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Sweden to vote in favour of UN nuclear weapons ban

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Sweden to vote in favour of UN nuclear weapons ban
The Swedish government at a UN General Assembly meeting in September. Photo: Pontus Lundahl/TT
15:12 CEST+02:00
The Swedish government will vote in favour of a United Nations resolution banning nuclear weapons, the country's foreign minister Margot Wallström has confirmed

“This is both consistent and the right thing to do,” Wallström told news agency TT.

At the end of this month the UN General Assembly will vote on the initiative, which aims to start negotiations over a legally-binding nuclear weapons ban by 2017. Austria is one of the driving forces behind the proposed treaty.

“We obviously want to vote yes to it. This is more essential than ever before, because we still have 16,000 nuclear weapons in the world. The nuclear-weapons states are modernizing their arms more than they are working for non-proliferation and disarmament, so this is needed,” Wallström explained.

Reaction from the parties in Sweden's opposition Alliance coalition has been mixed. The foreign policy spokesperson for the Moderates said more facts are needed about the consequences of the vote.

“Has an analysis been done of the impact this could have on, for example, our relationship with our most important partners, some of which are Nato members? And has an analysis been done on the consequences this could have for Sweden's future freedom to act on the question of Nato membership, for example?” Karin Enström told TT.

Fellow Alliance member the Centre Party was less skeptical however.

“We're likely starting the process. That does not mean we will vote yes to the end result, because there is a judgment to make on whether the process would bring us closer to or further away from a nuclear weapons-free world,” Centre Party spokesperson Kerstin Lundgren said.

Sweden's clout in the UN was given a major boost when it won a seat on the UN Security Council as a non-permanent member last June, which it is set to take up next year. The Security Council is the UN's most powerful decision-making body.

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