The Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons
The 7 of July of 2017, after a decade of work on the part of ICAN and its partners, an overwhelming majority of the nations of the world adopted a historical world-wide agreement to prohibit the nuclear weapons, known officially like the Treaty of Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons . It will enter into legal force once 50 nations have signed and ratified it.
The current situation is that there are 91 that have signed and 68 that have also ratified. At midnight on January 22, 2021, the TPAN went into effect.
Before the treaty, nuclear weapons were the only weapons of mass destruction that were not subject to a total ban (if chemical and bacteriological weapons are), despite their long-term catastrophic humanitarian and environmental consequences. The new agreement finally fills a significant gap in international law.
It prohibits nations from developing, testing, producing, manufacturing, transferring, possessing, storing, using or threatening to use nuclear weapons, or to allow nuclear weapons to be stationed in their territory. It also prohibits them from helping, encouraging or inducing anyone to participate in any of these activities.
A nation that possesses nuclear weapons can join the treaty, as long as it agrees to destroy them in accordance with a legally binding and time-bound plan. In the same way, a nation that harbors the nuclear weapons of another nation in its territory can join, as long as it accepts to eliminate them within a certain period of time.
Nations are obliged to provide assistance to all victims of the use and testing of nuclear weapons and to take measures for the remediation of contaminated environments. The preamble recognizes the damage suffered as a result of nuclear weapons, including the disproportionate impact on women and girls, and on indigenous peoples throughout the world.
The treaty was negotiated at the United Nations headquarters in New York in March, June and July of 2017, with the participation of more than 135 countries, as well as members of civil society. The 20 September 2017 was opened for signature. It is permanent and will be legally binding for the nations that join it.
Collaborating for the TPAN to enter into force is one of the priorities of the World March for Peace and Nonviolence.