After protracted international talks, an estimated 129 nations are prepared to sign a global ban on nuclear weapons, the first ever such treaty and the first multilateral nuclear disarmament treaty in more than 20 years. Unfortunately, it won’t involve any actual disarmament.
That’s because every single nuclear weapons-having nation on the planet has boycotted the effort, along with the entire NATO alliance except for the Netherlands, though it’s not clear if even they are among the nations planning to sign the final treaty.
Most of the nations have quietly ignored the conferences, while the United States has been particularly outspoken in its opposition of the plan, saying that it was “not realistic” and that the US doesn’t trust the other nuclear powers to disarm if a deal was reached.
The final text is thus largely symbolic, though it does add at least a little momentum to the global disarmament movement. Future signatories to the treaty would be obliged to either disarm unilaterally before accession, or agree to a specific disarmament plan.