A Global Treaty to Ban Nuclear Weapons will Come Into Effect Soon

In News

United Nations (UN) will soon adopt the Global Treaty to Ban Nuclear Weapons.


  • The United Nations announced a UN treaty to ban nuclear weapons.
  • The United Nations said that 50 countries have ratified the treaty where the 50th ratification was received from Honduras.
  • The Treaty on Prohibition of Nuclear Weaponsis the first multilateral legally-binding instrument for nuclear disarmament.
  • The treaty was adopted by a vote of 122 in favour to one against – the Netherlands, and one abstention by Singapore in 2017.
  • The 50th ratification was on the 75th anniversary of the ratification of the UN Charter and is celebrated as the UN Day.
  • The UN named it as the best treaty which can work with the civil society to bring democracy to disarmament.
  • The five nuclear powers- Russia, China, US, Britain and France and America NATO allies are in opposition to the treaty and had not participated in the negotiations.
  • India had abstained from voting and given Explanation of Vote (EoV) for its abstention on the resolution in October 2019.
  • India said that the Geneva Conference on Disarmament (CD) is the single multilateral disarmament forum.
  • India said that it supports the commencement of negotiations in the CD on a Comprehensive Nuclear Weapons Conventionwhich adds prohibition, elimination and verification.
  • The UN envoys of three nations the US, the UK, and France criticized the treaty for not providing the solution for the grave threat from North Korea.
  • The United States of America (USA) said that the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons (TPNW) turns back on verification and disarmament and is dangerous to the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty.


  • A UN Assembly conference to negotiate a ban on nuclear weapons took place in the year 2017. It was hailed as a historic achievement by many countries.
  • In July 2017, by a vote of 122 in favour to one against, the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons (TPNW) was adopted.
  • By September 2017, the treaty was open for signature to all States at the UN Headquarters and will enter into force 90 days after its ratification by the fiftieth country.
  • TPNW prohibits participation in any nuclear weapon activities such as testing, possessing, developing, producing, stockpiling and threatening to use nuclear weapons.
  • A state party to the treaty are obliged to prevent and suppress any nuclear weapon activity undertaken by persons or on territory under its control.
  • TPNW was the result of a decades-long struggle by non-nuclear countries and a coalition of non-governmental organisations – the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons (ICAN).
  • For its efforts, ICAN was given the Nobel Peace Prize in 2017.

Nuclear Threat

  • Amongst the many threats that can wipe out the human race, nuclear war sits at the top of the list.
  • Ever since the world has witnessed the devastating impact of the Hiroshima & Nagasaki bombings, and the fallout of radiation due to nuclear accidents has made nuclear war a serious threat to the world.
  • The threat still persists as there are an estimated 13000 nuclear warheads with 90% of them shared between the United States and Russia.
  • Countries like North Korea openly claim that they will not hesitate to use nuclear weapons when threatened.
  • With belligerent leaders raising the rhetoric of winning wars with nuclear weapons, the world seems to be a dangerous place with the existence of nuclear weapons.
  • There is a renewed push to augment nuclear weapons and their delivery mechanisms by many countries.
  • TPNW is thus a step in the right direction to put an end to the development and deployment of nuclear weapons,.
  • But, without nuclear weapons states joining the treaty, it will have less impact.
  • Nevertheless, the treaty will fill a major legal gap in international nuclear non-proliferation.
  • The Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) of 1968 does not explicitly ban nuclear weapons but has facilitated an environment for nuclear disarmament.
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