By Philippine News Agency
The Philippines has joined 121 other nations in adopting a legally binding treaty that will prohibit the manufacture and use of nuclear weapons.
The treaty is a crucial step toward the total and complete elimination of nuclear weapons which the Philippines has been pushing for since the early days of the United Nations (UN).
“This treaty is the capstone of the global disarmament architecture. It strengthens the existing network of treaties and agreements already in place by reaffirming their collectively compelling logic of survival. We voted for its adoption because it is the right thing to do,” Philippine permanent representative to the United Nations Teodoro L. Locsin Jr. said in the Philippine statement delivered after the conference adopted the treaty.
The treaty fills the legal gap in the existing disarmament architecture that has already delegitimized chemical and biological weapons but not nuclear weapons, considered the most deadly of all weapons of mass destruction.
Under the treaty, states parties are prohibited from, among others, developing, testing, producing, manufacturing, acquiring, possessing or stockpiling nuclear weapons or other nuclear explosive devices.
They are also banned from using or threatening to use nuclear weapons and explosive devices.
The treaty also prescribes pathways to enable nuclear weapon states to accede in the future and pave the way for the complete elimination of nuclear weapons.
The Philippine delegation actively participated in the negotiations guided by the provision of the Philippine Constitution which prohibits nuclear weapons in Philippine territory and by its obligations under the Bangkok Treaty establishing a Southeast Asian Nuclear Weapons Free Zone.
The treaty prescribes pathways to enable nuclear weapon states to accede in the future.
It will open for signature on September 19, 2017 and will enter into force 90 days after the fiftieth instrument of ratification has been deposited.
The Philippines, government and civil society alike, has been a strong voice in the nuclear disarmament discourse.