Nuclear-weapon-free state

Signed TPNW: 20 September 2017

Ratified TPNW: 26 September 2019

Voted in favour of adopting TPNW

Kiribati has signed and ratified the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons.

Taneti Maamau, the president and minister for foreign affairs of Kiribati, signed the treaty on 20 September 2017. He deposited the country’s instrument of ratification with the UN secretary-general on 26 September 2019.

Kiribati participated in the negotiation of the treaty at the United Nations in New York in 2017 and voted in favour of its adoption.

Between 1957 and 1962, the United Kingdom and the United States tested 33 nuclear weapons at Malden and Kiritimati islands in Kiribati, with devastating long-term health and environmental impacts.

Kiribati 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 2016, Kiribati voted in favour 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”.

Kiribati 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.

Kiribati is a state party to the 1985 Treaty of Rarotonga, which established the South Pacific as a nuclear-weapon-free zone.

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