Countries begin signing nuclear ban treaty at UN

Activists wearing masks to look like US President Donald Trump and North Korean Kim Jong Un pose next to a Styrofoam effigy of a nuclear bomb while protesting in front of the Brandenburg Gate near the American Embassy

Nuclear powers say a ban won't work.

With the North Korean nuclear crisis looming large, 51 countries were to sign a new treaty yesterday outlawing nuclear weapons that has been fiercely opposed by the United States and other nuclear powers.

Scores of police were soon on the scene but did not appear to be intent on brining the protest to a quick end.

Passed on July 7, 2017, with 122 countries in favor, the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons, as the ban is officially known, is the first legally binding global treaty to totally ban nuclear weapons.

The Belgian Coalition against Nuclear Weapons deplored, in a press release, the Belgian stand on the issue, calling on the country to review its position, sign the text, and send back United States nuclear weapons stored in the Kleine-Brogel base in Limburg.

UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres opened the event in NY while hailing the agreement as a milestone and the first multilateral pact on disarmament in more than two decades.

From the beginning, the treaty was met with strong opposition from nuclear-armed states, which boycotted negotiations.

"It will raise public awareness about the risks of nuclear weapons".

The United States, Britain and France have dismissed the UN treaty as unrealistic, arguing that North Korea's intensified nuclear activity has shown that they still need nuclear arms to maintain deterrence. It will keep us on track for achieving our goal of a world in which nuclear weapons exist only in movies or books. So, what has obtained since the Second World War, is a philosophy of mutually-assured destruction, letting the other side know that if they attack you with nuclear weapons, that the result will be 'everybody will go'.

The treaty is slated to take effect 90 days after at least 50 nations have ratified it. "But we haven't got there yet", Onyeama noted.

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