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UN adopts draft treaty on nuclear weapons ban
The draft treaty banning nuclear weapons was agreed on Friday by a majority at the conference on the treaty held at the UN following several weeks of talks in which the nuclear powers, including Russia, the UK, China, the US and France, had not participated.
The draft treaty will be open for signing on September 20, 2017 and will come into effect in a span of 90 days after 50 countries have ratified it. Each state party "undertakes never under any circumstances to develop, test, produce, manufacture, otherwise acquire, possess or stockpile nuclear weapons or other nuclear explosive devices," as well as to use them or to threaten to use them.
The treaty consists of the preamble listing the dangers of nuclear weapons and the main part. Its 20 articles enumerates the party states' liabilities, procedures of the weapons stockpile declaration and their elimination controlled by the international community and also sets out mechanisms for the treaty's implementation. The draft treaty envisions the 12-month-long procedure required for a party state to abandon the treaty and a procedure for making amendments after the treaty comes into force.
The second round of talks on the treaty that provides for a total ban on nuclear weapons began on June 15. Five nuclear-armed states, which are the UN Security Council's permanent members (Russia, the United States, China, France and the UK) did not take part in the conference. Besides, some other major international actors, in particular Israel, South Korea and Japan, were not present. The Netherlands was the only NATO member state to attend the talks.
Earlier, the director of the Russian Foreign Ministry's non-proliferation and weapons control department, Mikhail Ulyanov, said that Russia would not ratify the nuclear weapons ban treaty since it runs counter to the country's national interests. The treaty adoption is feared "to have a negative influence on the state of affairs in the international arena, primarily in nuclear non-proliferation."
[Source: Itar Tass, The United Nations, 07Jul17]
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