UN Current Affairs

122 Countries adopts historic global treaty to ban Nuclear Weapons 

The United Nations has adopted a historic global treaty banning nuclear weapons. The treaty was adopted by a vote of 122 members in favour. The Netherlands was the only country who voted against the treaty. Singapore abstained from voting.

Costa Rica’s ambassador, Elayne Whyte Gomez, was the president of the UN conference that negotiated the treaty. Nearly 129 countries signed up to take part in the drafting of the treaty which represents two-thirds of the UN’s193 member states. Nearly 141 countries led by Austria, Brazil, Mexico, South Africa and New Zealand drafted the treaty in a hope that the treaty would increase pressure on the nuclear powers to take disarmament more seriously.

The treaty would be opened for signature on September 20. It will enter into force once 50 countries ratified it. All of the ratifying countries should never under any circumstances develop, test, produce, manufacture, otherwise acquire, possess or stockpile nuclear weapons or other nuclear explosive devices. The treaty also bans any transfer or use of nuclear weapons or nuclear explosive devices.

Opposition

The nine nuclear powers, namely, the United States, Russia, Britain, China, France, India, Pakistan, North Korea and Israel neither took part in the negotiations nor cast their vote. Even Japan the sole sufferer of atomic attack refrained from taking part in the negotiations. Most of the NATO countries too boycotted the negotiations.

The nuclear powers view the treaty as unrealistic and argue that it will not have any impact on reducing the global stockpile of 15000 atomic weapons. According to the nuclear powers, their nuclear arsenals serve as a deterrent against nuclear attacks and they remain committed to the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT). The NPT seeks to prevent the spread of nuclear weapons and puts the onus on nuclear states to reduce their stockpiles.

But the non-nuclear states are increasingly worried about the slow pace of disarmament and are concerned that weapons of mass destruction may fall into the wrong hands.

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UN: India to become more Populous than China by 2024

According to the World population Prospectus: The Revision released by the United Nations, India with 1.3 billion inhabitants would surpass China’s population of 1.4 billion by 2024, to become the World’s populous country.

Salient Highlights

Despite the drop in universal fertility rates, the UN report expects the world’s total population to hit 9.8 billion by 2050. As per the report, the world’s population is at present 7.6 billion up from 7.4 billion last year. The increase in population was spurred by the relatively high levels of fertility in developing countries. With an addition of 82 million people every year, UN expects a continuation of the upward trend in population size. At this rate, the world population is expected to reach 8.6 billion in 2030, 9.8 billion in 2050 and surpass 11.2 billion in 2100.

As per the report, the concentration of global population growth in the poorest countries is presenting a challenge. The population growth is expected to come from the 47 least developed countries where the fertility rate is around 4.3 births per woman. At this rate, the population in these countries would reach 1.9 billion people in 2050. It presents a challenge as the world seeks to implement the 2030 Sustainable Development Agenda, which is aimed to end poverty and preserve the planet.

Further, the birth rates in African countries are expected to at least double by 2050, despite fertility rates falling from 5.1 births per woman up to 2005 to 4.7 births in the five years following. In contrast, birth rates in Europe are seeing an increase which has increased up to 1.6 births per woman, up from 1.4 births in 2000-2005.

As per the report, the overall reduction in fertility rates is expected to result in the ageing population, with the number of people above the age of 60 or over is likely to become more than double by 2050 and triple by 2100, from the current 962 million to 3.1 billion. Africa which has the youngest age distribution for any region is expected to experience a rapid ageing of its population.

According to the report, Nigeria which is currently at the seventh place is expected to become the third most populous country by 2050 replacing the US.

World population Prospectus: The Revision

The 2017 Revision of World Population Prospects is the twenty-fifth round of official United Nations population estimates prepared by the Population Division of the Department of Economic and Social Affairs of the United Nations Secretariat. The findings are presented for each development group, income group, region, subregion and country or area for the period 1950-2100.

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