Vatican signs treaty to ban nuclear weapons

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Minister for Foreign Affairs Simon Coveney signed the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons during a ceremony at the United Nations in NY earlier today.

A number of nations have signed the UN Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons, in search of a world liberated from "doomsday" weapons, as UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres once said.

The Nuclear Prohibition Treaty entails a collection of prohibitions to participate in any activities related to nuclear weapons including the prohibition of developing, testing, producing, obtaining, processing, stockpiling, using or threatening to use nuclear weapons.

Unfortunately, the nine nuclear powers boycotted the treaty conference, and have announced their refusal to sign its Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons. "Signing the United Nations nuclear disarmament treaty marks the difference between washing our hands of responsibility for nuclear war and working to prevent it".

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The treaty may affect other worldwide treaties, such as the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, which recognizes the US, Russia, France, China, and the United Kingdom as the sole nuclear powers.

For the first time in the seven-decade effort to avert a nuclear war, a global treaty has been negotiated that proponents say would, if successful, lead to the destruction of all nuclear weapons and forever prohibit their use. "But we need to do more to get the whole way there". "It has the potential to prevent a nuclear arms race and an escalation of regional and bilateral tensions", he added.

Japan, as a close USA ally, is protected by America's extended nuclear deterrence, or "nuclear umbrella", even though Tokyo renounces its own possession, production or entry of nuclear weapons on its turf.

Also speaking was Peter Maurer, president of the International Committee of the Red Cross, who said the organization received a cable from Hiroshima on August 30, 1945 describing a "city wiped out", a great number of dead and over 100,000 wounded.

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The Philippine Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) said that the Philippines "is among 121 United Nations member-states that adopted the treaty".

However, nuclear-armed States and most of their allies stayed out of the negotiations. Guyana, the Vatican and Thailand are expected to provide signed ratification copies later in the day.

Protesters hold anti-nuclear flags upon the arrival of the Pacific Egret cargo vessel, left in background, carrying MOX, a mixture of plutonium and uranium fuel, at Takahama nuclear power plant in Takahama, western Japan, Thursday, Sept. 21, 2017.

The few countries supportive of the treaty in Europe include Ireland and Austria.

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