Botswana

Nuclear-weapon-free state

Voted in favour of adopting TPNW

Has signed TPNW, but not yet ratified 

Botswana has signed but not yet ratified the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons.

Unity Dow, the minister for foreign affairs of Botswana, signed the treaty at a high-level ceremony on 26 September 2019. 

Botswana participated in the negotiation of the treaty at the United Nations in New York in 2017 and voted in favour of its adoption.


In a statement to the United Nations in October 2019, Botswana underscored “the significant role of the [treaty in] strengthening the global norms and practices against the use, proliferation, and possession of nuclear weapons by any country”.

Botswana has promoted universal adherence to the treaty, including by co-sponsoring a UN General Assembly resolution in 2019 that calls upon all states to sign, ratify, or accede to the treaty “at the earliest possible date”.

In 2016, Botswana voted in favour of the UN General Assembly resolution that established the formal mandate for states to commence the negotiations in 2017 on “a legally binding instrument to prohibit nuclear weapons, leading towards their total elimination”.

Botswana 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 negotiations.

Botswana is a state party to the 1996 Treaty of Pelindaba, which established Africa as a nuclear-weapon-free zone.


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