PH votes for treaty banning nuclear weapons

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, July 8) — The Philippines on July 7 voted for the adoption of a treaty that prohibits nuclear weapons, joining 121 other nations in the measure.

"This treaty is the capstone of the global disarmament architecture. It strengthens the existing network of treaties and agreements already in place by reaffirming their collectively compelling logic of survival," Philippine Permanent Representative to the United Nations Teodoro Locsin said at the United Nations conference held in New York, "We voted for its adoption because it is the right thing to do."

According to a statement released by the Foreign Affairs Department, developing, testing, producing, manufacturing, acquiring, possessing, or stockpiling nuclear weapons or other nuclear explosive devices are prohibited.

Nations also cannot threaten to use the weapons, and must assert their stand for the complete elimination of nuclear weapons.

"The Philippine delegation actively participated in the negotiations guided by the provision of the Philippine Constitution which prohibits nuclear weapons in Philippine territory and by its obligations under the Bangkok Treaty establishing a Southeast Asian Nuclear Weapons Free Zone," the statement said.

It added the treaty will be open for signature on September 9, and will be enforced "90 days after the fiftieth instrument of ratification has been deposited."

Notable exclusions to the treaty were nations known to bear nuclear weapons, including the United States, Russia, and North Korea, which recently claimed success in an intercontinental ballistic missile test.

The global coalition International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons emphasized the need to delegitemize nuclear weapons, saying the treaty will "significantly impact" the stature of those who objected and boycotted the negotiations.

"The strenuous and repeated objections of nuclear armed states is an admission that this treaty will have a real and lasting impact," ICAN Executive Director Beatrice Fihn said.