The clutch of nuclear-armed states, including the United States, Britain, France, China, and Russia, have not signed the treaty.

The Stokes nuclear test in Nevada is pictured on June 25, 1957.
The Stokes nuclear test in Nevada is pictured on June 25, 1957. (Galerie Bilderwelt / Getty Images)

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).

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'Making history'

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.

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.

Source: TRTWorld and agencies