week, the UN General Assembly adopted a resolution that sets up
negotiations of a new legally binding instrument to prohibit nuclear
This is a huge success for all of us,
thank you for all of your tweets, emails, donations and any other
actions you have taken to support our work!
this world of acronyms, resolution numbers, endless documents and
paragraphs, it's not always easy to keep up to speed with what it all
Here are some of the questions we've received about the resolution:
What did the resolution actually decide?
The resolution "Taking forward multilateral nuclear disarmament negotiations"
was adopted on 27th October by the UN General Assembly. 123 states
voted in favor, 38 voted against and 16 abstained. You can see the detailed voting result here.
resolution convenes a conference to negotiate a legally binding
instrument to prohibit nuclear weapons, which will take place in 2017.
does not outline the content of the treaty, but recognizes the
humanitarian impact of nuclear weapons and the risks related to the
existance of nuclear weapons as a reason for moving forward with a
When will the negotiations take place?
resolution stipulates that the negotiating conference will convene
twice in 2017. The first meeting will be held on 27-31 March and the
second meeting will be held on 15 June-7 July.
resolution calls on states participating in the conference to "make
their best endeavours to conclude as soon as possible a legally binding
instrument to prohibit nuclear weapons."
believes it's possible and will work hard to ensure that a treaty
prohibiting nuclear weapons can be adopted by the end of the negotiating
conference in July.
Can states that voted no participate in the negotiations?
The resolution specify that negotiations will be open to all states,
international organizations and civil society. It also encourages all
member states of the United Nations to participate in the negotiations.
states that decided to vote no have indicated that this decision does
not rule out their eventual participation in the treaty negotiations.
will work hard to ensure that as many states that voted no as possible
participate in good faith in the negotiations and we are confident that
What impact will this treaty really have if nuclear-armed states don't sign it?
ban on nuclear weapons will establish an international norm against the
possession of nuclear weapons, which will help to reduce the perceived
value of such weapons. It will draw the line between those states that
believe nuclear weapons are unacceptable and illegitimate, and those
states that believe nuclear weapons are legitimate and able to provide
If nuclear weapons continue to be
portrayed as a legitimate and a useful means to provide security,
non-nuclear weapon states might aim to develop such weapons themselves.
nuclear weapons is not the same as eliminating them. However, a ban
will be a necessary starting point for disarmament to happen. While the
dismantlement of all nuclear arsenals might be a long process, a clear
international rejection of these weapons is going to be an essential
component of future disarmament efforts.
on nuclear weapons will make the maintenance and development of nuclear
weapons less attractive and more difficult, both for existing nuclear
weapons possessors and potential new ones. It will create better
conditions for effective disarmament measures.
experiences with for example biological and chemical weapons, landmines
and cluster munitions, shows that prohibition precedes elimination,
even if not all states sign the treaty.
Does NATO membership prevent states from participating and signing this treaty?
There are no legal grounds for why a NATO country would not be able to work for a ban on nuclear weapons.
member states have reserved the right to adopt independent national
policies on nuclear weapons as long as the Alliance has existed. Some of
these national positions already restrict participation in the nuclear
weapons activities of the Alliance, without restricting these states
from participating in the work of the Alliance more generally. States
can also change their role in various planning groups, and have
historically done so, including in the Nuclear Planning Group.
NATO’s strategic concept from 2010 says that as long as nuclear weapons
exist, NATO will remain a nuclear alliance, the concept also declares
that the alliance should work to create conditions for a world free of
nuclear weapons. A ban on nuclear weapons will stigmatize and prohibit
nuclear weapons, creating better conditions for nuclear disarmament.
Working for nuclear disarmament is not just a reference in a strategic
concept, this is also an obligation in the Nuclear Non-Proliferation
Treaty, a treaty signed by all member states of NATO.
2010 NPT outcome document called for the reduction of reliance on
nuclear weapons in security doctrines. By leading the work to stigmatize
and prohibit nuclear weapons, NATO states can implement their national
obligations by increasing the influence over NATOs next strategic
concept and implement the commitments from 2010 to ”reduce the reliance
on nuclear weapons in security doctrines”.
facts that have emerged during the three humanitarian consequences, as
well as the new discussion about the risks such weapons pose should be
the start of a dialogue in all NATO states about what more NATO states
can do to reach a world free of nuclear weapons.
Will ICAN participate in the negotiations?
bet! We will work hard to make sure that the text of the treaty
stays strong, that as many countries as possible participate and to
ensure that people around the world can influence their governments.
Got more questions? Check out our frequently asked questions about a treaty banning nuclear weapons or send us an email on email@example.com