Vienna Declaration and Action Plan: Eliminating Nuclear Weapons

Source: Culture of Peace News Network

The first Meeting of States Parties to the UN Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons (TPNW) was held in Vienna from 21 to 23 June 2022.

There were 82 states in attendance, including a delegation with observer status from the Australian Government led by Susan Templeman MP. Nuclear-endorsing states Germany, Norway, Belgium and the Netherlands also attended.

Declaration and Action Plan were adopted on the final day of the meeting.

The Declaration condemned “any and all nuclear threats, whether they be explicit or implicit and irrespective of the circumstances” and resolved to move forward with implementing the TPNW with the goal of further “stigmatising and de-legitimising nuclear weapons and steadily building a robust global peremptory norm against them.

The Action Plan contains 50 specific actions for taking forward the mission of the TPNW and realising the commitments made in the Declaration. These actions include:

  • Getting more countries to join the TPNW
  • Eliminating nuclear weapons
  • Inclusion of civil society and particularly affected communities
  • Progressive approach to gender and disarmament
  • Sustaining the campaign to implement the TPNW
  • Working with scientists and other UN treaties.

Both the Declaration and Action Plan show that there is a new global alliance dedicated to using the TPNW to push back against unacceptable and illegal nuclear threats and risks of nuclear war.

An overview of the Declaration and Action Plan can be read here.

At the time of the meeting, there were 65 states parties and 86 signatories to the Treaty, together with other supportive states, survivors of nuclear detonations, international organisations, parliamentarians, financial institutions, youth and civil society that form part of this new alliance.

ICAN Executive Director Beatrice Fihn welcomed the outcome of the meeting and the many concrete actions adopted. She said that the “meeting has really been a reflection of the ideals of the TPNW itself: decisive action to eliminate nuclear weapons based on their catastrophic humanitarian consequences and the unacceptable risks of their use.”

In addition, Beatrice Fihn emphasised that the “states parties, in partnership with survivors, impacted communities and civil society, have worked extremely hard over the past three days to agree on a wide range of specific, practical actions to take forward every aspect of the implementation of this crucial treaty. This is how we are building a powerful norm against nuclear weapons: not through lofty statements or empty promises, but through hands-on, focused action involving a truly global community of governments and civil society.”

It is now up to the Albanese Labor Government to honour its election commitment and proceed to sign and ratify the TPNW without undue delay.

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Read more about the first Meeting of States Parties to the TPNW and the Vienna Declaration and Action Plan here.

More information regarding the current signature and ratification status of the TPNW can be accessed here.

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