The clutch of nuclear-armed states, including the United States, Britain, France, China, and Russia, have not signed the treaty.
An international treaty banning nuclear weapons has been ratified by a 50th country, Honduras, allowing it to enter into force after 90 days, a UN official said.
“This is a victory for every citizen of the world, and it demonstrates the importance of multilateralism. I would like to congratulate all 50 States that have ratified the treaty and to call on all the other world leaders to act with courage and join the right side of history,” said Francesco Rocca, President of International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC).
Today is victory for humanity! the ban on nuclear weapons has become a reality.— Peter Maurer (@PMaurerICRC) October 24, 2020
I warmly congratulate the 50 States who have ratified the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons and all involved for their fierce efforts to bring us to this historic moment.#nuclearban https://t.co/5O6U8KaMKO
Other NGOs also welcomed the news, including the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons (ICAN), a coalition that won the 2017 Nobel Peace Prize for its key role in bringing the treaty to fruition.
"Honduras just ratified the Treaty as the 50th state, triggering entry into force and making history," ICAN said in its tweet.
Can we have your attention? 📢 WE GOT IT! 🙌 The UN Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons just reached 50 ratifications. On 22 January 2021, the ban on nuclear weapons will come into force. The #nuclearban is here. pic.twitter.com/8aM1JAlpjb— ICAN (@nuclearban) October 24, 2020
Treaty likely to come into force in January
The Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons – which bans the use, development, production, testing, stationing, stockpiling, and the threat of use of such weapons, was adopted by the UN General Assembly in July 2017 with the approval of 122 countries.
It is now expected to enter into force in January 2021.
The clutch of nuclear-armed states, including the United States, Britain, France, China and Russia, have not signed the treaty.
However, campaigners hope that its coming into force will have the same impact as previous international treaties on landmines and cluster munitions, bringing a stigma to their stockpiling and use, and thereby a change in behaviour even in countries that did not sign up.