France 24

Treaty banning nuclear weapons will soon enter into force

The international treaty banning nuclear weapons has been ratified by a 50th country, the UN announced on Saturday, allowing this text to enter into force in three months. However, the main nuclear powers have not signed it. The promoters of the treaty consider the progress “historic”. The international treaty banning nuclear weapons has been ratified by Honduras, a 50th country, the UN announced on Saturday (October 24). 50 is the number of signatures from which the text can come into force. Although the treaty has not been signed by the main holders of atomic weapons, pro-abolition activists hope that the text will have an impact. more than symbolic significance. UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres celebrated the event. It is “the culmination of a global movement to call attention to the catastrophic humanitarian consequences of any use of nuclear weapons,” according to a statement from its spokesperson. “This represents an important commitment towards the total elimination of nuclear weapons. nuclear weapons, which remains the highest priority of the United Nations in the field of disarmament “, the statement added.” A victory for humanity “Non-governmental organizations have also welcomed the event, in particular the International Campaign for the Abolition nuclear weapons (ICAN). This NGO, which won the Nobel Peace Prize in 2017 for its role in the elaboration of the treaty, hailed a “historic” progress. “Today, it is a victory for humanity and the promise of a a safer future, “said Peter Maurer, president of the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) in a statement. The Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons prohibits the use, development, production, testing, parking, storage and threat of use of such weapons. It was approved by the United Nations General Assembly in July 2017 with the support of 122 countries. And it has now been signed by 84 countries, among those that have recently ratified it are Nigeria, Malaysia, Ireland, Malta, Tuvalu. After the 50th ratification, that of Honduras, the treaty is due to enter into force on January 22, 2021, announced the UN. But the main countries possessing nuclear weapons, including the United States, Great Britain, France, China and Russia have not signed it; pro-abolition activists hope its ratification will have the same impact as previous international treaties banning landmines and cluster munitions: stigmatize possession and use nuclear weapons, which could lead to a change in behavior, even on the part of non-signatory countries Nuclear deterrence Nuclear-weapon states, for their part, claim that their arsenals serve as a deterrent and claim to be committed to the -proliferation, which aims to prevent the dissemination of nuclear weapons to other countries. “Too many people accept nuclear weapons as inevitable components of the international security architecture,” said Peter Ma urer. “The Nuclear Weapons Ban Treaty allows us to imagine a world free from these inhuman weapons as an achievable goal,” he added. According to ICAN, “we can expect the companies to cease to produce nuclear weapons and that financial institutions stop in companies that produce nuclear weapons. “ICAN Executive Director Beatrice Fihn hailed” a new chapter in nuclear disarmament. ” “Decades of activism have achieved what many thought was impossible: nuclear weapons are banned,” she said. “With this success, we have taken an important step towards our goal of a world without atomic weapons.” , wrote on Twitter the Austrian conservative chancellor Sebastian Kurz, recalling the “decisive role” of his country alongside other nations to defend this text. Symbol This step, for the moment extremely symbolic, takes place in a context of strong tensions on the issue of disarmament.The Treaty on Intermediate Nuclear Forces (INF) signed in 1987 between Washington and Moscow, which had destroyed about 2,700 missiles with a range of 500 to 5,500 kilometers, is de facto dead since 2019, to the chagrin of Europeans. President Donald Trump withdrew the United States after accusing Russia of failing to respect it. Since then, the US-Russian New Start Treaty concluded in 2010, which expires in early 2021, is considered the last nuclear deal yet. in force, containing the arsenals of the two countries below their Cold War peaks. The two countries have just agreed on the principle of a one-year extension, time to settle the substantive issues.