Nuclear ban treaty marks two years amid growing nuclear threat

Sunday marks two years since the United Nations treaty banning nuclear weapons came into force.

The anniversary comes at a time when more countries have diverging views on those weapons amid the war in Ukraine and Russia's growing nuclear threat.

The Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons took effect on January 22, 2021, and has so far collected 92 Signatory States and 68 States Parties.

Delegates from States Parties to the treaty held their first meeting in Vienna last June. They adopted the Vienna Declaration that calls for a nuclear-free world.

The delegates also issued the Vienna Action Plan, which sets out concrete steps toward the abolition of nuclear weapons.

Meanwhile, nuclear states such as Russia, China and the United States, have not joined the treaty. Countries under the US nuclear umbrella, including Japan, are also not party to the pact.

Some countries have moved to raise their reliance on nuclear deterrence as Russia suggests the possibility of using its nuclear arsenal if threatened.

A review conference of the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons last August was adjourned without a final document, due to Russia's opposition.

The second meeting of States Parties to the nuclear ban treaty is scheduled for November. But it remains to be seen whether the treaty will help efforts toward nuclear disarmament to gain momentum in the future.