MANILA— The Philippines has signed a United Nations (UN) treaty banning nuclear weapons, as it called on other member states to join the international community in making the world a safer place.
Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) Secretary Alan Peter Cayetano signed Wednesday the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons on the sides of the 72nd Session of the United Nations General Assembly in New York.
“We call on Member-States that possess the world’s largest nuclear arsenals to sign on to the treaty,” he said after signing the instrument.
“The world will only be safe if we eliminate all weapons of mass destruction.”
Cayetano said the treaty presents a unique opportunity for nuclear weapon states to demonstrate that they remain committed to their own cause of nuclear disarmament and the UN Charter.
The Philippines is among 121 UN member-states that adopted the treaty, the first legally binding international agreement to comprehensively prohibit nuclear weapons with the goal of leading towards their total elimination.
The treaty, adopted last July at a UN conference in New York, prohibits a full range of nuclear weapon-related activities, such as undertaking to develop, test, produce, acquire, possess, stockpile, use or threaten to use nuclear weapons.
“As a signatory, the Philippines stands ready to contribute to the work ahead,” the DFA chief added.
“Our signing of the treaty today affirms our unequivocal commitment to put nuclear weapons firmly on the path of extinction, a cause of the highest priority embodied in our country’s constitution.”
The Philippines has been consistent in its nuclear disarmament advocacy. It contributed to the effort when it presided over the 2010 Review Conference of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty.