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 Banned

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

May 2010

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.

November 2011

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.

May 2012

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. 

June 2022

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.

June 2022

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.