On the end of the first negotiations round of an international ban on atomic weapons peace activists drew a positive balance. 132 countries of the United Nations have met in New York to discuss about a prohibition contract. The International Campaign for the Abolition of Nuclear Weapons (ICAN) considers this to be an important step on the way to achieving a peaceful world. “For years the nuclear powers have been blocking the disarmament of their nuclear weapon arsenals. For the first time, the countries without nuclear weapons will not accept this and are working on a prohibition under international law. That would outlaw nuclear weapons as weapons of mass destruction and put the nuclear powers under pressure” said Sascha Hach, representative of ICAN Germany.
Unfortunately up to now the negotiations have been boycotted by all the nuclear weapon countries as well as most of the NATO countries including Germany. “Luckily the process can not be stopped by those trying to block it”, said Hach. “There will be a prohibition of nuclear weapons. The next round of negotiations will begin in mid-June, an agreement will possibly be reached within this year.” The contract is expected to be signed by the countries without nuclear weapons. The current nuclear weapon countries could later participate when they have destroyed or have concrete plans to get rid of their nuclear weapons. Details to these possibilities still need to be discussed.
A prohibition has not only a symbolic effect. As such, it could lead to, for example, US atomic bombs being removed from German soil, if Germany were to sign the contract. Between the negotiating countries exists a consent on the prohibition of the storage, usage, ownership, acquisition, development and production of atomic weapons. The demand for an explicit ban on the financing of activities related to nuclear weapons is also shared by the majority, even if some countries raised questions about the concrete implementation.
The International Campaign for the Abolition of Nuclear Weapons participated at the conference with many statements. The second round of negotiations will take place in New York from 15 June to 7 July, 2017.
(Translation Current Concerns)
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