A United Nations treaty to ban nuclear weapons takes effect Jan. 22, following confirmation Oct. 24 that Honduras had become the 50th state party to ratify the pact.
While hailed as an important step toward the actual abolition of nuclear weapons, the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons remains strongly opposed by the United States and other nuclear powers. U.S. ally Japan has joined Washington in refusing to ratify the pact.
“This moment has been 75 years coming since the horrific attacks on Hiroshima and Nagasaki, and the founding of the U.N., which made nuclear disarmament a cornerstone,” said Beatrice Fihn, executive director of the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons, the 2017 Nobel Peace Prize-winning coalition whose work helped spearhead the nuclear ban treaty. “The 50 countries that ratify this treaty are showing true leadership in setting a new international norm that nuclear weapons are not just immoral but illegal.”
The 50th ratification came on the 75th anniversary of the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki at the end of World War II, as well as 75 years to the day of the ratification of the U.N. Charter, which officially established the United Nations. (The Japan Times, AP)