Early drafts of the Nuclear Ban Treaty green-lighted by the UN First Committee seek to prohibit the development, production, testing, acquisition, stockpiling, transfer, deployment, threat of use and use of nuclear weapons. This would be the most ambitious treaty negotiated since the 1928 Kellogg-Briand Pact, which outlawed war. The Kellogg-Briand Pact didn’t work out so well; it became a dead letter within three years, when Japan invaded Manchuria.
The Kellogg-Briand Pact failed to prevent war because rising powers were not interested in maintaining the status quo. The Nuclear Ban Treaty seeks to negate the most powerful weapons on Earth – without the approval of states bearing these arms. To avoid the fate of the Kellogg-Briand Pact, the Nuclear Ban Treaty requires not only worthwhile ends, but also persuasive means to bring nuclear-armed states into the fold – or at least to positively influence their behavior.
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