Over 100 countries vote for the prohibition of nuclear arms, but big powers rebel
The text was approved with 122 votes in favor, one against, one abstention. But none of the nine nuclear countries - US, Russia, China, France, Great Britain, India, Pakistan, North Korea, Israel - took part in the debate or vote. Vatican support and the appreciation of UN Secretary-General Guterres.
New York (AsiaNews) - A treaty banning nuclear weapons was approved by a large majority at the United Nations General Assembly yesterday. But the United States, France and Great Britain have opposed it because the document is "blind" towards international security threats.
The text of the treaty was approved by 122 votes in favor, one against - the Netherlands - and one abstention (Singapore).
None of the nine countries that actually have nuclear-weapon - US, Russia, China, France, Great Britain, India, Pakistan, North Korea, Israel – took part in either the debate or the vote.
Even Japan - which also was hit by the atomic bomb in World War II - boycotted the discussion, as well as almost all NATO nations.
The treaty would increase the pressure on nuclear power states for disarmament. Data published recently by Sipri, the Stockholm Institute for Peace, shows that disarmament is not happening at all. The idea of a treaty received the support of the Vatican and Pope Francis. Among the countries that voted in favor, there is also Iran, often suspected of having a secret nuclear program.
A few hours after its approval, UN ambassadors from the United States, France and Great Britain issued a statement rejecting the treaty. According to them, "it does not offer any solution to the serious threat posed by the North Korean nuclear program, nor does it address other security challenges that require nuclear deterrence."
UN secretary-general, Antonio Guterres, applauded the result, calling it "an important step" towards a nuclear-free world.
For many activists, even if the document is not followed up on, it is a first legal victory to flag the nuclear weapons as a negative factor.
Until September 20, the treaty can be adhered to and signed. It will come into force when 50 countries have ratified it.