Jiji Press NEW YORK (Jiji Press) — The U.N. General Assembly, at a plenary meeting in New York on Monday, adopted a Japanese-led resolution urging all nations to renew their determination to take joint actions for the total elimination of nuclear weapons.
A similar resolution initiated by Japan has thus been adopted in a General Assembly vote for the 24th straight year. But this year’s motion was supported by fewer countries than in the previous year’s vote, mainly due to the absence of a direct reference to the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons, which was adopted at a U.N. conference in July.
In Monday’s vote, the unbinding resolution was backed by 156 countries, including nuclear powers the United States, Britain and France, and opposed by two other nuclear powers — China and Russia — plus North Korea and Syria, with 24 countries abstaining.
Compared with the previous resolution, the latest one attracted support from 11 fewer countries and saw eight more nations abstain. The same countries cast dissenting votes.
The new abstainers included Austria, which had voted for a nuclear weapons abolition resolution led by Japan every year, as well as other countries promoting the U.N. nuclear weapons ban treaty, including Costa Rica, New Zealand and Nigeria. India, Israel and South Korea also refrained from voting.
Japan, the only atomic-bombed country, does not plan to sign the landmark U.N. treaty, along with the United States and other nuclear weapons states.
Reflecting the no-signing policy and the current situation in which countries are split over the nuclear ban treaty, the latest resolution noted in its preamble that “there are various approaches toward the realization of a world free of nuclear weapons.”
Besides the lack of a reference to the treaty, the resolution was also criticized for its weaker content than the previous year’s, including for not citing Article 6 of the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty, which stipulates signatories’ nuclear disarmament obligations.