1st meeting of UN nuclear ban treaty set for Jan.

The first meeting of the signatories of a UN treaty banning nuclear weapons will take place in Austria in January next year.

The Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons, which prohibits by international law the development, manufacture, possession and use of nuclear weapons, entered into force on January 22.

The United Nations said the meeting will be held in Vienna from January 12 to 14 to discuss the future operations of the treaty. The UN plans to notify the signatories on Friday.

The treaty states that the UN secretary-general has to convene a meeting of the signatories within one year of the treaty's entry into force.

The treaty has been ratified by 54 countries and territories. But nuclear-armed countries and nations that rely on nuclear deterrence, including Japan, have not joined the treaty.

Non-signatory parties are allowed to attend the meeting. Countries and territories promoting the treaty hope to increase the number of signatory states, and urge those relying on nuclear deterrence to attend the meeting as observers.

The UN Under-Secretary-General and High Representative for Disarmament Affairs, Nakamitsu Izumi, said the UN is working closely with Austria, which will chair the first meeting of the signatories. She said the UN is working hard for a world free of nuclear weapons, and she is looking forward to a successful meeting.