France

Nuclear-armed state

Possesses 290 nuclear weapons

Has not yet joined the TPNW

Summary

France has not yet signed or ratified the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons.

 

Nuclear-weapon programme

France possesses approximately 290 nuclear weapons, which it can launch from submarines or missiles dropped from aircraft. Its submarines are based at the Île Longue peninsula, south of Brest in the Brittany region of France.

In 2019, France spent an estimated USD 4.8 billion to build and maintain its nuclear weapons.

Between 1960 and 1996, France conducted a total of 210 nuclear tests in Algeria and French Polynesia.

 

National position

France has consistently voted against an annual UN General Assembly resolution since 2018 that welcomes the adoption of the treaty and calls upon all states to sign, ratify, or accede to it “at the earliest possible date”.

Along with other nuclear-armed states, France has said that it does not accept any claim that [the treaty] contributes to the development of customary international law”. It has called on all states that are considering supporting the the treaty to reflect seriously on its implications for international peace and security.

In 2018, the foreign affairs committee of the French national assembly recommended that the government “mitigate its criticism” of the treaty “to show that we understand and take into account the concerns of states and their desire for more balanced global governance”.

 

Public opinion

A public opinion poll conducted by IFOP in June 2018 found that 67 per cent of French people believe that their government should sign the treaty, with 33 per cent opposed to signing.

Dozens of French cities, including Paris and Lyon, have called on the French government to sign and ratify the treaty.


ICAN campaigners, including many university students, gather in Paris in February 2020 for a forum to discuss activism and the treaty. Photo: ICAN

French campaigners pose in Geneva, Switzerland, in 2018 with the Nobel peace prize medal given to ICAN for its role in achieving the treaty. Photo: ICAN

 

Treaty negotiations

France did not participate in the negotiation of the treaty at the United Nations in New York in 2017 and thus did not vote on its adoption. On the opening day of the negotiating conference, it joined the United States and several other states in protesting the treaty-making process.

In 2016, France voted against 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”.

It actively discouraged other states, in particular its former colonies, from supporting the resolution.

Tahitian activist Roland Oldham speaks at a side event during the treaty negotiations in 2017 about the harm caused by French nuclear testing. Photo: ICAN

ICAN campaigners criticise the decision of nuclear-armed states, including France, to boycott the treaty negotiations in 2017. Photo: ICAN

Nuclear-armed state

Possesses 290 nuclear weapons

Has not yet joined the TPNW

[HIGHLIGHTS]

Summary

France has not yet signed or ratified the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons.

 

Nuclear-weapon programme

France possesses approximately 290 nuclear weapons, which it can launch from submarines or missiles dropped from aircraft. Its submarines are based at the Île Longue peninsula, south of Brest in the Brittany region of France.

In 2019, France spent an estimated USD 4.8 billion to build and maintain its nuclear weapons.

Between 1960 and 1996, France conducted a total of 210 nuclear tests in Algeria and French Polynesia.

 

National position

France has consistently voted against an annual UN General Assembly resolution since 2018 that welcomes the adoption of the treaty and calls upon all states to sign, ratify, or accede to it “at the earliest possible date”.

Along with other nuclear-armed states, France has said that it does not accept any claim that [the treaty] contributes to the development of customary international law”. It has called on all states that are considering supporting the the treaty to reflect seriously on its implications for international peace and security.

In 2018, the foreign affairs committee of the French national assembly recommended that the government “mitigate its criticism” of the treaty “to show that we understand and take into account the concerns of states and their desire for more balanced global governance”.

 

Public opinion

A public opinion poll conducted by IFOP in June 2018 found that 67 per cent of French people believe that their government should sign the treaty, with 33 per cent opposed to signing.

Dozens of French cities, including Paris and Lyon, have called on the French government to sign and ratify the treaty.


ICAN campaigners, including many university students, gather in Paris in February 2020 for a forum to discuss activism and the treaty. Photo: ICAN

French campaigners pose in Geneva, Switzerland, in 2018 with the Nobel peace prize medal given to ICAN for its role in achieving the treaty. Photo: ICAN

 

Treaty negotiations

France did not participate in the negotiation of the treaty at the United Nations in New York in 2017 and thus did not vote on its adoption. On the opening day of the negotiating conference, it joined the United States and several other states in protesting the treaty-making process.

In 2016, France voted against 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”.

It actively discouraged other states, in particular its former colonies, from supporting the resolution.

Tahitian activist Roland Oldham speaks at a side event during the treaty negotiations in 2017 about the harm caused by French nuclear testing. Photo: ICAN

ICAN campaigners criticise the decision of nuclear-armed states, including France, to boycott the treaty negotiations in 2017. Photo: ICAN

[PARTNERS]

Association Des Medecins Francais Pour La Prevention de la Guerre Nucleaire

WEBSITE


Abolition 2000 France

WEBSITE


Américains contre la Guerre 

WEBSITE


Armes nucléaires STOP 

WEBSITE


Artistes pour la Paix

WEBSITE


Association pour la Taxation des Transactions pour l’Aide aux Citoyens

WEBSITE


Association des Libres Penseurs de France 

WEBSITE


Association des Travailleurs Maghrébins en France 

WEBSITE


Association France Palestine Solidarité 

WEBSITE


Association Républicaine des Anciens Combattants

WEBSITE


Centre quakers international 

WEBSITE


Comité des Iraniens contre la Guerre 

Comité National pour l’Indépendance et le Développement 

Confédération Générale du Travail 

WEBSITE


Coordination de l’Action Non Violente de l’Arche 

WEBSITE


Collectif Non au Missile 51

WEBSITE


Droit Solidarite

WEBSITE


Enjeu, les Pionniers de France

WEBSITE


Enseignants pour la Paix 

WEBSITE


Fédération Nationale des Travailleurs de l’Etat

WEBSITE


Fédération Syndicale Unitaire

WEBSITE


Femmes Solidaires

WEBSITE


Fondation Copernic

WEBSITE


Le Forum Plutonium

WEBSITE


Greenpeace France

WEBSITE


ICAN France

WEBSITE


Institut de Documentation et de Recherche sur la Paix         

WEBSITE


Institut Hiroshima Nagasaki 

WEBSITE


Les Alternatifs 

WEBSITE


Les Verts Ligue des Droits de l’Homme 

WEBSITE


Ligue Internationale des Femmes pour la Paix et la Liberté 

WEBSITE


Maison de Vigilance

WEBSITE


Mouvement contre le Racisme et pour l’Amitié entre les Peuples 

WEBSITE


Mouvement des Jeunes Communistes de France 

WEBSITE


Le Mouvement de la Paix

WEBSITE


Mouvement de l’Objection de Conscience

WEBSITE


Mouvement National de Lutte pour l’Environnement 

WEBSITE


Mouvement pour le Désarmement la Paix et la Liberté 

Mouvement pour une Alternative Non Violente  

WEBSITE


L'Observatoire des Armements

WEBSITE


Pax Christi France

WEBSITE


Protection

WEBSITE


Réseau Sortir du Nucléaire

WEBSITE


Syndicat National de l'Enseignement Secondaire (SNES)

WEBSITE


Syndicat National de l'Enseignement Supérieur (SNESUP)

WEBSITE


Syndicat National des Chercheurs Scientifiques (SNCS)

WEBSITE


Syndicat National des Travailleurs de la Recherche Scientifique (SNTRS)

WEBSITE


Union de Bretagne des Syndicats du Spectacle

WEBSITE


Union Nationale Peuple et Cultures

WEBSITE


Association Nationale des Cheminots Anciens Combattants, Résistants, Prisonniers et Victimes de Guerre

WEBSITE


Confédération Paysanne

WEBSITE


Fédération Espérantiste du Travail

WEBSITE


Mouvement International de la Réconciliation

WEBSITE


Mouvement pour une alternative non violente de l'océan indien à MAYOTTE

website

 

[LOCALSUPPORT]

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Support in France for the ICAN Cities Appeal >

 

Support in France for the ICAN Parliamentary Pledge >

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Support for TPNW in France Get involved with ICAN in France ›

Support in France for the ICAN Cities Appeal >

 

Support in France for the ICAN Parliamentary Pledge >

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  • Association Des Medecins Francais Pour La Prevention de la Guerre Nucleaire

    WEBSITE

  • Abolition 2000 France

    WEBSITE

  • Américains contre la Guerre 

    WEBSITE

  • Armes nucléaires STOP 

    WEBSITE

  • Artistes pour la Paix

    WEBSITE

  • Association pour la Taxation des Transactions pour l’Aide aux Citoyens

    WEBSITE

  • Association des Libres Penseurs de France 

    WEBSITE

  • Association des Travailleurs Maghrébins en France 

    WEBSITE

  • Association France Palestine Solidarité 

    WEBSITE

  • Association Républicaine des Anciens Combattants

    WEBSITE

  • Centre quakers international 

    WEBSITE

  • Comité des Iraniens contre la Guerre 
  • Comité National pour l’Indépendance et le Développement 
  • Confédération Générale du Travail 

    WEBSITE

  • Coordination de l’Action Non Violente de l’Arche 

    WEBSITE

  • Collectif Non au Missile 51

    WEBSITE

  • Droit Solidarite

    WEBSITE

  • Enjeu, les Pionniers de France

    WEBSITE

  • Enseignants pour la Paix 

    WEBSITE

  • Fédération Nationale des Travailleurs de l’Etat

    WEBSITE

  • Fédération Syndicale Unitaire

    WEBSITE

  • Femmes Solidaires

    WEBSITE

  • Fondation Copernic

    WEBSITE

  • Le Forum Plutonium

    WEBSITE

  • Greenpeace France

    WEBSITE

  • ICAN France

    WEBSITE

  • Institut de Documentation et de Recherche sur la Paix         

    WEBSITE

  • Institut Hiroshima Nagasaki 

    WEBSITE

  • Les Alternatifs 

    WEBSITE

  • Les Verts Ligue des Droits de l’Homme 

    WEBSITE

  • Ligue Internationale des Femmes pour la Paix et la Liberté 

    WEBSITE

  • Maison de Vigilance

    WEBSITE

  • Mouvement contre le Racisme et pour l’Amitié entre les Peuples 

    WEBSITE

  • Mouvement des Jeunes Communistes de France 

    WEBSITE

  • Le Mouvement de la Paix

    WEBSITE

  • Mouvement de l’Objection de Conscience

    WEBSITE

  • Mouvement National de Lutte pour l’Environnement 

    WEBSITE

  • Mouvement pour le Désarmement la Paix et la Liberté 
  • Mouvement pour une Alternative Non Violente  

    WEBSITE

  • L'Observatoire des Armements

    WEBSITE

  • Pax Christi France

    WEBSITE

  • Protection

    WEBSITE

  • Réseau Sortir du Nucléaire

    WEBSITE

  • Syndicat National de l'Enseignement Secondaire (SNES)

    WEBSITE

  • Syndicat National de l'Enseignement Supérieur (SNESUP)

    WEBSITE

  • Syndicat National des Chercheurs Scientifiques (SNCS)

    WEBSITE

  • Syndicat National des Travailleurs de la Recherche Scientifique (SNTRS)

    WEBSITE

  • Union de Bretagne des Syndicats du Spectacle

    WEBSITE

  • Union Nationale Peuple et Cultures

    WEBSITE

  • Association Nationale des Cheminots Anciens Combattants, Résistants, Prisonniers et Victimes de Guerre

    WEBSITE

  • Confédération Paysanne

    WEBSITE

  • Fédération Espérantiste du Travail

    WEBSITE

  • Mouvement International de la Réconciliation

    WEBSITE

  • Mouvement pour une alternative non violente de l'océan indien à MAYOTTE

    website