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Treaty banning nuclear weapons signed


Nuclear weapon ban, treaty signed, 20 September 2017, United Nations, “We cannot allow these doomsday weapons to endanger our world and our children’s future.”

Amid tensions over North Korea’s nuclear and missile tests, the 50 countries needed have signed the world’s first legally binding treaty banning nuclear weapons.

The treatyadopted on 7 July by 122 UN member states during a United Nations conference in New York despite heavy US opposition – prohibits the development, testing, production, manufacture, acquisition, possession or stockpiling of nuclear weapons or other nuclear explosive devices, as well as their use or the threat to use them.

It will enter into force 90 days after 50 countries have ratified it. The Holy See was the first to both sign and ratify the treaty.

Not one of the nine countries that possess nuclear weapons – the USA, Russia, Britain, China, France, India, Pakistan, North Korea and Israel – signed the measure in July, and the UK was among those boycotting the signing event on 20 September.

Speaking just before declaring the legally binding instrument open for signature on 20 September, the Secretary-General of the United Nations, António Guterres, described the Treaty as an important step towards eliminating nuclear weapons, and said:  “We cannot allow these doomsday weapons to endanger our world and our children’s future.”

Following the opening statements, 50 high-level officials signed the Treaty, led by the Presidents of Brazil, the Central African Republic, Chile, Comoros, Costa Rica, Guyana, Kiribati, Palau and South Africa.

The USA was not one of those who signed, but USA advocates for the treaty have succeeded in making the first US bank announce that it will not invest in nuclear weapons production.

The New York-based Amalgamated Bank used the day of the signature of the treaty to publish its investment policy around weapons – including nuclear weapons. And the bank’s vice-President Robert Mante wrote on its website how Amalgamated does not invest in weapons.

“This is a great step for Amalgamated, a bank that seeks to embrace transparency to share some more specific information about its investment policies,” Susi Snyder, who coordinates Don’t Bank on the Bomb’s report on investment in nuclear weaponry said.

“We hope that it leads to a full fledged policy against investing in nuclear weapon producers soon.

“While states without nuclear weapons cannot eliminate any nuclear weapons themselves, this announcement from Amalgamated shows that this treaty can have a significant impact on nuclear weapons producers,” Snyder continued.

“Ending the financing of nuclear weapon producers is a way that the treaty and its supporters can have an effective impact on the companies and states that remain outside of the treaty that are involved with the production and retention of nuclear weapons.”

For more information about the financial institutions and investmors backing nuclear weapons production, visit Don’t Bank on the Bomb.

An outline of which UK-based financial institutions invest in nuclear armaments can be found here.

To find out how you can help with the next step in banning nuclear weapons, click here.

You could also forward the text of the treaty to your MP and ask them to push for the UK to sign the treaty.

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