Ireland

Nuclear-weapon-free state

Has joined the TPNW

Signed: 20 September 2017

Ratified: 6 August 2020

 

Status

Ireland 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

Simon Coveney, the minister of foreign affairs of Ireland, signed the TPNW when it opened for signature on 20 September 2017, describing it as “ground-breaking”. Ireland deposited its instrument of ratification with the UN secretary-general on 6 August 2020, the 75th anniversary of the atomic bombing of Hiroshima.

Writing in the Irish Times on 6 August, Coveney commented: “I am proud that Ireland today ratifies the [TPNW] ... It honours the memory of the victims of nuclear weapons and the key role played by survivors in providing living testimony and calling on us as successor generations to eliminate nuclear weapons.”

Ireland was the 41st state to ratify or accede to the TPNW.

Simon Coveney, the minister of foreign affairs of Ireland, signs the TPNW in New York on 20 September 2017. Photo: UNOLA

Legislation to give effect to the TPNW under Irish law was enacted by the Irish parliament, or Oireachtas, on 11 December 2019. In introducing the legislation, the minister of state, Ciarán Cannon, noted the leading role of Ireland in the process that resulted in the adoption of the treaty.

Hazel Chu, the lord mayor of Dublin, said that she hoped Ireland’s ratification would bring us “one step closer to the day when no city will ever again face the threat of the horrific destruction by nuclear weapons inflicted on Hiroshima 75 years ago”.

In the days prior to Ireland’s ratification, the Irish president, Michael D. Higgins, commented that the “historic achievement” of the TPNW “would not have been possible without the invaluable input of the hibakusha and the survivors of nuclear testing over many years”.

Representatives of ICAN meet with the president of Ireland, Michael D. Higgins, and his wife, Sabina Higgins, in New York in 2019. Photo: ICAN

In a statement to the United Nations in October 2021, Ireland said: “A vision of a more peaceful world, underpinned by the political will to achieve it, led Ireland and a large majority of states to adopt the [TPNW] in 2017. Ireland is proud of its role in the negotiation of the treaty.”

Ireland hailed the TPNW’s entry into force on 22 January 2021 as “a landmark moment for nuclear disarmament”. 

 

Implementation

In accordance with Article 2 of the TPNW, Ireland submitted a declaration to the UN secretary-general on 22 January 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.

Per Article 12, Ireland 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 a statement to the United Nations in October 2020, Ireland encouraged “states who have not yet joined the treaty to do so”.

 

TPNW negotiations

Ireland 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 its opening statement to the negotiating conference, Ireland described the moment as “a pivotal point in our international relations, a time to take stock and honour the testimony of the past, to decide what sort of present we wish to live in and what sort of legacy we wish to leave for future generations”.

It commented that “we are not just writing a new and complementary treaty here, we are taking the opportunity to write a new history and in so doing to create a new, more stable, more secure and more equal future for all”.

In its closing statement, Ireland said that it was proud to have played its part in establishing the diplomatic conference that negotiated “this ground-breaking treaty”, adding: “Today is a truly historic day at the United Nations.”

Ireland, Austria, Brazil, Mexico, Nigeria, and South Africa comprised a “core group” of states that played a leading role in bringing the negotiations about and ensuring their ultimate success. 

In 2016, Ireland co-sponsored 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”.

Members of the Irish delegation celebrate the adoption of the TPNW in New York by 122 states, including Ireland, on 7 July 2017. Photo: ICAN

 

Before the negotiations

Ireland 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 TPNW negotiations.

Nuclear-weapon-free state

Has joined the TPNW

[HIGHLIGHTS]

Signed: 20 September 2017

Ratified: 6 August 2020

 

Status

Ireland 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

Simon Coveney, the minister of foreign affairs of Ireland, signed the TPNW when it opened for signature on 20 September 2017, describing it as “ground-breaking”. Ireland deposited its instrument of ratification with the UN secretary-general on 6 August 2020, the 75th anniversary of the atomic bombing of Hiroshima.

Writing in the Irish Times on 6 August, Coveney commented: “I am proud that Ireland today ratifies the [TPNW] ... It honours the memory of the victims of nuclear weapons and the key role played by survivors in providing living testimony and calling on us as successor generations to eliminate nuclear weapons.”

Ireland was the 41st state to ratify or accede to the TPNW.

Simon Coveney, the minister of foreign affairs of Ireland, signs the TPNW in New York on 20 September 2017. Photo: UNOLA

Legislation to give effect to the TPNW under Irish law was enacted by the Irish parliament, or Oireachtas, on 11 December 2019. In introducing the legislation, the minister of state, Ciarán Cannon, noted the leading role of Ireland in the process that resulted in the adoption of the treaty.

Hazel Chu, the lord mayor of Dublin, said that she hoped Ireland’s ratification would bring us “one step closer to the day when no city will ever again face the threat of the horrific destruction by nuclear weapons inflicted on Hiroshima 75 years ago”.

In the days prior to Ireland’s ratification, the Irish president, Michael D. Higgins, commented that the “historic achievement” of the TPNW “would not have been possible without the invaluable input of the hibakusha and the survivors of nuclear testing over many years”.

Representatives of ICAN meet with the president of Ireland, Michael D. Higgins, and his wife, Sabina Higgins, in New York in 2019. Photo: ICAN

In a statement to the United Nations in October 2021, Ireland said: “A vision of a more peaceful world, underpinned by the political will to achieve it, led Ireland and a large majority of states to adopt the [TPNW] in 2017. Ireland is proud of its role in the negotiation of the treaty.”

Ireland hailed the TPNW’s entry into force on 22 January 2021 as “a landmark moment for nuclear disarmament”. 

 

Implementation

In accordance with Article 2 of the TPNW, Ireland submitted a declaration to the UN secretary-general on 22 January 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.

Per Article 12, Ireland 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 a statement to the United Nations in October 2020, Ireland encouraged “states who have not yet joined the treaty to do so”.

 

TPNW negotiations

Ireland 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 its opening statement to the negotiating conference, Ireland described the moment as “a pivotal point in our international relations, a time to take stock and honour the testimony of the past, to decide what sort of present we wish to live in and what sort of legacy we wish to leave for future generations”.

It commented that “we are not just writing a new and complementary treaty here, we are taking the opportunity to write a new history and in so doing to create a new, more stable, more secure and more equal future for all”.

In its closing statement, Ireland said that it was proud to have played its part in establishing the diplomatic conference that negotiated “this ground-breaking treaty”, adding: “Today is a truly historic day at the United Nations.”

Ireland, Austria, Brazil, Mexico, Nigeria, and South Africa comprised a “core group” of states that played a leading role in bringing the negotiations about and ensuring their ultimate success. 

In 2016, Ireland co-sponsored 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”.

Members of the Irish delegation celebrate the adoption of the TPNW in New York by 122 states, including Ireland, on 7 July 2017. Photo: ICAN

 

Before the negotiations

Ireland 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 TPNW negotiations.

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