Treaty banning nuclear weapons moves closer to becoming international law

By agency reporter
September 28, 2018

In what is being described as "a lightning leap forward to a typically snail-paced process", on 26 September 2018 at the United Nations, four states simultaneously ratified the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons (TPNW). This brings the total number of ratifications to 19.

A further seven nations signed the Treaty at the UN signing ceremony, an essential step on the path towards their own ratifications. 

The addition of the new signatures and ratifications means the nuclear ban treaty is setting a record pace for the speed with which it is moving towards becoming law when compared to other treaties on weapons of mass destruction. These include conventions on chemical and biological weapons, and nuclear testing and proliferation.

The mass signing ceremony is being coordinated by the current Nobel Peace Prize Laureate, the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons (ICAN), along with a cross-regional group of governments.

“The global consensus is a resounding rejection of nuclear weapons: 122 nations voting to adopt, 67 states signing and 19 ratifying the Treaty that bans nuclear weapons – with more to follow”, said Tim Wright, ICAN’s Treaty Coordinator.  

“These inhumane weapons threaten to slaughter millions of innocent civilians. They are abhorrent and out of step with international opinion.”

Once 50 states ratify the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons, it will enter into force and become international law. With these new ratifications and signatories, the Treaty is nearly 40 per cent of the way there, 12 months after being opened for signature. 

The states which ratified the Treaty this week are:
San Marino

The states which signed the Treaty this week are:
Antigua and Barbuda

* Read the full text of the Treaty here

* International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons


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