Two more countries have taken action under the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons (TPNW), bringing the tally of signatories to 93 – close to half of all states in the world - and States Parties to 69. The foreign minister of the Bahamas inked the landmark accord, while Sri Lanka’s minister acceded to the treaty at a ceremony in New York on Tuesday 19 September during the annual United Nations leaders’ week.
Negotiated in 2017 and in force since 2021, the TPNW is the first multilateral agreement to outlaw nuclear weapons in a comprehensive manner and establish a framework for their elimination and for assisting victims of their use and testing.
I had the pleasure of depositing the Instrument of Accession to the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons today at the @UNHQ in #NewYork on the sidelines of the #UNGA78. #SriLanka by becoming the 69th state party to the Treaty has once again reaffirmed its long-standing… pic.twitter.com/QnOHKDUu5a— M U M Ali Sabry (@alisabrypc) September 19, 2023
ICAN’s executive director, Melissa Parke, congratulated the Bahamas and Sri Lanka for accepting “the strongest multilateral norms against the worst weapons of mass destruction”.
She warned that the use of nuclear weapons would result in an unparalleled humanitarian and environmental catastrophe and praised the new signatories for doing their part “to prevent these horrific weapons from ever being used again”.
Such great news to see more governments join in the fight to end nuclear weapons! Congratulations to Bahamas🇧🇸 on signing the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons and Sri Lanka🇱🇰 for acceding it! Welcome to the right side of history! #nuclearbanhttps://t.co/lnYHVQ2s11— Melissa Parke (@MelissaParke01) September 19, 2023
Both countries participated in the negotiation of the TPNW in New York six years ago and voted in favour of its adoption.
The Bahamas is the 13th member of the Caribbean Community, or CARICOM, to sign the treaty – making the region’s adherence almost universal. Sri Lanka’s accession, meanwhile, sends an important message to its nuclear-armed neighbours, India and Pakistan, which have expressed opposition to the treaty.