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Senate OK’s Manila’s adoption of treaty on ban of nuclear arms

THE SENATE on Monday concurred with President Rodrigo R. Duterte’s decision to agree to a United Nations (UN) treaty banning nuclear weapons.

Twenty-three senators voted to approve Senate Resolution 620 on third and final reading, making the Philippines the 53rd nation to adopt the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons.

The treaty is the “first globally applicable multilateral agreement to comprehensively prohibit nuclear weapons on the basis of international humanitarian law,” Senator Aquilino L. Pimentel III said in a statement.

The treaty took effect after it was ratified by at least 50 states. Eighty-six countries signed the accord.

The treaty bars nations from developing, testing, producing, manufacturing, transferring, possessing, stockpiling, using or threatening to use nuclear weapons.

States will also be banned from helping, encouraging or inducing anyone to engage in these activities or allow nuclear weapons to be stationed, installed or deployed in their territories.

“Nuclear weapons do not discriminate,” said Mr. Pimentel, who sponsored the resolution as chairman of the foreign relations committee. “We cannot afford another nuclear arms race. The Hiroshima and Nagasaki bombings in Japan are horrors that should never be repeated.”

Senator Emmanuel Joel J. Villanueva, who was among the authors, said at Monday’s session the treaty is a “stepping stone to a nuclear weapon-free world.” — Charmaine A. Tadalan

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