States Parties to nuclear weapons ban treaty to hear observers

Delegates attending a meeting of States Parties to a UN treaty banning the use of nuclear weapons are set to hear speeches by observers, including NATO members, on Wednesday in Austria.

The three-day meeting of States Parties to the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons opened in Vienna on Tuesday. In speeches on Day One, many of the States Parties stressed the treaty's significance amid growing nuclear threats from Russia.

Chair Alexander Kmentt of Austria said 33 countries not party to the treaty have expressed their intention to attend the meeting as observers. Countries including Germany, the Netherlands and Norway will deliver speeches on the second day. The three NATO countries have not joined the treaty because they are under the US nuclear umbrella.

Some of the non-members are preparing to ratify the treaty. Others have no plan to join the agreement, but are willing to attend the meeting to explain their security posture. Some hope to exchange opinions with the States Parties and NGOs.

Besides the observers' speeches, the meeting will hear testimony by an atomic-bomb survivor from the Japanese city of Nagasaki on Wednesday.

The forum also plans to discuss how to invite nuclear powers to join the treaty, and assistance to people who have been affected by nuclear weapons and tests.