With the North Korean nuclear crisis looming large, 51 countries on Wednesday were to sign a new treaty outlawing nuclear weapons. The treaty on the prohibition of nuclear weapons was adopted by 122 countries at the UN in July following negotiations led by Austria, Brazil, Mexico, South Africa and New Zealand.
None of the nine countries that possess nuclear weapons – the US, Russia, Britain, China, France, India, Pakistan, North Korea and Israel – took part in the negotiations.
UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres formally opened a signing ceremony at the UN, hailing it as a milestone as the first multilateral disarmament treaty in more than two decades. But Guterres acknowledged that much work was needed to rid the world of its stockpile of 15,000 atomic warheads.