Statement Issued by The Egyptian Council for Foreign Affairs (ECFA) on the Occasion of The Entry into Force of the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons (TPNW)
The Egyptian Council for Foreign Affairs (ECFA) welcomes the ratification by Honduras, on 24th October 2020, of the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons (TPNW). Thus, the quorum of the entry into force of that treaty is attained as Honduras is the 50th country to ratify it. By that ratification, the TPNW is expected to enter into force on 22nd January 2021 after 90 days of the deposit of the Honduras’ instrument of ratification of the treaty. By then, it is expected that more countries will be ratifying the said treaty as so far 84 countries adhered to / ratified it.
Once that treaty is enforced, it would, in parallel, contribute to the establishment in the Middle East of a zone free of nuclear weapons and other weapons of mass destruction.
The Nuclear-Armed States (NASs) are in panic as the TPNW becomes an international law. The NASs pretend that the TPNW is incompatible with the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT). It is not. The TPNW recognizes the role of the NPT in the promotion of international peace and security. The TPNW plays a complementary role to the NPT by reinforcing the non-proliferation regime by providing an avenue to attain nuclear disarmament which is the ultimate objective of the NPT.
A few weeks ago, on 21 September 2020, Fifty-six former presidents, prime ministers, foreign ministers and defence ministers from 20 NATO member states, as well as Japan and South Korea, made an appeal to those countries that did not ratify that treaty to do it as soon as possible. ECFA supports that appeal.
We believe that the TPNW does not contradict the NPT. On the contrary, it is considered as complementary to the NPT since it stems directly from its pan-ultimate pp. stating “… the desire to further the easing of international tension and the strengthening of trust between States in order to facilitate the cessation of the manufacture of nuclear weapons, the liquidation of all their existing stockpiles, and the elimination from national arsenals of nuclear weapons and the means of their delivery….” In addition, NPT Article VI stipulated that “each of its parties undertook to pursue negotiations in good faith on effective measures relating to the cessation of nuclear arms race at an early date and to nuclear disarmament.”
This is a happy occasion to call upon all countries which have not sign and/ or ratify the TPNW to do so as soon as possible so that it will gain more momentum as a legal instrument which will lead to a Nuclear Weapon Free World and to put an end to the catastrophic humanitarian consequences of the use of nuclear weapons.