The First Treaty to Ban Nuclear Weapons Enters into Force

The International Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) entered into force on 22 January, the implementation of which remains in doubt because countries with nuclear weapons did not adhere to the document.

"The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) is an important step towards what a "nuclear-free" world is and it is a strong testament to the multifaceted support for nuclear disarmament," UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said on Friday.

Guterres praised "the first multilateral treaty on nuclear disarmament in two decades" and called on nations around the world to work together to achieve universal and collective security.

The treaty, which bans the development, testing, storage, and use of nuclear weapons, has been international law since it was ratified by 50 countries in October last year and went through a 90-day process before it could enter into force. A total of 122 states, two-thirds of the world's countries, supported it. Only almost half of it has been given the force of law, and none of the countries that have or are likely to have nuclear weapons - Britain, France, China, India, Israel, North Korea, Pakistan, Russia, and the United States - have backed it so far.

By Nini Dakhundaridze

23 January 2021 00:45