UN Talks To Ban Nuclear Weapons Boycotted By US And Other Nuclear Nations


On Monday, US Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley announced that the United States and around 40 other nations won’t participate in the first-ever talks on an international treaty to ban nuclear weapons.

Why boycott?

Ambassadors from about 20 nations, including nuclear powers United Kingdom and France flanked Haley who explained the decision in personal terms, saying: “As a mom and daughter, there is nothing I want more for my family than a world with no nuclear weapons. But we have to be realistic. Is there anyone that believes that North Korea would agree to a ban on nuclear weapons?”

The talks, which the General Assembly voted to approve in December were also opposed by President Barack Obama’s administration. Russia and China, both nuclear powers, are also not taking part in the talks. Matthew Rycroft, the United Kingdom Ambassador said his country also won’t attend the talks because they we don’t believe that those negotiations will lead to effective progress on global nuclear disarmament.

Last month, President Donald Trump told Reuters  that he prefers a nuclear-free world, but otherwise the United States should be “at the top of the pack.”

Dangers of nuclear detonation:

Backers of the treaty criticized the boycott, calling it “an unhelpful distraction.”

Executive director of the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons, Beatrice Fihn, said “Today’s last minute protest by Ambassador Haley and others standing with the American president demonstrates how worried they are about the real impact of the nuclear ban treaty. It is an unhelpful distraction from the important work of banning nuclear weapons.”

The risk of a nuclear detonation are higher than at any time since the end of the Cold War, according to the treaty supporters. However, Haily commented on the foreign officials joining the discussions saying “you have to ask yourself, are they looking out for their people? Do they really understand the threats that we have?”

The treaty would outlaw the use, possession and development of nuclear weapons and set up their eventual elimination, if adopted.