Philippines

Nuclear-weapon-free state

Voted in favour of adopting TPNW

Has signed TPNW, but not yet ratified

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

Alan Peter Cayetano, the then-secretary for foreign affairs of the Philippines, signed the treaty when it opened for signature on 20 September 2017. The government announced in October 2018 that it is “working towards its ratification”.

The Philippines 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 following the signing ceremony in September 2017, Cayetano said: “If we listen to each other, we will hear the same thing. We have no need for nuclear weapons. There is absolutely no benefit in another cold war, neither in an arms race.” He urged nuclear-armed states to sign the treaty.

The Philippines 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 a statement to the United Nations in September 2019, the Philippines hailed the treaty as “a landmark agreement that fortifies the nuclear disarmament architecture” and “delegitimises once and for all the use of nuclear weapons”. 

In its opening statement to the negotiating conference, the Philippines said that it attaches “great importance” to the cause of disarmament, as the Philippine constitution “mandates us to adopt and pursue a policy of freedom from nuclear weapons in our territory”.

It said that it is cognisant of “present geopolitical realities”, and it is precisely because of these realities that we must work to free the world of nuclear weapons: “There will never be a better time than now to discuss the prohibition of such weapons.”

In 2016, the Philippines 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”.

The Philippines 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.

The Philippines is a state party to the 1995 Treaty of Bangkok, which established Southeast Asia as a nuclear-weapon-free zone.

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  • Philippine Physicians for the Prevention of Nuclear War

    website

  • Center for Peace Education

    website

  • Medical Action Group

    website

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