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Treaty banning nuclear weapons to take effect in January

A treaty banning nuclear weapons is scheduled to enter into force in 90 days following its ratification on Saturday by Honduras, the 50th nation to do so.

This means nuclear weapons will soon become illegal under international law, the Belgian Coalition against Nuclear Weapons said on Saturday.

The Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons was adopted by 122 countries on 17 July 2017 at the United Nations General Assembly. It bans the use, development, testing and production, acquisition, possession, stocking and transfer of nuclear weapons for countries that have ratified it.

To enter into force it needed 50 ratifications, which it now has. It will take effect on 22 January 2021, according to the UN.

So far 84 countries have signed the treaty, although only 50 have ratified it. These countries now need to respect its principles and aims.

“The fact that nuclear weapons are now becoming officially illegal also places increased moral and political pressure on nuclear-armed states and their allies to fulfil the disarmament obligations they committed to on signing the non-proliferation treaty,” the Coalition commented.

“The impact will also be felt in Belgium, which still stores U.S. nuclear bombs at Kleine Brogel,” the organisation noted.

The Brussels Times