News

60th State fully ratifies the TPNW

The Republic of Côte d’Ivoire deposited its instrument of ratification of the United Nations Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons (TPNW) on 23 March 2022.

Côte d’Ivoire is the fifth West African country to ratify the TPNW, following Benin, the Gambia, Guinea-Bissau and Nigeria. Another four ECOWAS countries have signed the TPNW, namely, Cabo Verde, Ghana, Niger, and Togo. At the continental level, ten other African countries have already joined the TPNW and 29 have signed it. These and several other countries in the region are working towards their adhesion to the Treaty.

In a statement to the United Nations in October 2020, Côte d’Ivoire announced that it was working to consolidate its commitment to the TPNW “through the completion of the ratification procedure”. By the end of that year, the council of ministers had adopted a draft law authorising the president to proceed with the ratification. The national assembly then approved it on 14 September 2021 and the senate on 20 December 2021.

Côte d’Ivoire has promoted universal adherence to the TPNW, including by co-sponsoring and consistently voting in favour of an annual UN General Assembly resolution since 2018 that calls upon all states to sign, ratify, or accede to the treaty “at the earliest possible date”. It was among the 122 that voted to adopt the TPNW on 7 July 2017 and was one of the first states to sign it when it opened for signature on 20 September 2017.

In August 2019, ICAN held a Regional Forum for Member States of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) on the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons in Abuja, Nigeria, with the participation of representatives of West African countries including Guinea-Bissau, officials of the ECOWAS Parliament and Commission, as well as representatives of the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) and civil society organizations. In a declaration, participants highlighted the strong support for the TPNW in the region and agreed to work toward signature and ratification of the Treaty. The ECOWAS Parliament and Commission have positively engaged in the TPNW.


January 2021 – The Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons Enters Into Force

The 22 January is a historic milestone for this landmark treaty. Prior to the TPNW’s adoption, nuclear weapons were the only weapons of mass destruction not banned under international law, despite their catastrophic humanitarian consequences. Now, with the treaty’s entry into force, we can call nuclear weapons what they are: prohibited weapons of mass destruction, just like chemical weapons and biological weapons.

Nuclear weapons are not a necessity for human security, and their use is not compatible with common sense, human decency, or the teachings of any major religion or ethics system. The atomic chain is losing its invisibility as survivors of civil war in African countries recall the uranium wars that destroy people. From slavery to cluster bombs and in school playgrounds and on factory floors, formal prohibition helps people to condemn what is unacceptable. The smoking ban made smokers outcasts. The US no longer manufactures or uses landmines. They never signed the treaty but did responded to global condemnation of landmines. Already, some financial institutions are saying NO to nuclear weapons, and campaigners can take heart that prohibition can lead to elimination. So lets make a noise about it! Churches and are expected to ring their bells and Quaker Meeting Houses will be dropping banners. The lockdown may prevent a huge demo at Faslane or George Square, but check out the international banner that you can order now and have in your window on the day.

These can be bought from UN House or from the SCND Online shop, or you can make your own. More news soon of action to celebrate the day we banned the bomb.

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