Now we know what a worldwide nuclear weapons ban will look like. Today the UN published the first draft of the text of a nuclear weapons ban treaty. This treaty would make it illegal to make, have or use nuclear weapons. Two thirds of the countries in the world, 132 in total, are in favour of the ban. The text made public today is the product of negotiations conducted in March at the United Nations. On 15 June, hundreds of countries will gather at the UN for three more weeks of negotiations on the final version of the treaty. PAX will be in New York for this last round of negotiations.
PAX, together with the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons (ICAN), is lobbying for a strong treaty text. “The draft published today is a good basis for a strong, clear ban,” says PAX spokesperson Susi Snyder. “Of course, there will be lots of discussion about the details, but we expect that by the end of the negotiations, on 7 July, a definitive nuclear weapons ban treaty will be ready.”
The Netherlands is taking part in the negotiations. It is the only NATO country at the table, and thereby, says Snyder, is “providing the rest of the NATO countries with a good example.”
The more the merrier
The treaty will be binding on all signatory countries. Similar treaties currently ban biological and chemical weapons, landmines and cluster munitions. Snyder says, “The more countries that sign the treaty, the more pressure other countries will feel to get rid of their nuclear weapons stockpiles. This treaty brings the worldwide elimination of nuclear weapons a step closer.”