Nuclear Weapon Free Zones (NWFZ)

Nuclear Weapon Free Zones
Presentation made
Jayantha Dhanapala
President, Pugwash Conferences on
Science and World Affairs
What is a Nuclear Weapon Free Zone?
• A regional arrangement in accordance with Chapt VIII
of the UN Charter that prohibits the development,
manufacture, stockpiling, acquisition, possession,
stationing and control of any nuclear explosive device
within the zone of application by any contracting party.
It also prohibits the assistance in research in all of the
areas mentioned above. However, peaceful
application of nuclear energy is allowed in these
• The parties to the NWFZ receive assurances from the
five NPT nuclear-weapon states (NWS) through the
ratification of relevant protocols to the treaties, to
respect the status of these Zones and not use or
threaten to use nuclear weapons against states
parties to NWFZ treaties.
Article VII of the Nuclear NonProliferation Treaty (NPT)
“Nothing in this Treaty affects the right of
any group of States to conclude regional
treaties in order to assure the total
absence of nuclear weapons in their
respective territories”.
The UN General Assembly definition of
NWFZs of 1975.
UNGA Resolution 3472 B (XXX), adopted on November 11,
" A nuclear-weapon-free zone shall, as a general rule, be
deemed to be any zone, recognized as such by the United
Nations General Assembly, which any groups of states, in
the free exercise of their sovereignty, have established by
virtue of a treaty or convention whereby:
a. The statute of a total absence of nuclear weapons to
which the zone shall be subject, including the procedure for
the delimitation of the zone is defined;
b. An international system of verification and control is
established to guarantee compliance with obligations
derived from that statute."
1999 UN Disarmament Commission report on the objectives,
purposes, principles, and guidelines for establishing NWFZs.
• NWFZ should be established on the basis of arrangements
freely arrived at among the States of the region concerned.
• The initiative to establish a NWFZ should emanate exclusively
from States within the region concerned and be pursued by all
States of that region.
• The NWS should be consulted during the negotiations of each
treaty and its relevant protocol(s) establishing a NWFZ in order
to facilitate their signature to and ratification of the relevant
protocol(s) to the treaty, through which they undertake legally
binding commitments to the status of the zone and not to use or
threaten to use nuclear weapons against States parties to the
• A NWFZ should not prevent the use of nuclear science and
technology for peaceful purposes and could also promote, if
provided for in the treaties establishing such zones, bilateral,
regional and international cooperation for the peaceful use of
nuclear energy in the zone, in support of socio-economic,
scientific and technological development of the States parties.
First Special Session of the General
Assembly on Disarmament (1978) - A/S10/4 Final document of SSOD-I
• 33. The establishment of nuclear-weaponfree zones on the basis of agreements or
arrangements freely arrived at among the
States of the zone concerned and the full
compliance with those agreements or
arrangements, thus ensuring that the
zones are genuinely free from nuclear
weapons, and respect for such zones by
nuclear-weapon States constitute an
important disarmament measure.
Article VII and the security of NWFZ
The Conference;
98) reaffirms the conviction that the establishment of the
internationally recognized NWFZ on the basis of
arrangements freely arrived at among the States of the
region concerned enhances global and regional peace
and security, strengthens the nuclear non-proliferation
regime and contributes towards realizing the objectives
of nuclear disarmament.
99) welcomes the steps taken since 2005 to conclude
NWFZ treaties and recognizes the continuing
contributions that the Antarctic Treaty, the Treaty of
Tlatelolco, Treaty of Rarotonga, the Bangkok Treaty,
the Pelindaba Treaty, and the Treaty on a NWFZ in
Central Asia are making towards attaining the
objective of nuclear disarmament and nuclear nonproliferation.
100)The Conference welcomes
Mongolia of its NWF status….
Nuclear Weapons Free Zones
• 1967 Treaty of Tlatelolco for Latin America and the
Caribbean (entered into force in 1969 )
• 1985 Treaty of Rarotonga for the South Pacific,
(entered into force in 1986 )
• 1995 Treaty of Bangkok for Southeast Asia, (entered
into force in 1997)
• 1996 Pelindaba Treaty for the entire continent of
Africa, (entered into force in 2009)
• 2006 Treaty of Semipalatinsk for Central Asia (entered
into force in 2009)
• Mongolia's self-declared nuclear-weapon-free status in
1992 has been recognized by UN General Assembly
resolution 55/33S on "Mongolia's international security
and nuclear weapon free status." (1 member)
Treaty Status
• Treaty of Tlatelolco - sig by all 33 Latin America & Caribbean states. Prot 1
rati: by France, Netherlands, US & UK .Prot II rati: by all NWS
• Treaty of Rarotonga – rati by all 13 states. Prot 1: sig & rati by France & UK
while the US has sig nor rati it. Prot II rati by China, France, the UK, & S.U.
Prot: III rati by China, France, UK, & the SU . US has submitted protocols 2 &
3 to the Senate for ratification.
• Treaty of Bangkok –rati by all 10 members. Not ratified by the NWS China
has expressed willingness to ratify the protocol in the past. In Nov 2011
Asean members and the NWS reached agreement on the outstanding
substantive issues related to the zone, paving the way for the NWS to sign
and ratify the updated protocol once some additional procedural
• arrangements have been concluded.
Treaty of Pelindaba -(Rati: 31 Sig 52) Prot I & 2 sig & rati by China, France,
the UK, & the Russian Federation. US has sig but pending rati of prot 1 & 2
by US Senate. Prot 3 sig & rati by France but Spain has neither sig nor rati
prot 3
• Treaty of Semipalatinsk - Rati by all 5 Sig. Not ratified by NWS.US has
declared intent to work with parties to sign the protocol
Other treaties :
• Antarctic Treaty
• Outer Space Treaty
Treaty on Principles Governing the Activities of
States in the Exploration and Use of Outer
Space, including the Moon and Other Celestial
• Moon Agreement
• Agreement Governing the Activities of States on
the Moon and Other Celestial Bodies
• Seabed Treaty
Treaty on the Prohibition of the Emplacement of
Nuclear Weapons and Other Weapons of Mass
Destruction on the Sea-Bed and the Ocean
Floor and in the Subsoil Thereof
A total of 114 countries are party to NWFZ
22 states are not part of a NWFZ or a
collective security bloc nor nuclear weapons
12 in the Middle East,
6 in South Asia,
4 in the former Soviet Union.
Proposed Zones:
Several new NWFZ have been suggested :
• 1975-Pakistan’s proposal for the establishment
of a NWFZ in South Asia.
• 1974, Iran and Egypt’s proposal for the
establishment of a Middle Eastern NWFZ.
• proposal to declare the entire Southern
Hemisphere a NWFZ.
• suggestions to establish a NWFZ in Northeast
Asia. 1992- North and South Korea signed a
Joint Declaration on the Denuclearization of the
Korean Peninsula.
• Arctic Ocean NWFZ proposed by NGOS &
Thank you
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