Palau

Nuclear-weapon-free state

Has joined the TPNW

Signed: 20 September 2017

Ratified: 3 May 2018

 

Summary

Palau has signed and ratified the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons. It was among the original 50 states parties to the treaty when it entered into force on 22 January 2021.

 

Signature and ratification

Tommy Esang Remengesau Jr, the president of Palau, signed the treaty when it opened for signature on 20 September 2017.

In an address to the United Nations the following day, he remarked that “we must take seriously the long-term need to ban nuclear weapons”, and “a good place to start is the accession to the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons”.

Palau’s instrument of ratification was deposited with the UN secretary-general on 3 May 2018. Palau was the eighth state overall to ratify or accede to the treaty, and the first state from the Pacific to do so.

Tommy Esang Remengesau Jr, the president of Palau, signs the treaty in New York on 20 September 2017. Photo: ICAN

 

Implementation

In accordance with Article 2 of the treaty, Palau submitted a declaration to the UN secretary-general on 7 January 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.

Palau has promoted universal adherence to the treaty, 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 October 2020, Remengesau described the treaty as “a sign of what is possible when we are committed to dialogue, solidarity and peaceful cooperation” and urged all other UN member states to join it.

 

Treaty negotiations

Palau participated in the negotiation of the treaty at the United Nations in New York in 2017 and was among 122 states that voted in favour of its adoption.

In 2016, Palau 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”.

 

Before the negotiations

Palau 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.

Palau, together with Fiji, Nauru, Samoa, and Tuvalu, submitted a working paper to a UN working group in Geneva in 2016 in which it argued that “the debate should no longer be about whether a global ban on nuclear weapons is necessary, but rather how we can achieve it and what provisions it should contain”.

The five Pacific island states commented that the lived experience of nuclear weapons in the Pacific, where more than 300 atomic and hydrogen bombs were tested, has motivated them to work for a treaty-based ban.

Eunice Akiwo (right) with ICAN campaigners in Geneva in 2016 during a UN working group on nuclear disarmament. Photo: ICAN

Nuclear-weapon-free state

Has joined the TPNW

[HIGHLIGHTS]

Signed: 20 September 2017

Ratified: 3 May 2018

 

Summary

Palau has signed and ratified the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons. It was among the original 50 states parties to the treaty when it entered into force on 22 January 2021.

 

Signature and ratification

Tommy Esang Remengesau Jr, the president of Palau, signed the treaty when it opened for signature on 20 September 2017.

In an address to the United Nations the following day, he remarked that “we must take seriously the long-term need to ban nuclear weapons”, and “a good place to start is the accession to the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons”.

Palau’s instrument of ratification was deposited with the UN secretary-general on 3 May 2018. Palau was the eighth state overall to ratify or accede to the treaty, and the first state from the Pacific to do so.

Tommy Esang Remengesau Jr, the president of Palau, signs the treaty in New York on 20 September 2017. Photo: ICAN

 

Implementation

In accordance with Article 2 of the treaty, Palau submitted a declaration to the UN secretary-general on 7 January 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.

Palau has promoted universal adherence to the treaty, 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 October 2020, Remengesau described the treaty as “a sign of what is possible when we are committed to dialogue, solidarity and peaceful cooperation” and urged all other UN member states to join it.

 

Treaty negotiations

Palau participated in the negotiation of the treaty at the United Nations in New York in 2017 and was among 122 states that voted in favour of its adoption.

In 2016, Palau 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”.

 

Before the negotiations

Palau 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.

Palau, together with Fiji, Nauru, Samoa, and Tuvalu, submitted a working paper to a UN working group in Geneva in 2016 in which it argued that “the debate should no longer be about whether a global ban on nuclear weapons is necessary, but rather how we can achieve it and what provisions it should contain”.

The five Pacific island states commented that the lived experience of nuclear weapons in the Pacific, where more than 300 atomic and hydrogen bombs were tested, has motivated them to work for a treaty-based ban.

Eunice Akiwo (right) with ICAN campaigners in Geneva in 2016 during a UN working group on nuclear disarmament. Photo: ICAN

[PARTNERS]

[LOCALSUPPORT]