Jakarta: The Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons (TPNW), the first multilateral nuclear disarmament treaty in more than two decades, came into force just after midnight on Friday.
The treaty was hailed by the United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres as an important step towards a world free of nuclear weapons.
In a video message and statement, the UN chief commended the States that have ratified the Treaty and welcomed the instrumental role of civil society in advancing the TPNW’s negotiation and entry into force.
"The survivors of nuclear explosions and nuclear tests offered tragic testimonies and were a moral force behind the Treaty. Entry into force is a tribute to their enduring advocacy," he said.
The TPNW secured the 50 ratifications it needed to then enter into force, at the end of last October.
The accord was approved initially by 122 nations at the UN General Assembly in 2017, but it was civil society groups led by the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons (ICAN) which had put in the decades of activism to secure the number of countries required to make it a reality.
So far however, the main nuclear powers of the United States (US), the United Kingdom (UK), Russia, China and France, have not signed the accord.
It declares that countries ratifying it must “never under any circumstances develop, test, produce, manufacture or otherwise acquire, possess or stockpile nuclear weapons or other nuclear explosive devices.