51 Countries Ratify UN Nuclear Weapons Ban

Ban Will Officially Go Into Effect in 90 Days

The UN General Assembly has served as an opportunity to hold a signing ceremony for the UN on the Nuclear Weapons Ban Treaty. The language of the ban was initially passed back in July, with 122 countries in favor.

The signing ceremony was a success, with 51 nations having now ratified it. Under the ban’s language, it takes effect 90 days after the 50th nation ratifies it. This means the clock has started on the treaty.

Not that it really matters to the major powers. None of the world’s nuclear armed states voted in favor of the treaty, let alone ratified it, so it carries no immediate consequences to the world’s nuclear arsenals.

Which doesn’t mean the treaty is totally worthless, either. The treaty sets at least some of the world in favor of global nuclear disarmament, and as we’ve seen in the past with things like the land mine and chemical weapons bans, even a modest start could eventually expand into something impactful.

Unfortunately, not a single NATO member nation has ratified the treaty. The Netherlands conspicuously voted in favor of it back in July, but did not appear to follow through with a ratification, likely reflecting the US opposition to the matter.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is senior editor of Antiwar.com.