early 72-years after the world witnessed the devastating effects of nuclear weapons on Hiroshima and Nagasaki in Japan, Liberia has joined other United Nations Member States to adopt a treaty to ban nuclear weapons.
At the close of a three-week conference negotiating the ban, the treaty was endorsed by 122 participating member states, despite a boycott by countries that possess nuclear weapons including the United States, United Kingdom, France and Russia. The Netherlands was the only participating country that voted against the adoption of the treaty which took place at the United Nations headquarters in New York last Friday, July 7, 2017.
According to a dispatch from Liberia’s Permanent Mission to the United Nations, His Excellency Mr. Lewis Garseedah Brown, II, hailed the vote as historic and significant especially for a country which has experienced the effects of war and is determined to stay on the path of peace.
“Liberia’s vote does not mean we have a perfect treaty. Our vote is an expression of our determination to seek secured paths to peace through multilateralism,” Liberia’s Permanent Representative to the United Nations said.
For her part, the President of the United Nations Conference to Negotiate a Legally Binding Instrument to Prohibit Nuclear Weapons, Ms. Elayne Whyte Gómez, described the adoption of the treaty as a clear statement that member states wanted a nuclear-free world.
“It’s been seven decades since the world knew the power of destruction of nuclear weapons and since day one there was a call to prohibit nuclear weapons. This is a very clear statement that the international community wants to move to a completely different security paradigm that does not include nuclear weapons,” Ambassador Gomez, who is also Permanent Representative of Costa Rica to the UN Office at Geneva (UNOG) emphasized.
A result of months of talks and consultations amongst Member States and civil society, the treaty seeks to eliminate nuclear weapons by banning their development, testing, manufacture, or possession as well as mandating signatories to ensure that their territories are not used to host nuclear weapons.
The treaty will be open for signatures on September 20, during the 72nd UN General Assembly in New York.
Liberia is already signatory to other treaties that support disarmament, world peace and security including: The Arms Trade Treaty (ATT), Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT), Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty (CTBT), Mine Ban Treaty (MBT) and Chemical Weapons Convention (CWC).