The United Nations First Committee has voted overwhelmingly in support of the Treaty on the prohibition of Nuclear Weapons during a recent meeting.
119 states voted in favour of a resolution which welcomed the Treaty, commended those states who have already signed and ratified it and called on states that “have not yet done so to sign, ratify, accept, approve or accede to the Treaty at the earliest possible date.”
Those voting against the motion included eight of the nine nuclear-armed states, with North Korea abstaining. NATO Member States and others covered under the so-called ‘nuclear umbrella’ agreements also voted against. Other countries which have previously supported the Treaty did not record a vote, this is usually because small nations are not always able to have a representative present at the UN.
The Treaty is a historic agreement by the United Nations to ban nuclear weapons in the same way that biological, chemical and cluster munitions have previously been banned. The driving force behind the Treaty was the humanitarian consequences of nuclear weapons, highlighted over many years. The International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons (ICAN), of which Christian CND is a partner, was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for their campaigning in 2017.
To date the nuclear-armed states, including the UK, have refused to engage with the Treaty, choosing to continue to rely on their nuclear weapons and in most cases undertaking modernisation programmes. The UK plan to replace the current Trident system will cost at least £205 billion.