PH Deposits Instrument of Ratification of the Nuclear Weapon Ban Treaty

NEW YORK 23 February 2021 – Philippine Permanent Representative to the United Nations Ambassador Enrique A. Manalo deposited with the United Nations the Instrument of Ratification of the Philippines of the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons (TPNW) or the Nuclear Weapon Ban Treaty on 18 February 2021, making the Philippines the 53rd state to ratify the said treaty.

In an earlier statement, Foreign Affairs Secretary Teodoro L. Locsin Jr. said, “The Philippines was among the first to sign the Treaty and we will adhere to the universalization of global norms against nuclear weapons.” The ratification by the Philippines of the Ban Treaty demonstrates the country’s resolve to realize a world without nuclear weapons.

The TPNW, in addition to the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT), represents efforts towards the universalization of global norms against nuclear weapons. In his address before the General Assembly on 22 September 2020, President Rodrigo R. Duterte expressed his commitment to the ratification of the TPNW. 

“No aspiration nor ambition can justify the use of weapons that destroy indiscriminately and completely… These weapons of death put us all at mortal risk, especially if they fall in the hands of terrorists,” the President said.

The profound concern for the catastrophic humanitarian consequences of any use of nuclear weapons was duly reflected in the Final Document of the 2010 NPT Review Conference, where the Philippines served as Conference President. 

The Philippines signed the Treaty on 20 September 2017 in New York.  Last February 21, the Philippine Senate adopted the resolution concurring with the ratification of the TPNW. The resolution was introduced and sponsored by Senator Aquilino “Koko” Pimentel III, co-sponsored by all other senators, and was unanimously adopted with 23 votes.

"The Treaty further reinforces commitments against the use, threat of use, development, production, manufacture, acquisition, possession, stockpiling, transfer, stationing, or installation of nuclear weapons," said Senator Pimentel, Chair of the Committee on Foreign Relations.

For the Philippines, the nuclear ban treaty fortifies the nuclear disarmament architecture. It represents the universalization of the hope for the elimination of nuclear weapons, and is in line with the specific provision of the Philippine Constitution and the Treaty on the South-East Asian Nuclear Weapon-Free Zone. The Treaty also fulfills the goal set out in the NPT.

The TPNW entered into force on 22 January 2021 when the 50th State submitted its Instrument of Ratification.  Under the provisions of the treaty, the first meeting of the States Parties to the Treaty will be held in Vienna, Austria within one year of the Treaty’s entry into force.  A date of the meeting has yet to be set.

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