The nuclear ban treaty: A missed US opportunity that can be redeemed in September

By not just refusing to endorse the new UN treaty on the prohibition of nuclear weapons but also to even participate in the negotiations that led up to its adoption, the Trump administration has undermined the United States’ moral standing in the world and jeopardized its national security by doing nothing to diminish the prospects of a nuclear war.

This treaty, which delegates to the UN approved last week by a vote of 122 to 1, delegitimizes nuclear weapons, providing for a total ban on developing, stockpiling, or threatening to use nuclear weapons. It will enter into force 90 days after it has been ratified by 50 countries; the signing period starts on September 20. In many ways, this treaty is a logical follow-on to existing treaties that have limited or banned other weapons of mass or indiscriminate destruction, among them the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) and the treaties banning biological and chemical weapons, landmines, and cluster bombs, all of which have been adopted by the international community over the past 40 years.

This article was originally published in The Bulletin.