In a historic moment, the Treaty on Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons, which is the first nuclear disarmament instrument in more than two decades, came into force on January 22, 2021.
Fifty-one nations endorsed the treaty. Meanwhile, the major nuclear powered nations are yet to approve it. The Treaty on Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons has now become part of the International law.
In a message, UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres said that the TPNW represented a “strong demonstration of support for multilateral approaches to nuclear disarmament” overall. Noting that nuclear weapons posed growing dangers, he said that the world needed urgent action to ensure their elimination and prevent human and environmental consequences of its use.
He stressed that elimination of nuclear weapons remained the highest disarmament priority of the UN. All governments should work together to realise this ambition to advance common security and collective safety, he added.
What is TPNW
The Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons prohibits States from developing, testing, producing, acquiring, possessing, stockpiling and using or threatening to use nuclear weapons.
It bans nuclear weapons’ deployment on national territory.
It bars assistance to any State in the conduct of prohibited activities.
The States should give adequate assistance to individuals affected by the use or testing of nuclear weapons. They should also take necessary and appropriate measure of environmental remediation in areas.
in 2017, 122 nations approved the accord at the UN General Assembly. United States, Russia, India, China, Britain, France, Pakistan Israel and North Korea, known to possess nuclear weapons did not support it. NATO Alliance was also against signing. However, the civil society groups led by the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons (ICAN) put in decades of activism to get the number of countries required to make it a reality.