Nigeria and other anti-nuclear weapon countries say nuclear weapons are no longer fashionable and would continue engaging nuclear powers to give them up following the adoption of nuclear weapons prohibition treaty.
Nigeria’s Ambassador/Permanent Representative to the UN, Prof. Tijjani Bande, told newsmen in New York that nuclear weapons were no longer fashionable.
“Nuclear weapons have been known for over 70 years. The catastrophe related to them has also been known in 1945 and even last week, the possible dangers of nuclear proliferation had been the talk of the town.
“In this city, we had the Security Council meeting over some other country wanting to build it.
“If you claim you are secured only by having weapons, you think other person listening will say ‘yeah, it is okay for you to be secured by having nuclear weapons’?
“So you cannot stop proliferation if you continue to develop them and developing this is really a big problem. So engagement is key; this is a treaty that has global implications.
“In 1945, everything in the world was decided by governments. So the fact that we are now dealing with international civil society organizations tell you these are serious moral questions.
“These are serious moral question; the norms are not for government, these norms are human norms, it is action by small bodies of activists from the village to the city to the UN.
“Engaging them, not in an abusive manner, but simply by appealing( to them for the sake of) humanity and all of us that this cannot be good for humanity and that we have come a long way.”
The UN on Friday adopted the Nuclear Weapons Prohibition Treaty in a majority vote by 122 countries leading towards the total elimination of nuclear weapons, while 60 countries boycotted.
Nigeria, together with Ireland, Austria, Brazil, Mexico and South Africa played a leadership role in bringing forward the UN resolution convening the Diplomatic Conference that negotiated the historic treaty.
The Nigerian envoy expressed optimism that before long, the countries that boycotted the treaty would see the futility of nuclear weapons and prohibit them in the interest of humanity.
According to Bande, nuclear weapons are not for show and the world is no longer comfortable with them, saying they now cause more harms than good.
“Nobody is comfortable that nuclear weapons are being sharpened. They are not for show.
“First, everyday, we have been told by development experts what it costs to develop weapons, any weapons, in relation to what is lost for development.
“Whether it is big States or small States, weapons of war cost money and they remove what could be done to other humans for their own good and be placed where they are meant to fear.
“And this is the point, it is just continuous engagement and mechanisms are either available within the existing treaties or can be developed as we go along in engaging with all other States.
“And not only States but actors, because civil societies have worked very hard on this one.
“I’m sure they have a lot of tasks ahead of them because it’s not just for governments, it’s for all of us.”