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UN opens treaty prohibiting nuclear weapons for signature

[JURIST] The UN opened a treaty [text, PDF] for signature on Wednesday prohibiting a wide range of nuclear weapon-related actions.

The Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons was adopted [JURIST report] during a UN conference in July by a vote of 122 to 1.

The treaty acknowledges the risks of nuclear warfare and calls for the total elimination of nuclear weapons or nuclear explosive devices, explicitly prohibiting activities such as the development, transfer, receipt, use, threatening of use, or stockpiling of such weapons.

According to UN Secretary-General António Guterres [official profile], 15,000 nuclear weapons remain in existence, and many nuclear-armed member nations such as the US, UK and France have refused to agree to the treaty. Nevertheless, the treaty will become effective 90 days after being ratified by at least 50 countries, and 42 have already signed the treaty during Wednesday's UN ceremony. Supporters of the treaty hope that the treaty's ratification will raise awareness regarding the risks of nuclear weapons and move the world closer to an arsenal-free future.

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