MANILA, Philippines – The Philippines has signed the first legally binding international agreement to "comprehensively prohibit" and eventually eliminate nuclear weapons.
Philippine Foreign Secretary Alan Peter Cayetano signed the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons on behalf of the Philippines on Wednesday, September 20.
Cayetano accomplished this on the sidelines 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 the treaty," Cayetano said.
"The world will only be safe if we eliminate all weapons of mass destruction," he added.
The Philippine Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) said that the Philippines "is among 121 UN member-states that adopted the treaty."
None of the 9 countries that possess nuclear weapons – the United States, Russia, Britain, China, France, India, Pakistan, North Korea and Israel – took part in negotiations for the treaty.
This comes as North Korea conducts nuclear tests that have been condemned by the international community, including the Philippines.
Paterno R. Esmaquel II is a senior reporter leading Rappler’s coverage of religion and foreign affairs. He finished MA Journalism in Ateneo and MSc Asian Studies (Religions in Plural Societies) at RSIS, Singapore. For story ideas or feedback, email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.