United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres. (Photo credit: UN/via IANS). Image Source: IANS News

United Nations, Jan 22 : UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres on Friday welcomed the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons, commonly known as the Nuclear Weapon Ban Treaty's coming into force.

"I am pleased to recognize today's entry into force of the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons, the first multilateral nuclear disarmament treaty in more than two decades. The treaty is an important step towards the goal of a world free of nuclear weapons and a strong demonstration of support for multilateral approaches to nuclear disarmament," Guterres said in a video message.

He commended the states that have ratified the treaty and welcomed the instrumental role of civil society in advancing negotiation and entry into force, Xinhua news agency reported.

The survivors of nuclear explosions and nuclear tests offered tragic testimonies and were a moral force behind the treaty, and its entry into force is a tribute to their enduring advocacy, the UN chief said.

"I look forward to carrying out the functions assigned by the treaty, including in preparation for the first meeting of states parties," the Secretary-General added.

Nuclear weapons pose growing dangers and the world needs urgent action to ensure their elimination and prevent the catastrophic human and environmental consequences any use would cause, according to Guterres.

The elimination of nuclear weapons remains the highest disarmament priority of the UN, he said.

"I call on all states to work together to realise this ambition to advance common security and collective safety." The treaty was adopted in July 2017 and was opened for signature in September 2017.

Honduras signed the 50th ratification of treaty on October 25, 2020, triggering it to enter into force on January 22, 2021, 90 days after its 50th instrument of ratification, acceptance, approval or accession has been deposited.

-- The story has been published from a wire feed without any modifications to the text

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