Nuclear weapons ban treaty meeting calls for world without nuclear arms

Delegates from states parties to a UN treaty banning nuclear weapons have adopted a declaration appealing for a world without nuclear arms, as well as an action plan to achieve that.

The three-day meeting in Vienna of States Parties to the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons ended on Thursday. The gathering was the first of its kind, and came amid growing fears that Russia may use nuclear weapons in its invasion of Ukraine.

The delegates adopted the Vienna Declaration, which does not mention Russia by name but says the states parties "are alarmed and dismayed by threats to use nuclear weapons and increasingly strident nuclear rhetoric."

The declaration says the states parties "condemn unequivocally any and all nuclear threats, whether they be explicit or implicit and irrespective of the circumstances."

It says the existence of nuclear weapons "diminishes and threatens the common security of all states," and "it threatens our very survival."

The declaration says achieving a world without nuclear weapons "is the only way to guarantee that they are never used again, under any circumstances."

The delegates also issued the Vienna Action Plan, which sets out 50 items designed to guide the states parties and other relevant actors in the practical implementation of the treaty.

The plan calls for the states parties to encourage states not party to the treaty to join it "with the goal of universal adherence."

It also contains actions to support those harmed by use and testing of nuclear weapons.

The plan says the treaty complements disarmament instruments, particularly the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons.

It says the states parties will appoint an informal facilitator to further explore possible areas of cooperation between the treaties.