Following the United Nations’ adoption of a new global treaty outlawing nuclear weapons, James Lynch, Head of Arms Control and Human Rights at Amnesty International, said:
“This historic treaty brings us a step closer to a world free from the horrors of nuclear weapons, the most destructive and indiscriminate weapons ever created. All states should give their full backing to this antidote to the cynical brinkmanship embodied in the development, stockpiling or use of nuclear weapons.
“The immediate and strong global condemnation of North Korea’s testing of nuclear-capable missiles earlier this week gives a sense of how high the stakes are – everybody knows it is in nobody’s interest for a single nuclear warhead to be detonated, ever.
“Today’s vote shows that a majority of states consider a global prohibition on nuclear weapons to be the best option for protecting the world from their catastrophic effects. And it shows once again how a strong civil society-led effort can inspire real change on the world stage.
“We are opposed to the use, possession, production and transfer of nuclear weapons by any country, including permanent members of the UN Security Council, and so it was deeply disappointing to see that these, and other nuclear-armed states, failed to back the treaty. We are calling on them to take a stand for human rights and humanity by joining the ban treaty.”
In a vote concluding negotiations on a “legally binding instrument to prohibit nuclear weapons” at the UN in New York on 7 July, 122 states voted to adopt, one voted against and one abstained. The world’s nuclear-armed states, including the five permanent members (P5) of the UN Security Council, did not participate in the final negotiations or the vote.
Amnesty International supports the work of the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons to help bring about this treaty and monitor its implementation.