On Monday, the US Ambassador to the United Nations, Nikki Haley, announced that the United States and almost 40 other nations would not participate in the first-ever talks about an international treaty to ban nuclear weapons.
During the announcement, Haley had on her side ambassadors from about 20 nations, including nuclear powers United Kingdom and France. She spoke of the decision in personal terms stating that although “there is nothing I want more for my family than a world with no nuclear weapons… we have to be realistic.”
It did not take Haley’s mention of North Korea to figure out the reason America and other countries are reluctant to accede to, the US Ambassador to the United Nations, however, asked the hanging question;
“Is there anyone that believes that North Korea would agree to a ban on nuclear weapons?”
No country would like to get rid of their reserves of nuclear weapons when another country which could be a likely enemy in the future still holds on to theirs.
The reluctance on America’s part is not a ‘Trump administration’ thing. President Barack Obama’s administration also opposed the talks. The United Nations General Assembly, however, voted to approve the talks on the ban in December.
United Kingdom Ambassador Matthew Rycroft said his country also would not attend the talks because “we do not believe that those negotiations will lead to effective progress on global nuclear disarmament.” Russia and China have also declared that they will not take part in the talks.
Not everyone is as understanding on the announcement about the talks concerning the nuclear weapons ban. Beatrice Fihn, executive director of the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons said that the “last minute protest by Ambassador Haley and others standing with the American president demonstrates how worried they are about the real impact of the nuclear ban treaty.”
He further called the announcement “an unhelpful distraction from the important work of banning nuclear weapons.” Supporters of the treaty say that the risk of a nuclear detonation are higher than at any time since the end of the Cold War. Accordingly, nations who sign the treaty would be agreeing to outlaw the use, possession and development of nuclear weapons, leading hopefully to their eventual elimination.