Tuvalu

Nuclear-weapon-free state

Participated in the TPNW negotiations

Has signed but not yet ratified the TPNW

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

Enele Sopoaga, the then-prime minister of Tuvalu, signed the treaty when it opened for signature on 20 September 2017.

Tuvalu did not participate in the negotiation of the treaty at the United Nations in New York in 2017 and thus did not vote on its adoption.

 

In an address to the United Nations following the signing ceremony in September 2017, Sopoaga said: “It is our fervent hope that nuclear weapons and other weapons of mass destruction … are totally banned and prohibited worldwide by the UN.”

Tuvalu voted in favour of a UN General Assembly resolution in 2019 that welcomed the adoption of the treaty and called upon “all states that have not yet done so to sign, ratify, accept, approve, or accede to the treaty at the earliest possible date”.

In 2016, Tuvalu was an additional 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”.

Tuvalu 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.

Tuvalu, together with Fiji, Nauru, Palau, and Samoa, 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.

Tuvalu is a state party to the 1985 Treaty of Rarotonga, which established the South Pacific as a nuclear-weapon-free zone.

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