TREATY ON THE PROHIBITION OF NUCLEAR WEAPONS ENTERS INTO FORCE
22 January 2021
PORT OF SPAIN: 22ND JANUARY, 2021
The Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons (TPNW) has entered into force on 22nd January, 2021, having secured sufficient support from the majority of State-parties. The Treaty is the first legally binding international agreement to prohibit comprehensively nuclear weapons, with the ultimate goal being their total elimination. This action demonstrates the willingness of the international community to address the risks nuclear weapons pose to the survival of all life on the planet.
Trinidad and Tobago is proud to be a signatory to this treaty since 2019, having engaged in the negotiations and been involved in discussions on eliminating nuclear weapons for many years in the international arena. Trinidad and Tobago’s participation has been mainly through our team at the Permanent Mission of Trinidad and Tobago to the United Nations, New York and delegates from the Trinidad and Tobago Red Cross Society.
Since the devastation inflicted on the Japanese cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki by the detonation of two nuclear warheads in 1945, countries are mindful of the catastrophic consequences of the use of nuclear weapons. The aftereffects from such include deadly ionizing radiation exposure, destruction and pollution of the environment and radical changes in weather due to the massive dust clouds created. These aftereffects were shown to have a pervasive and detrimental impact on the surrounding environment, even many years after detonation. Avoidance of these disastrous consequences of the use of nuclear weapons served as the impetus for the development of the treaty.
The entry into force of the TPNW, which has been signed by 86 states as of 9th December, 2020, comes at a time when there are growing concerns regarding the build-up of their arsenals by the nuclear armed states. This has siphoned financial and other resources from other critical areas and has added to the volatility of an increasingly hostile international environment amidst pre-existing territorial and resource disputes.
Trinidad and Tobago applauds the efforts of the dedicated personnel who have advocated that states have a moral, humanitarian, environmental and now legal obligation to ensure that the world is free from the threat of nuclear weapons. Trinidad and Tobago also commends the international community on the entry into force of this Treaty and re-affirms its commitment to international peace and security.