Palau

Nuclear-weapon-free state

Has signed the TPNW

Has ratified the TPNW

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

Tommy Esang Remengesau Jr, the president of Palau, signed the treaty when it opened for signature on 20 September 2017. The country’s instrument of ratification was deposited with the UN secretary-general on 3 May 2018.

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

Palau was the first in the Pacific to ratify the treaty.

In an address to the United Nations following the signing ceremony in September 2017, Remengesau said 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 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, Palau was a co-sponsor 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”.

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 they 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.

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