It nuclear weapons ban of the United Nations has met the required minimum of 50 ratifications on Sunday morning with the agreement of Honduras. The ban will apply from January 22, 2021 to the countries that have agreed to it. The Netherlands is not participating in the treaty. This also applies to the United States, Russia and China.
Nine countries have nuclear weapons
Participating countries may not use, develop or store nuclear weapons. Jamaica and Nauru already agreed to the treaty on Saturday. The ban has been signed by 84 countries, but has been ratified by only 50 countries so far.
Many more countries signed the Non-Proliferation Treaty in 1970. This treaty signed by 190 countries limits the development and proliferation of nuclear weapons. There is no prohibition.
The International Committee of the Red Cross speaks of a historic day. Prior to the adoption of the treaty, nuclear weapons were the only weapons of mass destruction not covered by a categorical prohibition, such as the prohibition of biological and chemical weapons, landmines and cluster munitions. This new treaty thus fills a major gap in international law.
The International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons (ICAN) is also delighted. ICAN played an important role in drafting the treaty. The organization therefore won the Nobel Peace Prize in 2017. “This is a new chapter for nuclear disarmament. Decades of activism have accomplished what many thought impossible: nuclear weapons have been banned,” said ICAN director Beatrice Fihn.
Nine countries are known to possess nuclear weapons, the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI) writes. These are China, India, Israel, France, North Korea, Pakistan, Russia, the United States and the United Kingdom. None of these countries has agreed to the ban.
Last year, an official NATO document revealed that the Netherlands has stored nuclear weapons at Volkel Air Force Base in North Brabant. These weapons are in the possession of the United States.