13 September 2017

Africa: Op-Ed - Nuclear Disarmament - Why the World Should Follow Africa's Lead

analysis

A total ban of nuclear weapons - the world's most indiscriminate and inhumane weapons - is now within reach, but it will take persistence and commitment to rid the world of this heinous weaponry. The good news: African states have already shown us the successful path to a nuclear ban. By SARAH SWART.

In July, 122 States voted for the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons at a conference in New York mandated by the United Nations General Assembly. It provides a solid foundation for resisting the proliferation of nuclear weapons and forges a path towards their eventual elimination.

The era-defining day - 20 September - when heads of states and government can append their signature to this treaty fast approaches. Yet some continue to doubt if it is possible to banish nuclear weapons into history.

Many nuclear weapon-possessing states have pointed out that the treaty faced initial resistance and was forced to be adopted by vote, given that it was unable to achieve consensus, the typical way in which such agreements are reached. Despite this, more than two-thirds of the states present at the negotiations voted for the treaty, enabling the ban to be adopted.

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