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United Nations adopts global treaty on prohibition of nuclear weapons

The file photo shows a general view of the United Nations headquarters in New York.

The United Nations has adopted a legally-binding treaty prohibiting nuclear weapons for the first time in the seven-decade effort to avert a nuclear war.
The document, called the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons, was adopted on Friday by a vote of 122 in favor with one country - NATO member The Netherlands voting against - and Singapore abstaining.
The United States, Russia, Britain, China, France, India, Pakistan, North Korea and the Israeli regime - all of which possess nuclear weapons -  did not take part in the negotiations and vote.
Elayne Whyte Gomez, the president of the UN conference that negotiated the treaty, said it was the first multilateral nuclear disarmament treaty to be concluded in more than 20 years.
She said, “The world has been waiting for this legal norm for 70 years,” since the use of the first atomic bombs on Japan's Hiroshima and Nagasaki at the end of World War II.
According to the draft text, agreed on by 129 UN member countries, the treaty covers the full range of nuclear-weapons-related activities, prohibiting undertaking by any state party to develop, test, produce, manufacture, acquire, possess or stockpile nuclear weapons or other nuclear explosive devices.
The 10-page treaty also include any undertaking to use or threaten to use nuclear weapons or other nuclear explosive devices.
It will be open for signature to all member states on 20 September 2017 during the annual General Assembly at UN headquarters in New York.
The treaty will enter into force 90 days after the 50th instrument of ratification, acceptance, approval or accession has been deposited.
In December, UN member states overwhelmingly approved a resolution calling for negotiations on a treaty that would outlaw nuclear weapons, despite strong opposition from nuclear-armed countries and their allies who refused to participate in the talks.

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