Algeria

Nuclear-weapon-free state

Has signed the TPNW

Has not yet ratified the TPNW

SIGNED

20 September 2017

RATIFIED

 

IN FORCE

 

 

Status

Algeria has signed but not yet ratified the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons (TPNW).

 

Signature

Abdelkader Messahel, the then-minister of foreign affairs of Algeria, signed the TPNW when it opened for signature on 20 September 2017. In 2020, Algeria expressed its intention to ratify the treaty “in the very short coming time”.


Abdelkader Messahel, the then-minister of foreign affairs of Algeria, signs the TPNW in New York on 20 September 2017. Photo: UNOLA

 

Universalisation

Algeria 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”.

In a statement to the United Nations in 2021, the minister of foreign affairs of Algeria, Ramtane Lamamra, hailed the TPNW’s entry into force as “an essential contribution towards nuclear disarmament”.

 

Nuclear testing in Algeria

From 1961 to 1967, France conducted 17 nuclear test explosions in Algeria, leaving a legacy of environmental devastation and health problems. According to Algeria, its commitment to the cause of disarmament “stems from its unique experience caused by the devastating nuclear tests conducted on its national territory by France”.

In 2021, the prime minister signed a decree to establish a national authority to remediate former French nuclear test sites. This was, according to officials, an important step towards Algeria’s ratification of the TPNW.

 

TPNW negotiations

Algeria participated in the negotiation of the TPNW at the United Nations in New York in 2017 and was among 122 states that voted in favour of its adoption.

In its opening statement to the negotiating conference, Algeria said that this initiative is “the result of the dedication of all those who are convinced that we have to do something” and “do not want to continue betting on the unbearable risk of annihilating all humanity”.

In its closing statement, Algeria expressed regret that the nuclear-armed states and others had chosen not to participate in the negotiations, but it emphasised that “we leave the door wide open for them”.

In 2016, Algeria voted in favour of the UN General Assembly resolution that established the formal mandate for states to commence negotiations on “a legally binding instrument to prohibit nuclear weapons, leading towards their total elimination”.

Boukadoum, then-ambassador to the United Nations, chairs the UN first committee in 2016, when the mandate for treaty negotiations is secured. Photo: ICAN

 

Before the negotiations

Algeria was among 127 states that endorsed a “humanitarian pledge” in 2015–16 to cooperate “in efforts to stigmatise, prohibit, and eliminate nuclear weapons”. The pledge was instrumental in building momentum and support for convening the TPNW negotiations.

Nuclear-weapon-free state

Has signed the TPNW

Has not yet ratified the TPNW

[HIGHLIGHTS]

SIGNED

20 September 2017

RATIFIED

 

IN FORCE

 

 

Status

Algeria has signed but not yet ratified the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons (TPNW).

 

Signature

Abdelkader Messahel, the then-minister of foreign affairs of Algeria, signed the TPNW when it opened for signature on 20 September 2017. In 2020, Algeria expressed its intention to ratify the treaty “in the very short coming time”.


Abdelkader Messahel, the then-minister of foreign affairs of Algeria, signs the TPNW in New York on 20 September 2017. Photo: UNOLA

 

Universalisation

Algeria 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”.

In a statement to the United Nations in 2021, the minister of foreign affairs of Algeria, Ramtane Lamamra, hailed the TPNW’s entry into force as “an essential contribution towards nuclear disarmament”.

 

Nuclear testing in Algeria

From 1961 to 1967, France conducted 17 nuclear test explosions in Algeria, leaving a legacy of environmental devastation and health problems. According to Algeria, its commitment to the cause of disarmament “stems from its unique experience caused by the devastating nuclear tests conducted on its national territory by France”.

In 2021, the prime minister signed a decree to establish a national authority to remediate former French nuclear test sites. This was, according to officials, an important step towards Algeria’s ratification of the TPNW.

 

TPNW negotiations

Algeria participated in the negotiation of the TPNW at the United Nations in New York in 2017 and was among 122 states that voted in favour of its adoption.

In its opening statement to the negotiating conference, Algeria said that this initiative is “the result of the dedication of all those who are convinced that we have to do something” and “do not want to continue betting on the unbearable risk of annihilating all humanity”.

In its closing statement, Algeria expressed regret that the nuclear-armed states and others had chosen not to participate in the negotiations, but it emphasised that “we leave the door wide open for them”.

In 2016, Algeria voted in favour of the UN General Assembly resolution that established the formal mandate for states to commence negotiations on “a legally binding instrument to prohibit nuclear weapons, leading towards their total elimination”.

Boukadoum, then-ambassador to the United Nations, chairs the UN first committee in 2016, when the mandate for treaty negotiations is secured. Photo: ICAN

 

Before the negotiations

Algeria was among 127 states that endorsed a “humanitarian pledge” in 2015–16 to cooperate “in efforts to stigmatise, prohibit, and eliminate nuclear weapons”. The pledge was instrumental in building momentum and support for convening the TPNW negotiations.

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