Basic Prohibitions and Obligations

The Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons contains both positive obligations and prohibitions that states parties must implement and abide by upon entry into force, as well as a schedule of meetings for states parties and observers to consider the treaty’s implementation, which will commence within one year of its entry into force.

Positive Obligations

■ Declarations (Article 2): All states parties must submit a declaration within 30 days of entry into force about its nuclear-weapon status, including if it has nuclear weapons, hosts another states’ nuclear weapons on its territory or has eliminated its nuclear weapons and related
■ Safeguards (Article 3): All states parties must maintain their current International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) safeguards agreement at the time of entry into force and bring into force a comprehensive safeguards agreement at minimum.
■ Elimination and verification (Article 4): Nuclear-armed states that join the treaty must follow one of the treaty’s pathways for the verified elimination of their nuclear weapon programmes.
■ Removal (Article 4): Any state party that has nuclear weapons in its territory or any place under its jurisdiction or control that are owned or possessed by another state must remove those weapons.
■ National Implementation (Article 5): All states parties must adopt necessary national measures to implement its obligations under the treaty and to prevent and suppress treaty violations by people or on territory under its jurisdiction or control.
■ Victim Assistance & Environmental Remediation (Article 6): States parties must provide assistance to individuals under their jurisdiction who have been impacted by nuclear weapons use or testing, as well as “take necessary and appropriate measures” towards the environmental remediation of areas under its control contaminated by nuclear weapons use or testing.
■ International Cooperation and Assistance (Article 7): All states parties must cooperate with other states parties to implement the treaty. States parties in a position to do so, as well as states parties that have used and tested nuclear weapons, are obliged to help affected states parties with victim assistance and environmental remediation. States parties may also
provide support for the development of national implementation measures and reporting on and destruction of nuclear weapon stockpiles.
■ Universalisation (Article 12): All states parties must urge states not party to join.


Article 1 prohibits states parties from developing, testing, producing, manufacturing, transferring, possessing, stockpiling, using or threatening to use nuclear weapons, or allowing nuclear weapons to be stationed on their territory. It also prohibits them from assisting, encouraging or inducing anyone to engage in any of these activities.
Following entry into force of the TPNW, all parties to the treaty will need to take care at all times to ensure that they are complying with all prohibitions under Article 1. Of greatest relevance to most states, especially those with close military ties to nuclear-armed states, is the prohibition on encouraging or assisting another state to engage in a prohibited activity.

Source: ICAN TPNW Briefing Paper