The nuclear ban is coming. Draft treaty released.

The United Nations negotiations for a legally binding agreement on the prohibition of nuclear weapons have moved into the next (and possibly penultimate) stage.

On May 22, Ambassador Whyte Gómez (Costa Rica), the President of the UN negotiating conference, released a Draft of the ban treaty.

As expected the draft treaty outlines general obligations that would prohibit States parties to the treaty from developing, producing, acquiring, possessing, testing or using nuclear weapons. The draft treaty also requires states parties to accept safeguards on nuclear energy facilities, with a view to preventing diversion of nuclear energy from peaceful uses to nuclear weapons or other nuclear explosive devices.

The ban treaty and financing of nuclear weapons production

The nuclear weapons industry is one of the most powerful drivers behind, and one of the few beneficiaries of, the continuing the nuclear arms race.

This industry is supported by many non-nuclear States, whose public funds and banks invest in the corporations making nuclear weapons and their delivery systems. As such, UNFOLD ZERO has proposed that the nuclear ban treaty include a specific prohibition on the financing of nuclear weapons.

The draft treaty includes a prohibition on aiding, encouraging or inducing others to manufacture nuclear weapons, which could be interpreted as banning such investments. However, this is not clear.

UNFOLD ZERO will therefore continue to encourage the negotiating governments to include in the final treaty a specific prohibition on financing the production of nuclear weapons.

Next (final?) round of negotiations in New York

The next round of negotiations on the draft treaty will take place in New York from June 15 – July 7, 2017. It is possible that the negotiations could result in a treaty ready to be adopted by the negotiating governments at the end of this session.

UNFOLD ZERO will join other NGOs in New York to observe the negotiations and to organise side-events to support or influence the negotiations.

There is also an informal one day meeting of government delegations in Geneva on June 2 at which UNFOLD ZERO will speak on the proposal to prohibit financing of nuclear weapons production.

Side-events at the ban negotiations in New York

For a full list of events see NGO side events.