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A ban on nuclear weapons

Member organizations (including WFM – Canada) of the Canadian Network to Abolish Nuclear Weapons met October 24 and 25 in Ottawa. Many participants had just returned from the United Nations where deliberations in the UN General Assembly’s First Committee (Disarmament and International Security) were reportedly more acrimonious than at any time since the end of the Cold War. With all nine nuclear weapons states engaged in expensive modernization programs, there was little progress to report on the nuclear disarmament front. The only exception is an effort among many non-nuclear weapon states to initiate discussions on a legal ban of nuclear weapons. Although nuclear weapons possessing states oppose this process, a majority of UN member states support the resolution, which would at least put in place the legal, normative prohibition of the weapons, pointing to the need for a comprehensive process for their elimination at a later date. Work on such a declaratory nuclear weapons ban is expected to start in March 2017.

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