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) welcomed on 1st November 2020 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 entered into force on 22nd January 2021 after 90 days of the deposit of the Honduras’ instrument of ratification of the treaty in accordance with its Article 10 (3).
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. ECFA deplores the non-adherence of Israel to the NPT, while all other countries in the Middle East adhered to it.
The Nuclear-Armed States (NASs) are against the entry into force of the TPNW. The NASs pretend that the TPNW is incompatible with the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT); while it is not. The TPNW recognizes the role of the NPT in the promotion of international peace and security, since the TPNW plays a complementary role to the NPT by reinforcing the non-proliferation regime and by providing an avenue to attain nuclear disarmament which is the ultimate objective of the NPT.
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.”
All countries which have not yet signed and/ or ratified the TPNW are called upon to adhere to it as soon as possible, so that it will gain more momentum as a legal instrument leading to the realization of a Nuclear Weapon Free World and to put an end to the catastrophic humanitarian consequences of the use of nuclear weapons, bearing in mind that the civilian victims of the use of the atomic bomb against Hiroshima and Nagasaki in August 1945 were 226 thousand.
There is a vital role being played by the United Nations and the civil society towards the elimination of nuclear and other weapons of mass destruction, to save humanity from annihilation.