons", Elayne Whyte Gómez, president of the United Nations conference, told The Guardian.

"By delegitimizing nuclear weapons and raising awareness of the terrifying dangers that come from continued reliance on them, the nuclear ban makes a valuable contribution to nonproliferation and disarmament efforts", Meredith Horowski, the global campaign director for the anti-nuclear weapons group Global Zero, said in a statement.

"The theory only works if you are ready to use nuclear weapons, otherwise the other side will call your bluff", she said.

A Kemnay man has returned from taking part in the historic negotiations to prohibit nuclear weapons at the United Nations in NY.

Within hours of its adoption, the United States, Britain and France rejected the treaty and said they have no intention of joining it.

The treaty is based in humanitarian law and prohibits the development, testing, production, possession, or stockpiling of nuclear weapons or other nuclear explosive devices, the transfer of such weapons, and also bans not only their use but the threat of their use. It provides a solid foundation for resisting the proliferation of nuclear weapons and forges a path towards their eventual elimination.

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140 countries are working together to produce a treaty that will make nuclear weapons illegal under global law.

Loud applause and cheers broke out in a United Nations conference hall following the vote that capped three weeks of negotiations on the text providing for a total ban on developing, stockpiling or threatening to use nuclear weapons.

That pact sought to prevent the spread of atomic arms beyond the five original weapons powers - the U.S., Russia, Britain, France and China.

"The treaty represents a major step towards eliminating the catastrophic threat that nuclear weapons pose to humanity and life on earth".

Besides the United States and Russian Federation, which are believed to have the largest nuclear arsenals, Britain, China, France, India, Pakistan, Israel and North Korea all have nuclear bombs.

As a result, the two countries who maintain about 90 percent of the world's warheads have stopped talking about nuclear reduction, and the rest of the world-which was promised disarmament-has noticed, leading to protest moves like this new treaty ban. Over time this clear legal standard can reframe a debate still dominated by obsolete ideas of deterrence and "mutually assured destruction" that obscure the real world moral consequences of nuclear weapons use.

She asked if anyone thought North Korea would give up its nuclear weapons, stressing that North Koreans would be "cheering" a nuclear ban treaty - and Americans and others would be at risk.