Lesotho

Nuclear-weapon-free state

Voted in favour of adopting TPNW

Has signed TPNW, but not yet ratified

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

Lesego Makgothi, the minister for foreign affairs of Lesotho, signed the treaty at a high-level ceremony on 26 September 2019. 

Lesotho participated in the negotiation of the treaty 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 prime minister of Lesotho, Thomas Thabane, hailed the adoption of the treaty earlier that year as “a historic achievement of our time” and said that “it must be ratified and implemented by all”.

In a statement delivered in October 2019, Lesotho welcomed “the steadily increasing number” of UN member states becoming signatories to the treaty and pledged to support “all efforts to enhance the institutional fabric of this treaty”.

Lesotho 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, Lesotho 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”.

Lesotho 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.

Lesotho is a state party to the 1996 Treaty of Pelindaba, which established Africa as a nuclear-weapon-free zone.