An international treaty to ban nuclear weapons has been ratified by 50 United Nations member countries, the world body said Saturday.
With Honduras being the 50th nation to ratify it, the historic document enters into force in 90 days, on Jan. 22.
In a statement U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres commended the efforts of the 50 countries and of civil society’s anti-nuclear activists for such “instrumental work.”
The treaty is the culmination of a worldwide movement “to draw attention to the catastrophic humanitarian consequences of any use of nuclear weapons,” Guterres said in the statement issued by U.N. spokesperson Stephane Dujarric, adding it “is a tribute to the survivors of nuclear explosions and tests, many of whom advocated for this treaty.”
The movement had been strongly opposed by the United States and other major nuclear powers.
The treaty “represents a meaningful commitment towards the total elimination of nuclear weapons, which remains the highest disarmament priority of the United Nations,” Dujarric quoted Guterres as stating.
The president of the International Committee of the Red Cross saluted the treaty, saying in a statement "today is a victory for humanity, and a promise of a safer future."
Since the 75th anniversary of the nuclear attacks on Nagasaki and Hiroshima in August, several countries, including Nigeria, Malaysia, Ireland, Malta and Tuvalu, have ratified the treaty.