Holy See

Nuclear-weapon-free state

Has joined the TPNW

Signed: 20 September 2017

Ratified: 20 September 2017

 

Status

The Holy See 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

Paul Gallagher, the secretary for relations with states of the Holy See, 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.

Addressing the United Nations later that week, he said that the TPNW “is one more blow on the anvil toward the fulfilment of the prophecy of Isaiah: ‘They shall beat their swords into ploughshares and their spears into pruning hooks.’”

The Holy See was the equal first state to ratify the TPNW.

In a statement to the United Nations in 2021, the Holy See welcomed the TPNW’s entry into force as a loud and clear reaffirmation of “the illegality of these immoral weapons of war”, adding that the growing number of ratifying states “is a positive indicator that one day nuclear weapons will at last be confined to the history books”.

Paul Gallagher, the secretary for relations with states of the Holy See, signs the TPNW in New York on 20 September 2017. Photo: ICAN

 

Implementation

In accordance with Article 2 of the TPNW, the Holy See submitted a declaration to the UN secretary-general on 15 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.

On a historic visit to the Japanese cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki in November 2019, Pope Francis, the sovereign of the Holy See, condemned the use and possession of nuclear weapons as “immoral”, and urged support for “the principal international legal instruments of nuclear disarmament and non-proliferation, including the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons”.

In a statement to the United Nations in 2019, the secretary of state of the Holy See, Pietro Parolin, hailed the TPNW as “an important step towards a nuclear-weapons-free world”, and encouraged all signatory states “to ratify it as soon as possible”.

During a historic visit to Hiroshima in 2019, Pope Francis urges nations to support the TPNW. Photo: Holy See

Pope Francis convenes a conference at the Vatican in November 2017 with ICAN and other Nobel peace laureates. Photo: Holy See

 

TPNW negotiations

The Holy See 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 an opening statement to the negotiating conference, Pope Francis expressed his wish that the treaty-making process may “constitute a decisive step along the road towards a world without nuclear weapons”, which is “not beyond our reach”.

In its closing statement, the Holy See said that it was “grateful to the conference for adopting this treaty”, noting that for more than 70 years it has regarded nuclear disarmament “as essential to establishing a stable and lasting peace”.

Nuclear-weapon-free state

Has joined the TPNW

[HIGHLIGHTS]

Signed: 20 September 2017

Ratified: 20 September 2017

 

Status

The Holy See 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

Paul Gallagher, the secretary for relations with states of the Holy See, 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.

Addressing the United Nations later that week, he said that the TPNW “is one more blow on the anvil toward the fulfilment of the prophecy of Isaiah: ‘They shall beat their swords into ploughshares and their spears into pruning hooks.’”

The Holy See was the equal first state to ratify the TPNW.

In a statement to the United Nations in 2021, the Holy See welcomed the TPNW’s entry into force as a loud and clear reaffirmation of “the illegality of these immoral weapons of war”, adding that the growing number of ratifying states “is a positive indicator that one day nuclear weapons will at last be confined to the history books”.

Paul Gallagher, the secretary for relations with states of the Holy See, signs the TPNW in New York on 20 September 2017. Photo: ICAN

 

Implementation

In accordance with Article 2 of the TPNW, the Holy See submitted a declaration to the UN secretary-general on 15 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.

On a historic visit to the Japanese cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki in November 2019, Pope Francis, the sovereign of the Holy See, condemned the use and possession of nuclear weapons as “immoral”, and urged support for “the principal international legal instruments of nuclear disarmament and non-proliferation, including the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons”.

In a statement to the United Nations in 2019, the secretary of state of the Holy See, Pietro Parolin, hailed the TPNW as “an important step towards a nuclear-weapons-free world”, and encouraged all signatory states “to ratify it as soon as possible”.

During a historic visit to Hiroshima in 2019, Pope Francis urges nations to support the TPNW. Photo: Holy See

Pope Francis convenes a conference at the Vatican in November 2017 with ICAN and other Nobel peace laureates. Photo: Holy See

 

TPNW negotiations

The Holy See 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 an opening statement to the negotiating conference, Pope Francis expressed his wish that the treaty-making process may “constitute a decisive step along the road towards a world without nuclear weapons”, which is “not beyond our reach”.

In its closing statement, the Holy See said that it was “grateful to the conference for adopting this treaty”, noting that for more than 70 years it has regarded nuclear disarmament “as essential to establishing a stable and lasting peace”.

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