Nuclear Ban Moves One Step Closer

by | 28, Aug, 2016 | Nuclear weapons

United Nations disarmament talks ended in Geneva on August 19, with 107 nations backing a report recommending that a conference be held next year to negotiate “a legally binding instrument to prohibit nuclear weapons, leading towards their total elimination”.

An International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons (ICAN) media release states that “Nuclear weapons remain the only weapons of mass destruction not yet prohibited under international law, despite their inhumane and indiscriminate nature. The proposed ban would address this legal anomaly.”

ICAN has been vigorously campaigning for a ban as due to the lack of results yielded by the existing non-proliferation treaty.

The proposal was expected to pass unanimously, after compromises were made to appease those against a ban and changes made to contentious articles. However, in a surprise last minute move Australia attempted to derail the process by forcing a vote on the issue. The result of the vote gave a clear mandate for the 2017 conference to go ahead, with 68 voting in favour, 22 against and 13 abstaining.

Whilst we can be heartened by the will of the majority to achieve a ban, it is disappointing that Australia’s actions draw such headlines as these: “Australia attempts to derail UN plan to ban nuclear weapons.” 

Read the full ICAN media release

Read 71 Years On, We’re Still Dodging Bullets While Australia Leads The Charge To Promote Nuclear Weapons at New Matilda