Former World Leaders Urge Ratification of Nuclear Arms Ban Treaty

“In an open letter, the onetime leaders implored their own governments to embrace an arms treaty negotiated at the U.N. three years ago. It is six ratifications short of the 50 needed to go into effect.”

Nonetheless, delegates from 122 nations — practically two-thirds of the U.N. membership — participated within the negotiations for the treaty, and 84 have signed it. As of Sunday, 44 of these nations had ratified the treaty, which might come into power 90 days after the 50th ratification. At least one or two extra nations might ratify it in coming days or even weeks.

Under the treaty, all nuclear-weapons use, risk of use, testing, growth, manufacturing, possession, switch and stationing in a special nation can be prohibited. For nuclear-armed nations that be part of, the treaty outlines a course of for destroying stockpiles and imposing the promise to stay free of nuclear weapons.

Signers of the letter are all from nations which have declined to affix the treaty, arguing that the nuclear forces of the United States are important for their very own safety. They are Albania, Belgium, Canada, Croatia, the Czech Republic, Denmark, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Italy, Japan, Latvia, the Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Slovakia, Slovenia, South Korea, Spain and Turkey.

Five of these nations — Belgium, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands and Turkey — are believed to accommodate American nuclear weapons on their territory and would subsequently be required to take away them in the event that they joined the treaty.

Proponents of the treaty have stated they by no means anticipated any of the nuclear-armed states to maneuver rapidly to signal the treaty and scrap their arsenals. But they hoped that widespread acceptance of the treaty would increase public strain and that the “shaming effect” on the holdouts to alter their place.


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