UN negotiations on banning nuclear weapons: Summary to date

In Nuclear abolition, Nuclear Guardianship, Nuclear Policy, Peace, War on April 3, 2017 at 10:11 pm

Last week, UN negotiations began on a treaty to prohibit nuclear weapons under international law.

This first negotiation session revealed that the 132 participating countries share a vision for a world without nuclear weapons. And while some disagreement is expected, there is broad agreement among many countries on most elements for the proposed treaty.

The negotiations showed exciting progress throughout the week. Discussions this week focused on three topics:

  • the goals, objectives, and preamble of the treaty;
  • the details of what actions will be included in a prohibition, such as the possession, development, testing, and use of nuclear weapons
  • and assisting other countries with them, as well as what actions will be required of parties; and
  • legalities for such things as accession to the treaty, regular review conferences, and questions about the accession of nuclear-armed states.

ICAN expects that the final treaty will prohibit states parties from using, possessing, and developing nuclear weapons, and assisting others in those activities. We also expect that the treaty will include a legal obligation to eliminate stockpiles and positive obligations such as victim assistance. The treaty should also be working in concert with the existing regime of nonproliferation and disarmament agreements to achieve a world without nuclear weapons.

Thanks to the amazing efforts from civil society and others around the world, we are convinced that governments will be able to agree a strong, robust prohibition on nuclear weapons this summer.

Beatrice Fihn
Executive Director
International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons


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