Nigeria, 55 Other Countries Sign Anti-nuclear Weapons Treaty

A gathering of the United Nations (Photo: AFP)
A gathering of the United Nations (Photo: AFP)

The Nigerian Government has signed the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons.

The country’s minister of foreign affairs Geoffrey Onyeama on Wednesday signed the treaty on behalf of Nigeria at the 72nd United Nations General Assembly.

Fifty-five other UN member states also signed the treaty.

The Nuclear Weapon Ban Treaty is the first legally-binding international agreement that would extensively prohibit nuclear weapons.

The aim is to eliminate nuclear weapons.

The UN passed it on 7 July, 2017, and for the treaty to come into effect, signature and ratification by a minimum of 50 countries is required.

The treaty prohibits the development, testing, production, stockpiling, stationing, transfer, use and threat of use of nuclear weapons.

Speaking after the signing ceremony, Onyeama said Nigeria signed the treaty because right from the early 60s, the country has been a strong advocate for nuclear weapons’ prohibition and also, non proliferation of nuclear weapons.

“You may recall that in the early 60s, France tested an atom bomb, a nuclear device in the Sahara and Nigeria broke up diplomatic relations with France,” he said.

“So, ever since that period, we’ve always been very much a strong advocate for de-nuclearization of the world.”

The minister further said Nigeria was one of the main movers of the treaty, but he added that it was unfortunate countries who have nuclear weapons view them as deterrence.

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