UNITED NATIONS (AP) – More than 120 countries have approved the first-ever treaty banning nuclear weapons at a U.N. meeting boycotted by all nuclear-armed nations.
Friday’s vote was 122 countries in favor with the Netherlands opposed and Singapore abstaining.
Elayne Whyte Gomez is president of the U.N. conference that negotiated the legally binding treaty. She said it was the first multilateral nuclear disarmament treaty to be concluded in more than 20 years.
Whyte Gomez said “the world has been waiting for this legal norm for 70 years,” since the use of the first atomic bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki at the end of World War II.
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More than 120 countries are expected to adopt the first-ever treaty to ban atomic weapons Friday despite a boycott by all nuclear-armed nations, including the United States, which has pointed to North Korea’s escalating nuclear and ballistic missile programs.
Elayne Whyte Gomez, president of the U.N. conference that has been negotiating the treaty, told reporters Thursday that “we are on the verge of adopting the treaty on the prohibition of nuclear weapons.”
In her words, “This will be a historic moment and it will be the first multilateral nuclear disarmament treaty to be concluded in more than 20 years.”
She says the world has been waiting for such a pact for the 70 years since the use of the first atomic bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki in August 1945.
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