Anti-nuclear weapons protesters scale Australian building

Sep 21, 2017, 00:36
Anti-nuclear weapons protesters scale Australian building

Nations on Wednesday began signing the first treaty to ban nuclear weapons, a pact backed by over 100 countries but spurned by those with nuclear arms.

"The Treaty is an important step towards the universally-held goal of a world free of nuclear weapons".

"At a time when the world needs to remain united in the face of growing threats, in particular the grave threat posed by North Korea's nuclear programme, the treaty fails to take into account these urgent security challenges", the 29-nation alliance said.

Nuclear powers like the US have argued that a ban on nuclear weapons is not feasible in the current security environment, holding that a strategy of nuclear deterrence is necessary to counter security threats.

The treaty will enter into force when 50 countries have ratified it.

Iran's president warned the United States on Thursday that his country will "respond decisively" to any violation of the agreement that reins in Tehran's nuclear program and called U.S. President Donald Trump's "ignorant, absurd and hateful rhetoric" about Iran unfit to be heard at the United Nations. Guyana, the Vatican and Thailand also have already ratified the treaty.

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North Korea has been subject to global condemnation for its development of nuclear weapons and ballistic missiles.

Similarly, for nuclear armed states joining the treaty, it provides for a time-bound framework for negotiations leading to the verified and irreversible elimination of its nuclear weapons programme.

However, nuclear-armed States and most of their allies stayed out of the negotiations.

Under its terms, non-nuclear nations agreed not to pursue nukes in exchange for a commitment by the five original nuclear powers - the U.S., Russia, Britain, France and China - to move toward nuclear disarmament and to guarantee other states' access to peaceful nuclear technology for producing energy.

The intervention from the alliance comes a day after US President Donald Trump told the UN General Assembly in NY he was ready to "totally destroy" North Korea, mocking its leader Kim Jong-Un as "Rocket Man. on a suicide mission".

"The more the Australian people know that our government is not representing us on this, the easier it's going to be to get them to take this treat seriously".

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