Jamaica

Nuclear-weapon-free state

Voted in favour of adopting TPNW

Has signed TPNW, but not yet ratified

Jamaica has signed but not yet ratified the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons.

Courtenay Rattray, the permanent representative of Jamaica to the United Nations, signed the treaty on 8 December 2017. The government announced in October 2019 that it is undertaking “its internal legal and administrative processes” to ratify the treaty.

Jamaica participated in the negotiation of the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons at the United Nations in New York in 2017 and voted in favour of its adoption.

In an address to the United Nations in September 2017, the minister for foreign affairs of Jamaica, Kamina Johnson Smith, said that Jamaica welcomed “the fact that we now have the first global treaty on the prohibition of nuclear weapons” and hoped “that it will enter into force in short order and will be duly observed universally”.

Jamaica has promoted universal adherence to the treaty, including by co-sponsoring a UN General Assembly resolution in 2019 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 2019, Jamaica expressed “satisfaction with the steady progress towards signing and ratification” of the treaty.

In its opening statement to the negotiating conference, Jamaica described the treaty-making process as “both timely and critical” given the “heightened level of global uncertainty and insecurity” and “a growing and palpable sense of dissatisfaction” at the failure of nuclear-armed states to fulfil their disarmament obligations.

In 2016, Jamaica was a co-sponsor of the UN General Assembly resolution that established the formal mandate for states to commence the negotiations in 2017 on “a legally binding instrument to prohibit nuclear weapons, leading towards their total elimination”.

Jamaica 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.

Jamaica is a state party to the 1967 Treaty of Tlatelolco, which established Latin America and the Caribbean as a nuclear-weapon-free zone.

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