Nuclear prohibition conference concludes

Nuclear prohibition conference concludes

A UN conference to negotiate a treaty to completely ban the proliferation and possession of nuclear weapons concludes today. Included

Photo: AFP

Photo: AFP

A UN conference to negotiate a treaty to completely ban the proliferation and possession of nuclear weapons concludes today.

Included in the 40 states boycotting the conference are all nine of the nuclear-armed states, which, among themselves, possess about 15,000 nuclear weapons. A possible treaty produced as a result of this conference would, therefore, carry negligible weight.

There is almost no chance that such a treaty would ever come into force in the foreseeable future, as the nuclear powers have no interest in getting rid of their most potent deterrent.

With an increasingly erratic North Korea, against which the Trump administration has taken a hard stance, it is less likely now than ever that the US would even consider capitulating to calls for a reduction of its nuclear arsenal, much less a full nuclear ban.

With Washington unwilling to consider denuclearisation, the question is similarly off the table for the other eight aforementioned states, as they do not seek to sacrifice, among other things, the power and prestige of being nuclear-armed countries.