Banning nuclear weapons

On 27 October 2016, the First Committee of the UN General Assembly, dealing with disarmament, global challenges, and threats to peace that affect the international community, voted on resolution A/C.1/171/L.41 [1] to take forward multilateral nuclear disarmament negotiations. This resolution calls to convene a convention in 2017 to negotiate a legally binding instrument to prohibit nuclear weapons, leading towards their ultimate elimination. The goal of this conference is to ban all nuclear weapons, and thus to end the age of nuclear threat between the different states that possess nuclear weapons.

Analyzing the votes published by ICAN, it becomes clear that almost all states that do possess nuclear weapons did vote against this resolution [2], along with NATO Member States, apart from the Netherlands [3]. While organizations like Greenpeace wonder about this vote, several states have published a note explaining their vote [4]. They largely argue that the lack of support from nuclear states and a larger number of other states will make such a move premature and even impossible to carry out, and generally doubt the efficiency of a multilateral agreement on truly banning nuclear weapons. While there is broad agreement on the common objective of completely eliminating nuclear weapons, there are divergent views on how to reach this goal.

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  1. http://reachingcriticalwill.org/images/documents/Disarmament-fora/1com/1com16/resolutions/L41.pdf []
  2. US, China, Russia, UK, France, India, Pakistan, Israel, but not North Korea. []
  3. http://reachingcriticalwill.org/images/documents/Disarmament-fora/1com/1com16/eov/L41_Netherlands.pdf []
  4. http://reachingcriticalwill.org/images/documents/Disarmament-fora/1com/1com16/eov/L41_Poland-etal.pdf []