UN votes to launch talks on nuclear weapon ban
A UN General Assembly committee has voted to launch negotiations on a new treaty, banning nuclear weapons, despite fierce opposition from the world’s nuclear powers.
A resolution presented by Austria, Ireland, Mexico, Nigeria, South Africa and Brazil was on Thursday adopted by a vote of 123 to 38, with 16 abstentions, following weeks of lobbying by the nuclear powers for ‘no’ votes.
The non-binding resolution provides for negotiations to begin in March next year on the new treaty, citing concern over the “catastrophic humanitarian consequences of any use of nuclear weapons.”
Four of the five UN Security Council nuclear powers – Britain, France, Russia and the US – voted against the resolution, while China abstained, as did India and Pakistan. Japan, which has campaigned against the use of nuclear weapons, voted against it, as did South Korea. Opponents said nuclear disarmament should be addressed within negotiations on the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT).