NEW YORK – A Japanese resolution calling for the total elimination of nuclear weapons passed in a United Nations committee on Friday, but with significantly less support than in years past.
Although the Japan-sponsored motion on the issue had over the years enjoyed wider support, signs of apparent backpedaling on nuclear disarmament in the new text prompted many cosponsors to reconsider their blessing.Tokyo has penned and put forward a similar resolution for the past 24 years in a row, with the latest version endorsed by 144 countries, including the United States and Britain, which also cosponsored it. That’s 23 fewer than the number of states who backed it last year.
The U.N. General Assembly’s First Committee, which endorsed it, deals with disarmament and international security issues. The number of cosponsors plunged to around 70 from last year’s 109.
Votes against the resolution came from China, Russia, North Korea and Syria — all of whom opposed it last year. Additionally, there was a marked uptick in abstentions, which jumped to 27 from 17 last year.