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    Leaflets are seen on a delegates desk before a vote by the conference to adopt a legally binding instrument to prohibit nuclear weapons, leading towards their total elimination, Friday, July 7, 2017 at United Nations headquarters

    Over 120 UN Member States Adopt Treaty to Ban Nuclear Weapons

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    120 UN member states with the exception of all nine nuclear powers adopted a treaty to categorically prohibit nuclear weapons.

    UNITED NATIONS (Sputnik) — More than 120 UN member states on Thursday adopted a treaty to categorically prohibit nuclear weapons although the world’s nuclear powers boycotted the entire process.

    "Each State Party undertakes never under any circumstances to… Develop, test, produce, manufacture, otherwise acquire, possess or stockpile nuclear weapons or other nuclear explosive devices," the treaty, approved by a 122-member majority, stated.

    All nine nuclear powers did not participate in the conference, including five permanent members of the UN Security Council: Russia, the United States, China, France, and the United Kingdom. Four others known or suspected to possess nuclear weapons — Pakistan, India, Israel, and North Korea — also refused to partake.

    Other notable countries that declined to engage in the process include Japan, which was on the receiving end of two US atomic bombs, and South Korea, which borders a recently very active nuclear state.

    Netherlands, the only NATO member state to participate in the proceedings, voted against the treaty while Singapore abstained.

    According to the convention, it will be open for signature by states at the United Nations in New York on September 20, 2017 and will come into force 90 days after it is ratified by 50 countries.

    In March, US Ambassador to the UN Nikki Haley said the United States abandoning nuclear weapons at this time would put the world at risk because of North Korea’s nuclear activities.

    In October 2016, the UN General Assembly voted to negotiate and conclude a treaty prohibiting nuclear weapons. The first negotiation session took place at the United Nations in New York City in March and lasted a week. The second session opened on June 15 and is due to close today, July 7.

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