Nigeria has signed the Nuclear Weapons Prohibition Treaty, joining dozens of other countries that signed the treaty to ban nuclear weapons amid tensions over North Korea’s nuclear and missile tests.
The Minister of Foreign Affairs, Geoffrey Onyeama, signed the treaty on behalf of Nigeria on Wednesday at the UN headquarters on the sidelines of the High-level UN General Assembly.
After the signing ceremony, Onyeama told newsmen that Nigeria was in support of the weapons-free world.
The minister said it was unfortunate that countries with nuclear weapons saw them as deterrence and safeguarded their security.
According to him, it will take great effort to really push and get a larger number of countries to accede to the treaty, especially nuclear weapons states.
He urged countries that signed the treaty, Civil Society Organisations and intergovernmental organisations to convince others to accede to the treaty.
The foreign affairs minister stressed that “the point made was that even if those nuclear weapons states were not ready to sign, they should at least take measures to ensure there was no accidental use or deliberate use of nuclear weapons.”
The treaty would enter into force 90 days after 50 countries ratified it, while Nigeria was due to deposit its ratification soon.
The UN had in July adopted Nuclear Weapons Prohibition Treaty in a majority vote by 122 countries, leading toward total elimination of nuclear weapons, while 60 countries boycotted.
With the adoption of the treaty, nuclear weapons now joined all other weapons of mass destruction already prohibited.
Nigeria, together with Ireland, Austria, Brazil, Mexico and South Africa played leadership roles in bringing forward the UN resolution convening the Diplomatic Conference that negotiated the ground-breaking treaty.