PH calls on nuclear states to support treaty vs weapons of mass destruction

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THE Philippines has called on United Nations (UN) member-states that possesses nuclear weapons to join the 121 nations in supporting an agreement that prohibits the use of weapons of mass destruction.

Foreign affairs Secretary Alan Peter Cayateno issued the call after signing the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons, a legally binding agreement, which was adopted by 121 member-state in July.

“We call on Member-States that possess the world’s largest nuclear arsenals to sign on to the treaty,” said Cayetano in a statement after signing the instrument on the side of the 72nd Session of the United Nations General Assembly in New York.

The foreign affairs secretary said being one of the signatories, the Philippines was ready to contribute to the effort to rid the world of weapons of mass destruction.

“Our signing of the treaty today affirms our unequivocal commitment to put nuclear weapons firmly on the path of extinction, a cause of the highest priority embodied in our country’s constitution,” he added.

The Philippines is among 121 UN member-states that adopted the treaty, the first legally binding international agreement to comprehensively prohibit nuclear weapons with the goal of leading towards their total elimination.

The treaty will take effect 90 days after 50 countries have signed, ratified and accepted it. The signing started on September 20.

The United States, United Kingdom and France have refused to take part in the treaty and have no intention to sign it.

“We do not intend to sign, ratify or ever become party to it. Therefore, there will be no change in the legal obligations on our countries with respect to nuclear weapons,” the three countries said in a joint statement.

Under the agreement, each state party under any circumstances should not develop, test, produce, transfer, received and stockpile nuclear weapons or other nuclear explosive devices.

For states that have nuclear weapons, they are required to cooperate with the competent international authority for the irreversible elimination of their nuclear-weapons program. JEFFERSON ANTIPORDA

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