Myanmar

Nuclear-weapon-free state

Has signed the TPNW

Has not yet ratified the TPNW

Signed: 26 September 2018

 

Summary

Myanmar has signed but not yet ratified the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons (TPNW).

 

Signature

U Kyaw Tin, the then-minister for international cooperation of Myanmar, signed the TPNW at a high-level ceremony on 26 September 2018.

Myanmar’s legislature, the Assembly of the Union, approved signature of the treaty earlier that month at the recommendation of the then-president, U Win Myint. In a debate, lawmakers said that signing the treaty would enhance Myanmar’s image abroad.

A lower-house lawmaker, representing the military, said that it would clear up doubts as to whether Myanmar is developing nuclear weapons, while an upper-house lawmaker said: “By signing the treaty, Myanmar will be recognised by international countries as a responsible country.”

The government of Myanmar announced in 2019 that it is “actively considering” ratification of the TPNW, and in 2020 it reiterated that it is “considering progressively for ratification” of the treaty.

In 2021, lamented that it “had planned to ratify [the TPNW] this year”. “This ratification, sadly, is no longer possible with the naked power grab and illegal coup by the brutal military,” it said. “But … we sincerely wish to ratify it as soon as possible, with proper endorsements by the duly elected representatives of the people of Myanmar.”

U Kyaw Tin, the then-minister for international cooperation of Myanmar, signs the TPNW in New York on 26 September 2018. Photo: ICAN

 

Universalisation

Myanmar has promoted universal adherence to the TPNW, including by 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”. It has “strongly encourage[d] fellow [UN] member countries to join the treaty to demonstrate political will towards nuclear disarmament”.

In a statement to the United Nations in 2021, it said: “Even though we are still yet nowhere near our ultimate goal of nuclear disarmament, we believe the [TPNW] is the quintessential instrument in reinforcing norms against nuclear weapons. The entry into force of this treaty on 22 January of this year is [welcome] progress and a crucial achievement for [the] nuclear disarmament agenda. We believe that it will contribute to making the world free of nuclear weapons.”

 

TPNW negotiations

Myanmar 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, Myanmar said that the successful implementation of the treaty would “be a long-term process and require political commitment”, and it would “further revitalise nuclear disarmament and non-proliferation initiatives at the United Nations”.

In 2016, Myanmar voted in favour of 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”.

 

Before the negotiations

Prior to the adoption of the TPNW in 2017, nuclear weapons were the only weapons of mass destruction not subject to a comprehensive, globally applicable treaty prohibition. Myanmar supported calls in the UN General Assembly fill this “legal gap”.

Nuclear-weapon-free state

Has signed the TPNW

Has not yet ratified the TPNW

[HIGHLIGHTS]

Signed: 26 September 2018

 

Summary

Myanmar has signed but not yet ratified the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons (TPNW).

 

Signature

U Kyaw Tin, the then-minister for international cooperation of Myanmar, signed the TPNW at a high-level ceremony on 26 September 2018.

Myanmar’s legislature, the Assembly of the Union, approved signature of the treaty earlier that month at the recommendation of the then-president, U Win Myint. In a debate, lawmakers said that signing the treaty would enhance Myanmar’s image abroad.

A lower-house lawmaker, representing the military, said that it would clear up doubts as to whether Myanmar is developing nuclear weapons, while an upper-house lawmaker said: “By signing the treaty, Myanmar will be recognised by international countries as a responsible country.”

The government of Myanmar announced in 2019 that it is “actively considering” ratification of the TPNW, and in 2020 it reiterated that it is “considering progressively for ratification” of the treaty.

In 2021, lamented that it “had planned to ratify [the TPNW] this year”. “This ratification, sadly, is no longer possible with the naked power grab and illegal coup by the brutal military,” it said. “But … we sincerely wish to ratify it as soon as possible, with proper endorsements by the duly elected representatives of the people of Myanmar.”

U Kyaw Tin, the then-minister for international cooperation of Myanmar, signs the TPNW in New York on 26 September 2018. Photo: ICAN

 

Universalisation

Myanmar has promoted universal adherence to the TPNW, including by 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”. It has “strongly encourage[d] fellow [UN] member countries to join the treaty to demonstrate political will towards nuclear disarmament”.

In a statement to the United Nations in 2021, it said: “Even though we are still yet nowhere near our ultimate goal of nuclear disarmament, we believe the [TPNW] is the quintessential instrument in reinforcing norms against nuclear weapons. The entry into force of this treaty on 22 January of this year is [welcome] progress and a crucial achievement for [the] nuclear disarmament agenda. We believe that it will contribute to making the world free of nuclear weapons.”

 

TPNW negotiations

Myanmar 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, Myanmar said that the successful implementation of the treaty would “be a long-term process and require political commitment”, and it would “further revitalise nuclear disarmament and non-proliferation initiatives at the United Nations”.

In 2016, Myanmar voted in favour of 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”.

 

Before the negotiations

Prior to the adoption of the TPNW in 2017, nuclear weapons were the only weapons of mass destruction not subject to a comprehensive, globally applicable treaty prohibition. Myanmar supported calls in the UN General Assembly fill this “legal gap”.

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