Close to 40 countries boycotted talks on a nuclear weapons ban treaty at the United Nations on Monday, March 27.
U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley, told reporters the countries skipping the negotiations are instead committed to the Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT), which entered into force in 1970. This treaty aims at preventing the spread of nuclear weapons and weapon technology.
The United Nations General Assembly adopted a resolution in December 2016—113 in favor to 35 against, with 13 abstentions—that decided to negotiate a legally binding instrument to prohibit nuclear weapons, leading toward their total elimination.
The U.N. encouraged all member states to participate, but with key nuclear powers missing from the discussions, the U.N.-led negotiations will be ineffective.
The five authorized nuclear weapon states under the NPT—China, Russia, the United States, the U.K., and France—have made little progress on nuclear disarmament to date.
North Korea withdrew from the NPT in 2003.
India, Pakistan, and Israel never signed.
“There is nothing I want more for my family than a world with no nuclear weapons. But we have to be realistic. Is there anyone that believes that North Korea would agree to a ban on nuclear weapons?” Haley told reporters.
She added, “In this day and time, we can’t honestly say that we can protect our people by allowing the bad actors to have them, and those of us that are good, trying to keep peace and safety, not to have them.”
Over the past months, North Korea has carried out multiple missile tests that violate U.N. restrictions.