122 nations adopt nuclear weapons treaty

A treaty that bans nuclear weapons was adopted by 122 countries at the UN on Friday. The treaty obliges countries not to develop, test, produce or possess nuclear arms, or to acquire them by other means but countries with nuclear arsenals are boycotting the pact.

The significance of the pact was questioned when nine countries with existing or nascent arsenals: the U.S., Britain, France, China, Russia, Pakistan, Israel, India, North Korea, Germany and other members of NATO were absent.

Countries such as Norway, Mexico, Austria, South Africa and Brazil had pushed for the treaty, due to the little progress made in disarmament in recent years.

However, the pact could put pressure on the nuclear powers to reduce their stockpiles.

Red Cross chief Peter Maurer hailed the treaty as a “victory for our shared humanity.”

Maurer said, “Today, the world has taken an historic step towards de-legitimising these indiscriminate and inhumane weapons, which is a crucial basis for their future elimination.’’

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