More than 100 nations will participate in talks at the United Nations to discuss a global ban on nuclear weapons, but the world’s major powers will not be participating.
In October, 123 UN member nations voted to meet on March 27 to negotiate what they see as a legally binding nuclear ban treaty.
However, Russia, the United States, Britain, France, Japan, Israel, and 29 other countries voted no on the proposal. China, India, and Pakistan abstained.
Austria, Ireland, Mexico, Brazil, South Africa, and Sweden are leading the effort to establish a nuclear weapons ban.
Supporters said the threat of a nuclear catastrophe is increasing due to tensions over North Korea's nuclear weapons program and an unpredictable new administration in Washington.
They point to similar movements that led to bans on land mines in 1997 and cluster bombs in 2008.
Those voting against the proposal said the move does not offer practical ways of achieving a nuclear weapons ban.
Despite not participating, the U.S. ambassador to the UN, Nikki Haley, plans to issue a statement on the sidelines of the event on the first day.