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PH signs nuclear weapons ban treaty

NEW YORK– The Philippines today called on nuclear weapons states to join the international community in making the world a safer place by signing the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons.

“We call on Member-States that possess the world’s largest nuclear arsenals to sign on to the treaty,” Foreign Affairs Secretary Alan Peter S. Cayetano said after signing the instrument on the sides of the 72nd Session of the United Nations General Assembly.

“The world will only be safe if we eliminate all weapons of mass destruction,” Secretary Cayetano added. “As a signatory, the Philippines stands ready to contribute to the work ahead.”

“Our signing of the treaty today affirms our unequivocal commitment to put nuclear weapons firmly on the path of extinction, a cause of the highest priority embodied in our country’s constitution,” Secretary Cayetano said.

The Secretary said the treaty presents a unique opportunity for nuclear weapon states to demonstrate that they remain committed to their own cause of nuclear disarmament and the United Nations Charter.

The Philippines is among 121 UN member-states that adopted the treaty, the first legally binding international agreement to comprehensively prohibit nuclear weapons with the goal of leading towards their total elimination.

Foreign Affairs Assistant Secretary Bayani Mercado of the Office of United Nations and Other International Organizations said the adoption of the treaty not only recognized the catastrophic effects of nuclear weapons on humanity and the environment but also reaffirmed the universal aspiration of a world free from such weapons.

“The treaty acknowledged global geopolitical dynamics that call for the elimination of nuclear weapons before these weapons could annihilate humanity,” Assistant Secretary Mercado said.

The Philippines has been consistent in its nuclear disarmament advocacy. It contributed to the effort when it presided over the 2010 Review Conference of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty. | DFA-PR

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