All-party media conference held on the UN Nuclear Ban Treaty
On Thursday, January 21, several Members of Parliament and a representative of Canadian civil society held a media conference to mark the historic “entry into force” of the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons (TPNW).
Participating in the media conference were:
- Ms. Heather McPherson M.P. (NDP)
- Ms. Elizabeth May M.P. (Green Party)
- Mr. Alexis Brunelle-Duceppe M.P. (B.Q.)
- Mr. Nathaniel Erskine-Smith M.P. (LIB)
- Senator Marilou McPhedran
- Hon. Douglas Roche O.C. – former Canadian Senator and Ambassador for Disarmament.
Negotiated in 2017, the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons has been endorsed by 122 States in the UN General Assembly. It currently has 86 signatories, 51 of which have ratified.
The minimum threshold of 50 ratifications to trigger Entry Into Force 90 days later, was achieved on October 25, 2020. Thus, the Treaty will become legally binding on all States Party to it on January 22, 2021.
Key Provisions of the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons
The Treaty prohibits under any circumstances, the development, production, testing, manufacture, acquisition, stockpiling, transfer, use or threat of use of nuclear weapons or other nuclear devices. It further prohibits assisting, encouraging or inducing the activities mentioned, including disallowing the stationing, installation or deployment of nuclear weapons on territory of or under the control of a state party to the Treaty.
It requires States party in a position to do so to assist the victims of use of nuclear weapons in Japan and of more than 2,000 nuclear tests conducted in various locations since 1945, including environmental remediation.
Also included is the obligation to encourage states not party to accede to the Treaty with the ultimate goal of universal adherence by all States.
States Party to the Treaty will identify a competent international authority to ensure and verify that all provisions of the treaty are upheld, including the immediate removal from operational status of nuclear weapons of any State Party, and their elimination within a time-bound deadline.
In sum, the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons imposes on States Party to it, comprehensive and categorical prohibitions, positive obligations and measures for the verified, time-bound and irreversible elimination of nuclear weapons.
Update. This post was modified on January 22, 2021, following the event.