Senate set to affirm treaty banning nuclear weapons worldwide | Inquirer News
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Senate set to affirm treaty banning nuclear weapons worldwide

By: - Reporter / @deejayapINQ
/ 04:50 AM January 25, 2021

MANILA, Philippines — The Senate is moving to affirm the Philippines’ ratification of the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons that bans the development, production and stockpiling of such dangerous armaments in a bid to eliminate them altogether around the globe.

On Jan. 20, the Senate foreign relations panel chaired by Sen. Aquilino “Koko” Pimentel III endorsed for plenary approval Senate Resolution No. 620 expressing the Senate’s concurrence to the ratification of the international pact.

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Pimentel said the measure would be tabled for sponsorship and debate soon.

“By February, it should be up for plenary discussion and possible approval. I don’t expect anyone to be against the prohibition of nuclear weapons,” he told the Inquirer in a Viber message.

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Adopted during a United Nations conference on July 7, 2017, the treaty was signed on Sept. 20, 2017, by then Foreign Secretary Alan Peter Cayetano.

“We call on member-states that possess the world’s largest nuclear arsenals to sign on to the treaty,” Cayetano said on the sidelines of the 72nd session of the UN General Assembly.

“The world will only be safe if we eliminate all weapons of mass destruction,” he said.

President Duterte ratified the treaty only on Nov. 18, 2020, and then submitted it to the Senate for concurrence, as required by the Constitution of any international agreement in order to be binding.

The Constitution requires concurrence by at least two-thirds of the 24-member Senate.

At a Jan. 14 public hearing by the Pimentel panel, eight government agencies recommended that the Senate uphold the treaty ratification, including the Department of Foreign Affairs, the Department of National Defense and the Department of Justice.

The treaty prohibits state parties from “developing, testing, producing, manufacturing, transferring, possessing, stockpiling, using or threatening to use nuclear weapons; assisting, encouraging or inducing anyone to engage in said activities; and allowing nuclear weapons to be stationed, installed or deployed in their respective territories.”

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It also obligates states to provide assistance to individuals affected by the use or testing of nuclear weapons, and to take appropriate measures toward the environmental remediation of contaminated areas.

The Philippines also has a comprehensive Safeguards Agreement with the International Atomic Energy Agency, through the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Weapons signed on Feb. 21, 1973, which entered into force on Oct. 16, 1974, and the Additional Protocol signed on Sept. 30, 1997, which entered into force on Feb. 26, 2010. INQ

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TAGS:  Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons, ban, Nuclear weapons, Senate, treaty
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