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Cuba Signs Nuclear Weapons Ban Treaty at UN

22 September 2017

Officially known as the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons, the agreement was adopted in July 2017 at a United Nations conference in NY.

A signing session at the United Nations inched the world closer to a first-of-its-kind nuclear weapons ban.

The treaty, he said, "is all the more urgent when one considers contemporary threats to peace - from the continuing challenges of nuclear proliferation to the major new modernization programs of some of the nuclear weapons states".

Guterres said the treaty was drawn up since a growing number of countries had become concerned about the danger emanating from the existence of nuclear weapons, in particular catastrophic humanitarian and environmental consequences of their use.

The treaty will be applied by 90 days after it has been signed by at least 50 countries. "Signing the United Nations nuclear disarmament treaty marks the difference between washing our hands of responsibility for nuclear war and working to prevent it".

"We call on member-states that possess the world's largest nuclear arsenals to sign on to the treaty", Cayetano said in a statement after signing the instrument at the sidelines of the 72nd session of the UN General Assembly in NY.

The US, Britain and France are among nine countries believed to have nuclear weapons.

The United States, the United Kingdom and France had refused to take part in the negotiation of the treaty and said they have no intention to sign it.

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In signing the Treaty, the Philippine government called on states with nuclear weapons to join the global community in making the world a safer place.

"We commit ourselves to continuing to work for a world free of the threat of nuclear weapons".

The adoption of the treaty on July 7, when 122 countries voted in favor of banning atomic weapons for the first time after decades of prodding by atomic bomb victims - known as hibakusha in Japanese - and civil society.

The treaty was opposed by world powers.

Similarly, South Africa abandoned development of nuclear arms prior the end of apartheid, and Libya did likewise under Muammar Gaddafi.

Peter Maurer, the president of the International Committee of the Red Cross, also participated in the ceremony. The Holy See and Thailand not only signed but also ratified it. Once 50 such instruments have been deposited, the treaty will enter into legal force.

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.

Cuba Signs Nuclear Weapons Ban Treaty at UN