A treaty banning nuclear weapons is to be signed on Wednesday at an official ceremony in New York on the margin of the UN General Assembly. Neither Belgium nor any of NATO’s 29 members are among the nations expected to sign it. The treaty, which would ban the developing, stocking and threat of use of nuclear weapons, will apply only to signatory States. Its advocates hope that it will step up the pressure on nuclear States – the United States, Russia, Britain, China, France, India, Pakistan, North Korea and Israel – to take disarmament more seriously.
The treaty was adopted on the 7th of July at the United Nations, with 122 votes for, one vote against, that of the Netherlands, a NATO member, and one abstention.
The nine nuclear States, Australia, Japan and NATO countries other than the Netherlands, did not take part in the vote nor did they participate in drawing up the treaty.
The Belgian Coalition against Nuclear Weapons deplored, in a press release, the Belgian stand on the issue, calling on the country to review its position, sign the text, and send back US nuclear weapons stored in the Kleine-Brogel base in Limburg. It has also called on Belgium not to equip future fighter planes with nuclear capability. Maria Novak The Brussels Times