Meetings on the Complementarity of the TPNW with other nuclear weapons treaties

29 September 2023

On 29 September Ireland and Thailand convened a consultation to review the previously circulated draft report prepared by the co-facilitators on the work of states parties, including the co-facilitators, and civil society to highlight the complementarity of the TPNW with the NPT and other relevant nuclear disarmament and nonproliferation instruments during the intersessional period. The report also offers recommendations on how to build on this work at the Second Meeting of States Parties. At the consultation, states parties, representatives of the Scientific Advisory Group and ICAN congratulated the co-facilitators for preparing the report and shared their views on how to strengthen it further. The deadline for comments on the draft report is Friday 6 October.

2 August 2023

The complementarity of the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons (TPNW), the nuclear-weapon-free zones, and the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty (CTBT) with the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) was well established in a Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty Review Conference side event convened by TPNW complementarity co-chairs, Ireland, Thailand, alongside AFCONE and ICAN. The event featured seven presentations spanning the international legal architecture on nuclear nonproliferation and disarmament about the contributions of those regimes to the NPT and to each other. In opening remarks, Mr. Patrick Duffy, Deputy Director of Disarmament and Non-Proliferation of the Department of Foreign Affairs of Ireland, highlighted how the TPNW filled a vital legal gap, noting that the NPT always envisaged a separate legal instrument to give effect to its disarmament provisions.

As a member state of the Rarotonga Treaty, Ms. Katy Donnelly, Manager of the Disarmament Unit in the International Security and Disarmament Division of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade of New Zealand, highlighted how new treaties, including the Rarotonga Treaty and the TPNW, can build on previous treaties in a natural progression to strengthen the international nonproliferation and disarmament regime as a whole. As a member state of the Semipalatinsk Treaty, Mr. Nurmukhamed Zhangarayev, Head of Division on Disarmament and Non-Proliferation of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Kazakhstan highlighted the contributions of this treaty to international peace and security, as a region bordering two nuclear-armed states, and also indicated that the TPNW helps to implement Article VI of the NPT.

Mr. Enobot Agboraw, Executive Secretary of AFCONE, explained how the Cairo Declaration of 1964, committing to the denuclearisation of Africa, served as a harbinger of the NPT, which opened for signature several years later. Likewise, he stated the TPNW is the next evolutionary step in the process established by the NPT. Ambassador Flávio Roberto Bonzanini, Secretary-General of OPANAL, underscored the contribution of OPANAL to nuclear disarmament and cooperation with other nuclear-weapon-free zones, including as 80% of its members have also signed and ratified the TPNW.

Dr. Chen Zak Kane, Project Head of the Middle East WMD Free Zone Project at UNIDIR addressed how discussions on a Middle East Zone Free of Weapons of Mass Destruction can learn from previous agreements, as covered in a recent UNIDIR report. Mr. Charles Oko, Senior External Relations Officer at the CTBTO underscored how the CTBT and NPT are mutually reinforcing and interlinked, explaining that the CTBT has advanced the norm against nuclear testing, alongside a robust verification regime. Finally, Alicia Sanders-Zakre, Policy and Research Coordinator of ICAN introduced ICAN’s briefing paper “How the TPNW Complements, Reinforces and Builds on the NPT,” outlining how the TPNW implements Article VI of the NPT, strengthens the non-proliferation regime, including the international nuclear safeguards system, and how TPNW states parties remain committed to the NPT’s full implementation and universalisation. ICAN recommended that all NPT states parties recognise the TPNW is fully compatible with the NPT and commit to work constructively with all TPNW states parties to advance disarmament, just as all TPNW states parties have committed to work constructively with all NPT states parties.

In conclusion, as moderator, Ms. Athikarn Dilogwathana, Counselor to the Permanent Mission of Thailand to the UN in Geneva, emphasized that the complementarity of these instruments supports the universal adherence to the obligations on nuclear nonproliferation and disarmament, as also expressed within the NPT PrepCom, and will reflect it in the report submitted to the TPNW second meeting of states parties.

12 June 2023

Panel discussion on Advancing the Complementarity of the TPNW with the Existing Disarmament and Non-Proliferation Regime
In their capacity as co-facilitators on complementarity, Ireland and Thailand organised a panel discussion aimed to promote an ongoing interactive dialogue. The event provided a space for discussion on the implementation of all Actions related to complementarity in the Vienna Action Plan from the perspective of TPNW state parties, signatories, as well as technical considerations from the Scientific Advisory Group, legal analysis of complementarity with other disarmament and non-proliferation instruments from the International Committee of the Red Cross, and a presentation of ICAN’s briefing paper on the complementarity of the TPNW and the NPT with civil society recommendations.