Pugwash Note on the Entry into Force of the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons

22 January 2021

The Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons (TPNW) enters into force today, 90 days after the deposit of the 50th instrument of ratification, in accordance with its Article 10.3. This is a significant milestone in the search for effective, innovative ways to achieve the elimination of nuclear weapons, a proposition enshrined in the first Resolution of the United Nations General Assembly in 1946. As provided for in the Treaty, States Party will meet for the first time within one year to consider and take decisions on matters regarding its implementation.

The TPNW requires member states to renounce the possession of nuclear weapons and also forbids the stationing and the transfer of nuclear weapons belonging to other states. For several decades since the advent of nuclear weapons, humankind has lived under the risk of utter destruction and possible extinction by the most cruel and indiscriminate weapon of mass destruction ever invented. The main aspiration of peoples everywhere has been to find ways to eliminate the existential threat posed by the nuclear weapons. The TPNW aims at providing a path to ensure the achievement of this important objective and at strengthening international security in a world free of nuclear weapons. It should be supported and promoted by the international community as well as by civil society organizations.

Sergio Duarte, President
Paolo Cotta-Ramusino, Secretary-General