26 March 1975
Biological Weapons Banned
Biological Weapons were banned under the Biological Weapons Convention which was the first multilateral disarmament treaty banning the production of an entire category of weapons, and entered into force in March 1975.
29 April 1997
Chemical Weapons Banned
Chemical Weapons were banned under the Chemical Weapons Convention, which entered into force in March 1997, leaving nuclear weapons as the only weapon of mass destruction yet to see a comprehensive ban.
1 March 1999
Landmines were banned under the Anti-Personnel Mine Ban Treaty or Ottawa Convention with the aim to eliminate APMs and the humanitarian crisis created by them, which entered into force on 1 March 1999
1 August 2010
Cluster Munitions Banned
Cluster Munitions were banned under the Convention on Cluster Munitions, which entered into force in August of 2010. As of September 2018, 108 states have signed the treaty and 107 have ratified it
Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) Review Conference
In the 2010 NPT Review Conference, parties to the treaty expressed their “deep concern at the catastrophic humanitarian consequences of any use of nuclear weapons”. This gives impetus to future statements and the three humanitarian conferences on the subject.
Red Cross Resolution / ICRC Resolution
The ICRC adopts a resolution appealing to all nations to negotiate a “legally binding international agreement” to prohibit and completely eliminate nuclear weapons.
First Humanitarian Statement
At the NPT meeting in Vienna in 2012, Switzerland delivers the first humanitarian joint statement of on-behalf of 16 countries. Support for this humanitarian call grows with each new statement. Eventually, 159 nations – four-fifths of all UN members – sign on.
4-5 March 2013
Norway hosts first humanitarian conference
The Norwegian government hosts the first-ever intergovernmental conference to examine the humanitarian impact of nuclear weapons, bringing together diplomats from 128 states.
14 February 2014
Mexico conference calls for ban
The chair of the Second Conference on the Humanitarian Impact of Nuclear Weapons, held in Mexico, concludes that the time has come for a diplomatic process to ban nuclear weapons. ICAN was the civil-society partner for this conference.
9 December 2014
Austria issues landmark pledge
As host of the Vienna Conference on the humanitarian impact of nuclear weapons, Austria issues the humanitarian pledge that was signed by 127 countries.
7 December 2015
UN working group set up to advance a ban
In the UN General Assembly, 138 nations vote “yes” to establish a working group that will meet in Geneva, Switzerland, in 2016 to develop “legal measures, legal provisions and norms” for achieving and maintaining a nuclear-weapon-free world.
19 August 2016
UN working group recommends ban negotiations
At its third and final session, the UN working group in Geneva adopts a landmark report recommending that a UN conference be convened in 2017 to negotiate a legally binding instrument to prohibit nuclear weapons.
27 October 2016
UN votes to negotiate a ban on nuclear weapons
In the First Committee of the UN General Assembly, 123 nations vote in favour of a landmark resolution to begin negotiations in March 2017 on a “legally binding instrument to prohibit nuclear weapons”.
23 December 2016
General Assembly confirms ban negotiations for 2017
The UN General Assembly confirmed that negotiations will begin in 2017 on a treaty prohibiting nuclear weapons, despite the opposition of nuclear-armed nations.
27 March 2017
Nuclear ban treaty negotiations begin
At the United Nations, the overwhelming majority of the world’s governments begin negotiations on a treaty to prohibit nuclear weapons, leading towards their total elimination
7 July 2017
UN adopts Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons (TPNW)
Following weeks of intensive negotiations, two-thirds of the world’s nations vote to adopt the landmark UN Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons.
20 September 2017
TPNW opens for signature
On the very day that the TPNW opened for signature X states signed the treaty, and another 3 became full states parties by both signing the treaty and submitting their instrument of ratification. Find out more about the status of the treaty today
September 2017- Present
Signatory and Ratification status
Visit icanw.org/signature_and_ratification_status to see how many states have signed and ratified the treaty to date.
24 October 2020
TPNW reaches 50 states parties, triggering entry into force
On October 24, 2020, the UN Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons reached the required 50 states parties for its entry into force, after Honduras ratified just one day after Jamaica and Nauru submitted their ratifications. The treaty enters into force 90 days later.
22 January 2021
TPNW enters into force
On 22 January 2021, the UN Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons entered into force, making nuclear weapons illegal under international law. More than 75 years after the bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, we can finally call nuclear weapons what they are: prohibited weapons of mass destruction, just like chemical weapons and biological weapons.
TPNW First Meeting of States Parties in Vienna
The First Meeting of States Parties to the TPNW began today in Vienna. At least 82 delegations were seen at the opening, with more coming in through the day both from States Parties and Observers.
First MSP adopts Action Plan
The historic first Meeting of States Parties to the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons concluded in Vienna today 23 June with the adoption of a political declaration and practical action plan that set the course for the implementation of the Treaty and progress towards its goal of the total elimination of nuclear weapons.