Jamaica

Nuclear-weapon-free state

Has joined the TPNW

Signed: 8 December 2017

Ratified: 23 October 2020

 

Summary

Jamaica 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

Courtenay Rattray, the permanent representative of Jamaica to the United Nations, signed the TPNW on 8 December 2017. Jamaica’s instrument of ratification was deposited with the UN secretary-general on 23 October 2020.

In a statement delivered on the occasion of its ratification, Jamaica described the TPNW as “an indispensable part of the global disarmament framework”. It said: “We join with the growing international consensus on this critical issue [and] ... are proud to be a part of this historic moment for nuclear disarmament.”

Jamaica was the equal 48th state to ratify or accede to the TPNW.

Courtenay Rattray, the permanent representative of Jamaica to the United Nations, signs the TPNW in New York on 8 December 2017. Photo: UNOLA

 

Implementation

In accordance with Article 2 of the TPNW, Jamaica submitted a declaration to the UN secretary-general on 19 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.

Jamaica 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 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”.

In September 2021, following the treaty’s entry into force, Johnson Smith said that “the journey to ratification taught us many lessons, but none greater than the power of the collective will of states to advance global goodwill during challenging circumstances”.

 

TPNW negotiations

Jamaica 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, 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 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”.

Rattray addresses the United Nations in 2016 ahead of a vote on the resolution to commence treaty negotiations. Photo: ICAN

 

Before the negotiations

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

Nuclear-weapon-free state

Has joined the TPNW

[HIGHLIGHTS]

Signed: 8 December 2017

Ratified: 23 October 2020

 

Summary

Jamaica 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

Courtenay Rattray, the permanent representative of Jamaica to the United Nations, signed the TPNW on 8 December 2017. Jamaica’s instrument of ratification was deposited with the UN secretary-general on 23 October 2020.

In a statement delivered on the occasion of its ratification, Jamaica described the TPNW as “an indispensable part of the global disarmament framework”. It said: “We join with the growing international consensus on this critical issue [and] ... are proud to be a part of this historic moment for nuclear disarmament.”

Jamaica was the equal 48th state to ratify or accede to the TPNW.

Courtenay Rattray, the permanent representative of Jamaica to the United Nations, signs the TPNW in New York on 8 December 2017. Photo: UNOLA

 

Implementation

In accordance with Article 2 of the TPNW, Jamaica submitted a declaration to the UN secretary-general on 19 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.

Jamaica 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 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”.

In September 2021, following the treaty’s entry into force, Johnson Smith said that “the journey to ratification taught us many lessons, but none greater than the power of the collective will of states to advance global goodwill during challenging circumstances”.

 

TPNW negotiations

Jamaica 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, 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 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”.

Rattray addresses the United Nations in 2016 ahead of a vote on the resolution to commence treaty negotiations. Photo: ICAN

 

Before the negotiations

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

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