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Foreign Affairs Secretary Teodoro Locsin Jr. reaffirmed the Philippines’ commitment to ratify a United Nations treaty against nuclear weapons during the observance of the International Day for the Total Elimination of Nuclear Weapons on October 2.

“In his address before the General Assembly, my President (Rodrigo Duterte) committed to the ratification of the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons. The Philippines was among the first to sign the Treaty and we will adhere to its universalization of global norms against nuclear weapons,” Locsin said in a statement posted on the Department of Foreign Affairs page on Saturday.

The official underscored the need for the total elimination of nuclear weapons as it continues to threaten human extinction.

“We face a pandemic that has millions dying and whose end is nowhere in sight. And there is still the looming existential threat of a nuclear war promising human extinction in toto or in very large swaths. The two are not that different: they both threaten the existence of humanity and civilization such as it is — not much but better than the alternative,” he said.

He said the difference is not small but “hugely significant” as the pandemic is “not of our doing”.

“Nuclear annihilation might happen accidentally; but that it happened will be entirely our fault. Like leaving several loaded revolvers in a kids’ playroom,” he said.

The Philippine government in 2017 signed the UN Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons that outlawed nuclear weapons.

The landmark agreement fortifies the nuclear disarmament architecture and represents the universalization of the Philippines’ hope for the elimination of nuclear weapons. PNA

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