On 20 September, over 40 high-level figures from around the world signed the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons at the United Nations on behalf of their countries.
They were led by the presidents of Brazil, Central African Republic, Chile, Comoros, Costa Rica, Guyana, Kiribati, Palau and South Africa. The UN secretary-general, António Guterres, said: ‘We cannot allow these doomsday weapons to endanger our world and our children’s future.’
At the moment the treaty opened for signatures, the British Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament (CND) handed in hundreds of letters from across the UK at No 10 Downing Street, London. ‘British democracy has happened this afternoon. The public have made their voice heard, and we hope that the prime minister will take notice,’ said Kate Hudson, CND general secretary.
The treaty, which bans everything to do with nuclear explosive devices, will come into force 90 days after it has been signed and ratified by 50 states.
At the time of going to press, three countries had signed and ratified the treaty: Guyana, Thailand, and the Vatican.
On 20 September, 50 states signed immediately, including Palestine and the Vatican.