On 7 July 2017, an overwhelming majority of the world’s countries voted to adopt the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons – a landmark global agreement that outlaws nuclear weapons and establishes a framework for achieving their total elimination. It is gaining ground fast, but to get all countries on board, we need your help.
The treaty prohibits countries that have joined it from developing, testing, producing, manufacturing, transferring, possessing, stockpiling, hosting, using, or threatening to use nuclear weapons. They must also refrain from assisting, encouraging, or inducing others to engage in these activities.
A country that currently possesses nuclear weapons may join the treaty, so long as it agrees to remove its weapons from operational status immediately and to destroy them in a verifiable and irreversible manner, in accordance with a legally binding, time-bound plan.
The treaty will enter into force once 50 countries have ratified it. Ratification signals a country's formal consent to be legally bound by the treaty, whereas signature indicates a country's support for the treaty and its intention to ratify it in the future. Signature can usually be done by a head of government or foreign minister, whereas most countries need relevant parliamentary approval for ratification.
The treaty is already moving us closer to a nuclear-weapon-free world: