Botswana

Nuclear-weapon-free state

Has joined the TPNW

Signed: 26 September 2019

Ratified: 15 July 2020

 

Summary

Botswana has signed and ratified the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons (TPNW). It was among the original 50 states parties to the treaty when it entered into force on 22 January 2021.

 

Signature and ratification

Unity Dow, the minister of foreign affairs of Botswana, signed the TPNW at a high-level ceremony on 26 September 2019. The country’s instrument of ratification was deposited with the UN secretary-general on 15 July 2020.

Unity Dow, the minister of foreign affairs of Botswana, signs the TPNW in New York on 26 September 2019. Photo: ICAN

Botswana was the 40th state to ratify or accede to the TPNW. Its ratification coincided with the 11th anniversary of the entry into force of the Treaty of Pelindaba, a regional treaty establishing Africa as a nuclear-weapon-free zone.

“In concluding this milestone step,” said Collen Vixen Kelapile, Botswana’s permanent representative to the United Nations, “Botswana has once again reconfirmed its unwavering commitment to global peace and security through prohibition of nuclear weapons.”

He said that Botswana took pride in being counted among the earliest states parties to the TPNW and encouraged “all other peace-loving nations to collectively join hands and contribute to this noble endeavour for the prohibition of all nuclear weapons”.

 

Implementation

In accordance with Article 2 of the TPNW, Botswana submitted a declaration to the UN secretary-general on 8 February 2021 confirming that it does not own, possess, or control nuclear weapons, has never done so, and does not host any other state’s nuclear weapons on its territory.

Per Article 12, Botswana has promoted universal adherence to the TPNW, including by co-sponsoring and 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 UN General Assembly in September 2021, the minister of defence of Botswana, Thomas Kagiso Mmusi, described the TPNW as “a necessary foundation as well as a stimulus for future further steps towards the total elimination of nuclear weapons”.

In 2019, Botswana underscored “the significant role of the [TPNW in] strengthening the global norms and practices against the use, proliferation, and possession of nuclear weapons by any country”.

 

TPNW negotiations

Botswana 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 2016, Botswana 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”.

 

Before the negotiations

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.

Nuclear-weapon-free state

Has joined the TPNW

[HIGHLIGHTS]

Signed: 26 September 2019

Ratified: 15 July 2020

 

Summary

Botswana has signed and ratified the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons (TPNW). It was among the original 50 states parties to the treaty when it entered into force on 22 January 2021.

 

Signature and ratification

Unity Dow, the minister of foreign affairs of Botswana, signed the TPNW at a high-level ceremony on 26 September 2019. The country’s instrument of ratification was deposited with the UN secretary-general on 15 July 2020.

Unity Dow, the minister of foreign affairs of Botswana, signs the TPNW in New York on 26 September 2019. Photo: ICAN

Botswana was the 40th state to ratify or accede to the TPNW. Its ratification coincided with the 11th anniversary of the entry into force of the Treaty of Pelindaba, a regional treaty establishing Africa as a nuclear-weapon-free zone.

“In concluding this milestone step,” said Collen Vixen Kelapile, Botswana’s permanent representative to the United Nations, “Botswana has once again reconfirmed its unwavering commitment to global peace and security through prohibition of nuclear weapons.”

He said that Botswana took pride in being counted among the earliest states parties to the TPNW and encouraged “all other peace-loving nations to collectively join hands and contribute to this noble endeavour for the prohibition of all nuclear weapons”.

 

Implementation

In accordance with Article 2 of the TPNW, Botswana submitted a declaration to the UN secretary-general on 8 February 2021 confirming that it does not own, possess, or control nuclear weapons, has never done so, and does not host any other state’s nuclear weapons on its territory.

Per Article 12, Botswana has promoted universal adherence to the TPNW, including by co-sponsoring and 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 UN General Assembly in September 2021, the minister of defence of Botswana, Thomas Kagiso Mmusi, described the TPNW as “a necessary foundation as well as a stimulus for future further steps towards the total elimination of nuclear weapons”.

In 2019, Botswana underscored “the significant role of the [TPNW in] strengthening the global norms and practices against the use, proliferation, and possession of nuclear weapons by any country”.

 

TPNW negotiations

Botswana 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 2016, Botswana 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”.

 

Before the negotiations

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.

[PARTNERS]

[LOCALSUPPORT]

No events yet

Related news View all news ›

Find a local ICAN partner to get active Become an ICAN Partner Organization ›