Guyana

Nuclear-weapon-free state

Has joined the TPNW

Signed: 20 September 2020

Ratified: 20 September 2020

 

Summary

Guyana 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

David Granger, the then-president of Guyana, signed the TPNW when it opened for signature on 20 September 2017. He deposited the country’s instrument of ratification with the UN secretary-general on the same day.

Guyana was the equal first state to ratify the TPNW.

David Granger, the then-president of Guyana, signs the TPNW and deposits the instrument of ratification in New York on 20 September 2017. Photo: ICAN

 

Implementation

In accordance with Article 2 of the TPNW, Guyana submitted a declaration to the UN secretary-general on 21 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.

Guyana 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 June 2019, Guyana hosted a regional forum in its capital, Georgetown, to encourage members of the Caribbean Community to sign and ratify the TPNW. Delegations representing 10 states from the regional attended the forum.

They adopted a statement expressing “strong support for achieving the swift entry into force” of the treaty and agreeing “to work toward signature and ratification (as applicable) of the treaty”.

In a statement to the United Nations in September 2019, the minister for foreign affairs of Guyana, Karen Cummings, said that the TPNW “aims to transform the regional norm of the Caribbean against the possession of nuclear weapons into a global norm”.

In October 2020, Guyana urged all UN member states “to ratify the treaty with urgency in a tangible show of commitment to the goal of nuclear disarmament and non-proliferation”.

In a statement to the UN General Assembly in September 2021, the president of Guyana, Mohamed Irfaan Ali, described the TPNW’s entry into force as “a watershed moment for the disarmament agenda”. “We have now closed the legal gap which previously existed in the international disarmament regime,” he said. “Guyana is proud to have contributed to this historic achievement.”

Government officials from across the Caribbean participate in a regional forum in Guyana in 2019 to promote the TPNW. Photo: ICAN

 

TPNW negotiations

Guyana 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, Guyana 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

Guyana 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: 20 September 2020

Ratified: 20 September 2020

 

Summary

Guyana 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

David Granger, the then-president of Guyana, signed the TPNW when it opened for signature on 20 September 2017. He deposited the country’s instrument of ratification with the UN secretary-general on the same day.

Guyana was the equal first state to ratify the TPNW.

David Granger, the then-president of Guyana, signs the TPNW and deposits the instrument of ratification in New York on 20 September 2017. Photo: ICAN

 

Implementation

In accordance with Article 2 of the TPNW, Guyana submitted a declaration to the UN secretary-general on 21 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.

Guyana 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 June 2019, Guyana hosted a regional forum in its capital, Georgetown, to encourage members of the Caribbean Community to sign and ratify the TPNW. Delegations representing 10 states from the regional attended the forum.

They adopted a statement expressing “strong support for achieving the swift entry into force” of the treaty and agreeing “to work toward signature and ratification (as applicable) of the treaty”.

In a statement to the United Nations in September 2019, the minister for foreign affairs of Guyana, Karen Cummings, said that the TPNW “aims to transform the regional norm of the Caribbean against the possession of nuclear weapons into a global norm”.

In October 2020, Guyana urged all UN member states “to ratify the treaty with urgency in a tangible show of commitment to the goal of nuclear disarmament and non-proliferation”.

In a statement to the UN General Assembly in September 2021, the president of Guyana, Mohamed Irfaan Ali, described the TPNW’s entry into force as “a watershed moment for the disarmament agenda”. “We have now closed the legal gap which previously existed in the international disarmament regime,” he said. “Guyana is proud to have contributed to this historic achievement.”

Government officials from across the Caribbean participate in a regional forum in Guyana in 2019 to promote the TPNW. Photo: ICAN

 

TPNW negotiations

Guyana 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, Guyana 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

Guyana 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.

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