The Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons, or the Nuclear Weapon Ban Treaty, is the first legally binding global agreement to comprehensively prohibit nuclear weapons, with the goal of leading towards their total elimination.
That makes it hard for Tokyo to sign the treaty especially as it steps up its military role amid North Korea's missile and nuclear threats.
A number of signatories to the UN Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons have gathered in NY to discuss the progress of the agreement - although there's little to suggest their efforts will be successful.
He urged countries that signed the treaty, Civil Society Organisations and intergovernmental organisations to convince others to accede to the treaty.
Their ultimate objective: to convince all the world's nations to sign and comply with the treaty, eliminating the nuclear-weapon threat completely.
However, the countries with nuclear weapons and their allies are not involved in the negotiations. "We can not allow these doomsday weapons to endanger our world and our children's future". "But we need to do more to get the whole way there".
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"Recent steps in the nuclear disarmament field are encouraging", said Shannon Kile, head of SIPRI's Nuclear Weapons Project. "It has the potential to prevent a nuclear arms race and an escalation of regional and bilateral tensions", he added.
"Those who still hold nuclear arsenals, we call upon them to join this date with history", Costa Rican President Luis Guillermo Solis said as he prepared to sign.
Also speaking was Peter Maurer, president of the International Committee of the Red Cross, who said the organization received a cable from Hiroshima on August 30, 1945 describing a "city wiped out", a great number of dead and over 100,000 wounded. Once 50 such instruments have been deposited, the treaty will enter into legal force.
The treaty, which would ban the developing, stocking and threat of use of nuclear weapons, will apply only to signatory States.
The new agreement is partly rooted in the disappointment among non-nuclear-armed nations that the Nonproliferation Treaty's disarmament aspirations have not worked.
Nuclear weapons have defied attempts to contain their spread since the United States dropped two atomic bombs on Japan in 1945, ending World War II.