Sweden

Nuclear-weapon-free state

Has not yet joined the TPNW

Summary

Sweden has not yet signed or ratified the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons.

 

National position

Sweden has consistently abstained from voting on an annual UN General Assembly resolution since 2018 that welcomes the adoption of the treaty and calls upon all states to sign, ratify, or accede to it “at the earliest possible date”.

 

Political developments

In February 2021, the minister of foreign affairs of Sweden, Ann Linde, informed the Swedish parliament, or Riksdag, that Sweden would attend the first meeting of states parties to the treaty as an observer, not a state party. The meeting is to be held in Vienna in January 2022.

The Swedish government released a report in 2019 recommending against Sweden’s accession to the treaty. The report was widely criticised by civil society groups and scholars from various academic fields.

Following the release of the report, the then-minister of foreign affairs, Margot Wallström, announced that Sweden would “refrain from signing or pursuing ratification of the [treaty] at the present time”, but indicated that it might reassess its position.

After resigning as foreign minister, Wallström expressed regret at having failed to convince the Swedish parliament to agree to join the treaty.

In August 2017, following Sweden’s vote at the United Nations in support of the adoption of the treaty, the then-secretary of defence of the United States, James Mattis, wrote to his Swedish counterpart, Peter Hultqvist, warning that Sweden’s accession to the treaty would “adversely affect defence cooperation” between the two countries.

 

Public opinion

A public opinion poll conducted by Sifo in 2019 found that 78 per cent of Swedes believe that their government should sign the treaty, with 9 per cent opposed to signing and 12 per cent unsure.

Peace and anti-nuclear campaigners celebrate the entry into force of the treaty on 22 January 2021 in the Swedish city of Gothenburg. Photo: Sri Nimpuno

 

Treaty negotiations

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

In explaining its vote, it said: “We warmly welcome the fact that at last we have a treaty prohibiting nuclear weapons, the only weapon of mass destruction not prohibited until now. Though nuclear weapons are not likely to disappear soon, we are convinced that the norm against the use and possession of nuclear weapons will be strengthened by this treaty.”

However, it also noted that the final treaty text “does not meet all the expectations we had”.

In 2016, Sweden 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 treaty in 2017, nuclear weapons were the only weapons of mass destruction not subject to a comprehensive, globally applicable treaty prohibition. Sweden supported calls in the UN General Assembly fill this “legal gap”.

Nuclear-weapon-free state

Has not yet joined the TPNW

[HIGHLIGHTS]

Summary

Sweden has not yet signed or ratified the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons.

 

National position

Sweden has consistently abstained from voting on an annual UN General Assembly resolution since 2018 that welcomes the adoption of the treaty and calls upon all states to sign, ratify, or accede to it “at the earliest possible date”.

 

Political developments

In February 2021, the minister of foreign affairs of Sweden, Ann Linde, informed the Swedish parliament, or Riksdag, that Sweden would attend the first meeting of states parties to the treaty as an observer, not a state party. The meeting is to be held in Vienna in January 2022.

The Swedish government released a report in 2019 recommending against Sweden’s accession to the treaty. The report was widely criticised by civil society groups and scholars from various academic fields.

Following the release of the report, the then-minister of foreign affairs, Margot Wallström, announced that Sweden would “refrain from signing or pursuing ratification of the [treaty] at the present time”, but indicated that it might reassess its position.

After resigning as foreign minister, Wallström expressed regret at having failed to convince the Swedish parliament to agree to join the treaty.

In August 2017, following Sweden’s vote at the United Nations in support of the adoption of the treaty, the then-secretary of defence of the United States, James Mattis, wrote to his Swedish counterpart, Peter Hultqvist, warning that Sweden’s accession to the treaty would “adversely affect defence cooperation” between the two countries.

 

Public opinion

A public opinion poll conducted by Sifo in 2019 found that 78 per cent of Swedes believe that their government should sign the treaty, with 9 per cent opposed to signing and 12 per cent unsure.

Peace and anti-nuclear campaigners celebrate the entry into force of the treaty on 22 January 2021 in the Swedish city of Gothenburg. Photo: Sri Nimpuno

 

Treaty negotiations

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

In explaining its vote, it said: “We warmly welcome the fact that at last we have a treaty prohibiting nuclear weapons, the only weapon of mass destruction not prohibited until now. Though nuclear weapons are not likely to disappear soon, we are convinced that the norm against the use and possession of nuclear weapons will be strengthened by this treaty.”

However, it also noted that the final treaty text “does not meet all the expectations we had”.

In 2016, Sweden 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 treaty in 2017, nuclear weapons were the only weapons of mass destruction not subject to a comprehensive, globally applicable treaty prohibition. Sweden supported calls in the UN General Assembly fill this “legal gap”.

[PARTNERS]

Folkkampanjen mot kärnkraft-kärnvapen (FMKK) 

WEBSITE


Glokala Sjuhärad Association (Föreningen Glokala Sjuhärad) 

WEBSITE


Greenpeace Sweden

WEBSITE


Feministiskt Initiativ 

WEBSITE


Life-Link Friendship Schools 

WEBSITE


Ofog

WEBSITE


Olof Palme International Center

WEBSITE


PeaceQuest International

WEBSITE


Swedish Fellowship of Reconciliation

WEBSITE


Swedish Peace and Arbitration Society (Svenska Freds) 

WEBSITE


Swedish Peace Committee 

WEBSITE


Swedish Physicians Against Nuclear Weapons

WEBSITE


Swedish Sokka Gakkai International 

WEBSITE


Teachers for Peace 

WEBSITE


Women's International League for Peace and Freedom (Sweden) 

WEBSITE


Women for Peace Sweden 

WEBSITE


Gränna Rotary Club 

WEBSITE


United Nations Association of Sweden (Svenska FN-förbundet)

website

[LOCALSUPPORT]

Support for TPNW Get involved with ICAN in Sweden›


ICAN Parliamentary Pledge

These are the Swedish elected representatives that support and promote the TPNW:

 

→ Ulla Andersson

→ Nooshi Dadgostar

→ Lorena Delgado

→ Åsa Eriksson

→ Ali Esbati

→ Ida Gabrielsson

→ Hanna Gunnarsson

→ Tony Haddou

→ Johanna Haraldsson

→ Christina Höj Larsen

→ Jens Holm

→ Momodou Malcolm Jallow

→ Lotta Johnsson Fornarve

→ Amineh Kakabeveh

→ Ida Karkiainen

→ Maj Karlsson

→ Sara Karlsson

→ Birger Lahti

→ Hillevi Larsson

→ Laila Naraghi

→ Yasmine Posio Nilsson

→ Daniel Riazat

→ Karin Ragsjo

→ Elin Segerlind

→ Jonas Sjostedt

→ Håkan Svenneling

→ Mia Sydow Mölleby

→ Ilona Waldau

→ Jon Thorbjörnson

→ Olle Thorell

→ Jessica Thunander

→ Lorentz Tovatt

→ Vasiliki Tsouplaki

→ Ciczie Wiedby

→ Linda Snecker

→ Jessica Wetterling

→ Andreas Lennkvist Manriquez

 

Sweden European Parliament

 

→ Max Andersson MEP

→ Malin Björk MEP

→ Jakob Dalunde MEP

→ Soraya Post MEP

→ Bodil Valero MEP

 

Sweden Local Legislators

 

→ Helsingborg Municipality

→ Ingrid Mattiasson Saarinen

 

Svalöv Municipality

 

→ Marika Jardert

→ Eva Inhammar

 

ICAN Cities Appeal

Gothenburg

No events yet

Support for TPNW Get involved with ICAN in Sweden›


ICAN Parliamentary Pledge

These are the Swedish elected representatives that support and promote the TPNW:

 

→ Ulla Andersson

→ Nooshi Dadgostar

→ Lorena Delgado

→ Åsa Eriksson

→ Ali Esbati

→ Ida Gabrielsson

→ Hanna Gunnarsson

→ Tony Haddou

→ Johanna Haraldsson

→ Christina Höj Larsen

→ Jens Holm

→ Momodou Malcolm Jallow

→ Lotta Johnsson Fornarve

→ Amineh Kakabeveh

→ Ida Karkiainen

→ Maj Karlsson

→ Sara Karlsson

→ Birger Lahti

→ Hillevi Larsson

→ Laila Naraghi

→ Yasmine Posio Nilsson

→ Daniel Riazat

→ Karin Ragsjo

→ Elin Segerlind

→ Jonas Sjostedt

→ Håkan Svenneling

→ Mia Sydow Mölleby

→ Ilona Waldau

→ Jon Thorbjörnson

→ Olle Thorell

→ Jessica Thunander

→ Lorentz Tovatt

→ Vasiliki Tsouplaki

→ Ciczie Wiedby

→ Linda Snecker

→ Jessica Wetterling

→ Andreas Lennkvist Manriquez

 

Sweden European Parliament

 

→ Max Andersson MEP

→ Malin Björk MEP

→ Jakob Dalunde MEP

→ Soraya Post MEP

→ Bodil Valero MEP

 

Sweden Local Legislators

 

→ Helsingborg Municipality

→ Ingrid Mattiasson Saarinen

 

Svalöv Municipality

 

→ Marika Jardert

→ Eva Inhammar

 

ICAN Cities Appeal

Gothenburg

Find a local ICAN partner to get active Become an ICAN Partner Organization ›

  • Folkkampanjen mot kärnkraft-kärnvapen (FMKK) 

    WEBSITE

  • Glokala Sjuhärad Association (Föreningen Glokala Sjuhärad) 

    WEBSITE

  • Greenpeace Sweden

    WEBSITE

  • Feministiskt Initiativ 

    WEBSITE

  • Life-Link Friendship Schools 

    WEBSITE

  • Ofog

    WEBSITE

  • Olof Palme International Center

    WEBSITE

  • PeaceQuest International

    WEBSITE

  • Swedish Fellowship of Reconciliation

    WEBSITE

  • Swedish Peace and Arbitration Society (Svenska Freds) 

    WEBSITE

  • Swedish Peace Committee 

    WEBSITE

  • Swedish Physicians Against Nuclear Weapons

    WEBSITE

  • Swedish Sokka Gakkai International 

    WEBSITE

  • Teachers for Peace 

    WEBSITE

  • Women's International League for Peace and Freedom (Sweden) 

    WEBSITE

  • Women for Peace Sweden 

    WEBSITE

  • Gränna Rotary Club 

    WEBSITE

  • United Nations Association of Sweden (Svenska FN-förbundet)

    website