The landmark Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons (TPNW) has now been signed by almost half of all countries.
This comes after a ceremony at the meeting of the United Nations General Assembly in New York where Sri Lanka acceded to the treaty and the Bahamas signed it.
This means 97 states have now signed, ratified or acceded to the treaty that outlaws nuclear weapons and all weapons-related activity.
The TPNW was negotiated in 2017 and entered into force in 2021.
It is the first multilateral agreement to ban nuclear weapons in a comprehensive manner and establish a framework for their elimination, as well as for assisting victims of their use and testing.
The Executive Director of the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons, ICAN, Melissa Parke, said: “the growing support for the TPNW brings added authority to what is already the strongest international norm against the worst weapons of mass destruction.
“This is sorely needed at this moment when the war in Ukraine and escalating tensions in the Korean peninsula have brought the world closer to nuclear war than at any time since the height of the Cold War”.
Parke added: “any use of nuclear weapons would be an unparalleled humanitarian and environmental catastrophe and these two countries are to be praised for doing their part to prevent these horrific weapons from ever being used in conflict again”.
With the Bahamas’ signature, adherence to the TPNW by Caribbean states is now almost universal.
Parke said that Sri Lanka’s accession 2sends an important disarmament message to its nuclear-armed neighbours in South Asia, India and Pakistan.”