A woman wearing a face mask walks past in front of a TV screen showing a news program reporting about North Korea's military parade, at the Seoul Railway Station in Seoul, South Korea, Friday, Jan. 15, 2021. North Korea rolled out developmental ballistic missiles designed to be launched from submarines and other military hardware in a parade that punctuated leader Kim Jong Un's defiant calls to expand his nuclear weapons program. The part of letters read "North, new SLBM during a military parade." (AP Photo/Lee Jin-man)(AP)
A woman wearing a face mask walks past in front of a TV screen showing a news program reporting about North Korea's military parade, at the Seoul Railway Station in Seoul, South Korea, Friday, Jan. 15, 2021. North Korea rolled out developmental ballistic missiles designed to be launched from submarines and other military hardware in a parade that punctuated leader Kim Jong Un's defiant calls to expand his nuclear weapons program. The part of letters read "North, new SLBM during a military parade." (AP Photo/Lee Jin-man)(AP)

First-ever treaty to ban nuclear weapons enters into force

The Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons is now part of international law, culminating a decades-long campaign.
PTI, United Nations
PUBLISHED ON JAN 22, 2021 02:21 PM IST

The first-ever treaty to ban nuclear weapons entered into force on Friday, hailed as a historic step to rid the world of its deadliest weapons but strongly opposed by the world's nuclear-armed nations.

The Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons is now part of international law, culminating a decades-long campaign aimed at preventing a repetition of the US atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki at the end of World War II. But getting all nations to ratify the treaty requiring them to never own such weapons seems daunting, if not impossible, in the current global climate.

When the treaty was approved by the UN General Assembly in July 2017, more than 120 approved it. But none of the nine countries known or believed to possess nuclear weapons — the United States, Russia, Britain, China, France, India, Pakistan, North Korea and Israel — supported it and neither did the 30-nation NATO alliance.

Japan, the world's only country to suffer nuclear attacks, also does not support the treaty, even though the aged survivors of the bombings in 1945 strongly push for it to do so. Japan on its own renounces use and possession of nuclear weapons, but the government has said pursuing a treaty ban is not realistic with nuclear and non-nuclear states so sharply divided over it.

Nonetheless, Beatrice Fihn, executive director of the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons, the 2017 Nobel Peace Prize-winning coalition whose work helped spearhead the treaty, called it “a really big day for international law, for the United Nations and for survivors of Hiroshima and Nagasaki.”

The treaty received its 50th ratification on Oct 24, triggering a 90-day period before its entry into force on Jan 22.

As of Thursday, Fihn told The Associated Press that 61 countries had ratified the treaty, with another ratification possible on Friday, and “from Friday, nuclear weapons will be banned by international law” in all those countries.

The treaty requires that all ratifying countries “never under any circumstances ... develop, test, produce, manufacture, otherwise acquire, possess or stockpile nuclear weapons or other nuclear explosive devices.” It also bans any transfer or use of nuclear weapons or nuclear explosive devices — and the threat to use such weapons — and requires parties to promote the treaty to other countries.

Fihn said the treaty is “really, really significant” because it will now be a key legal instrument, along with the Geneva Conventions on conduct toward civilians and soldiers during war and the conventions banning chemical and biological weapons and land mines.

UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said the treaty demonstrated support for multilateral approaches to nuclear disarmament.

“Nuclear weapons pose growing dangers and the world needs urgent action to ensure their elimination and prevent the catastrophic human and environmental consequences any use would cause,” he said in a video message. “The elimination of nuclear weapons remains the highest disarmament priority of the United Nations.” But not for the nuclear powers.

As the treaty was approaching the 50 ratifications needed to trigger its entry into force, the Trump administration wrote a letter to countries that signed it saying they made “a strategic error” and urging them to rescind their ratification. The letter said the treaty “turns back the clock on verification and disarmament" and would endanger the half-century-old Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty, considered the cornerstone of nonproliferation efforts.

SHARE THIS ARTICLE ON
Close
Men who fled the conflict in Ethiopia's Tigray region run to receive cooked rice from charity organization Muslim Aid, at Umm Rakouba refugee camp in Qadarif, eastern Sudan.(AP)
Men who fled the conflict in Ethiopia's Tigray region run to receive cooked rice from charity organization Muslim Aid, at Umm Rakouba refugee camp in Qadarif, eastern Sudan.(AP)

US expresses grave concerns over reports of abuses in Ethiopia

AP
PUBLISHED ON FEB 28, 2021 06:31 PM IST
Ethiopia's central government and regional officials in Tigray both believe that each other's governments are illegitimate after the pandemic disrupted elections.
Close
In this undated handout photo provided by Kensington Palace on Saturday, Feb. 27, 2021, Britain's Prince William and Kate, Duchess of Cambridge smile during a video call to people with health conditions about the positive impact of the COVID-19 vaccine. The Duke of Cambridge has urged people to keep on taking the Covid-19 vaccination so "younger generations" will feel "it's really important for them to have it". (Kensington Palace via AP)(AP)
In this undated handout photo provided by Kensington Palace on Saturday, Feb. 27, 2021, Britain's Prince William and Kate, Duchess of Cambridge smile during a video call to people with health conditions about the positive impact of the COVID-19 vaccine. The Duke of Cambridge has urged people to keep on taking the Covid-19 vaccination so "younger generations" will feel "it's really important for them to have it". (Kensington Palace via AP)(AP)

Prince William backs anti-Covid-19 vaccines in call with Indian-origin family

PTI, London
PUBLISHED ON FEB 28, 2021 06:30 PM IST
More than 18 million people have now had a first vaccine dose, equivalent to one in three adults in the UK.
Close
With the SC order, Nepal has possibly averted a crisis which would have torn apart its nascent democratic system, shaken the constitutional structure, pushed the country towards prolonged political instability and led to the entrenched authoritarianism of KP Oli (REUTERS)
With the SC order, Nepal has possibly averted a crisis which would have torn apart its nascent democratic system, shaken the constitutional structure, pushed the country towards prolonged political instability and led to the entrenched authoritarianism of KP Oli (REUTERS)

Remove me if you can: Nepal PM Oli challenges Prachanda

PTI, Kathmandu
PUBLISHED ON FEB 28, 2021 06:25 PM IST
Addressing an event in his home district, Jhapa, Prime Minister Oli challenged the Prachanda-led faction to table a vote of no confidence motion and endorse that, My Republica newspaper reported.
Close
US Supreme Court is seen as National Guard secure the grounds in Washington, DC.(AFP)
US Supreme Court is seen as National Guard secure the grounds in Washington, DC.(AFP)

US Supreme Court could put new limits on voting rights lawsuits

AP
PUBLISHED ON FEB 28, 2021 06:23 PM IST
The high court's consideration comes as Republican officials in the state and around the country have proposed more than 150 measures, following last year’s elections, to restrict voting access that civil rights groups say would disproportionately affect Black and Hispanic voters.
Close
US President Joe Biden. (Bloomberg Photo )
US President Joe Biden. (Bloomberg Photo )

Saudi columnists tell US President to not bully Riyadh

Reuters
PUBLISHED ON FEB 28, 2021 06:21 PM IST
Prince Mohammed, de facto ruler of the US-allied Gulf powerhouse, has denied any involvement in the 2018 murder of Khashoggi at the Saudi consulate in Istanbul.
Close
A kindergarten employee receives her Corona vaccination with AstraZeneca's drug from Sylvia Baumbach at the Apolda vaccination center in Apolda, Germany.(AP)
A kindergarten employee receives her Corona vaccination with AstraZeneca's drug from Sylvia Baumbach at the Apolda vaccination center in Apolda, Germany.(AP)

Germany limits travel from French region over Covid-19 virus variant

AP
UPDATED ON FEB 28, 2021 06:21 PM IST
Germany's disease control agency, the Robert Koch Institute, said it would add Moselle to the list of “variant of concern” areas that already includes countries such as the Czech Republic, Portugal and the United Kingdom.
Close
U.S. President Joe Biden speaks to members of the media before boarding Marine One on the South Lawn of the White House in Washington, D.C., U.S., on Saturday, Feb. 27, 2021. The U.S. House passed Biden's $1.9 trillion pandemic-relief plan, spanning $1,400 stimulus checks, enhanced jobless benefits and fresh funding for vaccines and testing. Photographer: Chris Kleponis/CNP/Bloomberg(Bloomberg)
U.S. President Joe Biden speaks to members of the media before boarding Marine One on the South Lawn of the White House in Washington, D.C., U.S., on Saturday, Feb. 27, 2021. The U.S. House passed Biden's $1.9 trillion pandemic-relief plan, spanning $1,400 stimulus checks, enhanced jobless benefits and fresh funding for vaccines and testing. Photographer: Chris Kleponis/CNP/Bloomberg(Bloomberg)

Biden team readies wider economic package after virus relief

AP, Washington
PUBLISHED ON FEB 28, 2021 06:07 PM IST
Biden has talked bigger numbers, and some Democrats are now urging him to bypass Republicans in the closely divided Congress to address a broader range of priorities urged by interest groups.
Close
The police recovered a 67-page-long suicide note from the crime scene which revealed the murderer’s intention to kill more people.(Getty Images/iStockphoto/representative use)
The police recovered a 67-page-long suicide note from the crime scene which revealed the murderer’s intention to kill more people.(Getty Images/iStockphoto/representative use)

Newspaper photographer attacked, seriously hurt in France

AP, Paris
PUBLISHED ON FEB 28, 2021 05:54 PM IST
The newspaper L'Union said Sunday that Christian Lantenois, 65, was in a serious but stable condition at a hospital in Reims in northeast France.
Close
The Soyuz spacecraft with the Arktika-M satellite blasts off from the launchpad at the Baikonur Cosmodrome, Kazakhstan.(via REUTERS)
The Soyuz spacecraft with the Arktika-M satellite blasts off from the launchpad at the Baikonur Cosmodrome, Kazakhstan.(via REUTERS)

Russia launches space satellite Arktika-M to monitor climate in Arctic

Posted by Kunal Gaurav | Reuters
UPDATED ON FEB 28, 2021 05:44 PM IST
The Arctic has warmed more than twice as fast as the global average over the last three decades and Moscow is seeking to develop the energy-rich region.
Close
Nasa astronauts Hopkins and Victor Glover finish a four-year effort to upgrade the ISS power system during a spacewalk on February 1, 2021. (AFP / File)
Nasa astronauts Hopkins and Victor Glover finish a four-year effort to upgrade the ISS power system during a spacewalk on February 1, 2021. (AFP / File)

Spacewalking Nasa astronauts prep station for new solar wings

Posted by Kunal Gaurav | AP, Cape Canaveral
PUBLISHED ON FEB 28, 2021 05:40 PM IST
  • With more people and experiments flying on the space station, more power will be needed to keep everything running, according to Nasa.
Close
A logo of China's vaccine specialist Cansino Biologics Inc is pictured in Tianjin. (REUTERS FILE)
A logo of China's vaccine specialist Cansino Biologics Inc is pictured in Tianjin. (REUTERS FILE)

China rolls out first locally made single-dose Covid vaccine

By Sutritho Patranobis I Edited by Vinod Janardhanan
PUBLISHED ON FEB 28, 2021 05:40 PM IST
The vaccine was jointly developed by Cansino Biologics, a Tianjin-based private company, and researchers from the Institute of Military Medicine under the Academy of Military Sciences led by scientist, Chen Wei.
Close
AstraZeneca's vaccines are ready for Corona vaccination at a vaccination center.(AP)
AstraZeneca's vaccines are ready for Corona vaccination at a vaccination center.(AP)

Australia receives first batch of AstraZeneca vaccines

ANI
PUBLISHED ON FEB 28, 2021 05:16 PM IST
In addition to AstraZeneca's jabs, Australia also has greenlighted the use of Pfizer's Covid-19 vaccine, and expects the arrival of 20 million doses this year. Vaccinations using Pfizer's shots started in the country a week ago.
Close
People can get desirable protective effect after 14 days of inoculation.(AFP)
People can get desirable protective effect after 14 days of inoculation.(AFP)

China rolls out first one-jab Covid-19 vaccine: Report

PTI, Beijing
PUBLISHED ON FEB 28, 2021 05:13 PM IST
Phase-I clinical trials of the vaccine started on March 16, last year, making it the world's first Covid-19 candidate vaccine that entered clinical trials.
Close
This image released by Briarcliff Entertainment shows Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, left, with journalist Jamal Khashoggi in a scene from the documentary "The Dissident."(AP)
This image released by Briarcliff Entertainment shows Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, left, with journalist Jamal Khashoggi in a scene from the documentary "The Dissident."(AP)

'Vindication of Prince': Saudi commentators thank Biden for report on Khashoggi

Bloomberg
PUBLISHED ON FEB 28, 2021 04:55 PM IST
Prince Mohammed has denied involvement in the Khashoggi killing, while saying he accepts symbolic responsibility as the country’s de facto ruler.
Close
Opposition leader Alexei Navalny stands in a cage in the Babuskinsky District Court in Moscow, Russia, Saturday, Feb. 20, 2021.(AP)
Opposition leader Alexei Navalny stands in a cage in the Babuskinsky District Court in Moscow, Russia, Saturday, Feb. 20, 2021.(AP)

Kremlin critic Alexei Navalny reaches penal colony to serve prison term

Reuters, Moscow
PUBLISHED ON FEB 28, 2021 04:50 PM IST
Navalny's ally Leonid Volkov said on social media earlier on Sunday that Navalny's family and lawyers had not been officially informed about his whereabouts.
Close
SHARE
Story Saved
OPEN APP