Deliberations of the United Nations Open Ended Working Group on Taking Forward Multilateral Nuclear Disarmament Negotiations (OEWG) in Geneva from May 2-13 indicate that a group of non-nuclear countries appears ready to negotiate a treaty to prohibit nuclear weapons, regardless of whether or not the nuclear-armed and nuclear umbrella countries join.
The proposal received support from a number of other non-nuclear States and civil society organizations during the OEWG sessions. However, none of the nuclear umbrella countries (NATO, Japan, South Korea and Australia) agreed with the proposal. The nuclear-armed States, who did not participate in the OEWG, are also opposed.
Nine countries from nuclear-weapon-free zones submitted a proposal to the OEWG to ‘Convene a Conference in 2017, open to all States, international organizations and civil society, to negotiate a legally-binding instrument to prohibit nuclear weapons.’
Promoters of the 'ban treaty' believe that, even if it would not be universally applicable, it could stigmatize nuclear weapons and put pressure on nuclear armed states to take effective disarmament measures.