On October 24, 2020, the UN Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons (the Treaty) reached the required 50 states parties for its entry into force, after Honduras ratified it just one day after Jamaica and Nauru submitted their ratifications. The Treaty will enter into force on January 22, 2021, instituting a ban on nuclear weapons, 75 years after their first use.
This milestone means the Treaty will become international law on January 22, 2021, increasing pressure on nuclear armed states and other countries to support the treaty. The treaty now has 84 signatories and 50 states parties.
According to lawyer Kelly Tranter, if the legislation is enacted it would authorise the use of foreign military and police forces and would give them the same immunity from legal liabilities as Australian forces. Tranter writes: “The use of a foreign army or militarised police force should not be allowed at all, and certainly not without the safeguard of citizens’ rights of access to courts.”1
Malaysia has become the 46th nation to ratify the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons. Foreign Minister, Hishammuddin Hussein, signed the instrument of ratification on behalf of Malaysia on 30 September 2020. It was deposited with the United Nations later that day. Just four more ratifications are now needed to bring the treaty into force.
In a video address played at the signing ceremony in the nation’s capital, Kuala Lumpur, to mark the occasion, Hishammuddin Hussein expressed concern that the nuclear-weapon states have been regressing in the area of disarmament.