Ireland has become the 41st state to ratify the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons (TPNW) doing so on 6 August, the 75th anniversary of the bombing of Hiroshima. Ireland is the second European Union state to ratify the Treaty after Austria, the Holy See and San Marino have also joined the Treaty.
Announcing the move in an article for the Irish Times, Foreign Minister Simon Coveney said “it is no exaggeration to say that nuclear weapons continue to threaten the future of life on this planet.”
Ireland has long been a leading voice for nuclear disarmament. President Michael D Higgins told the World Conference Against Atomic and Hydrogen Bombs this week “Now more than ever we must work together to bring an end to this threat and provide a safer and more secure world for all of humanity”.
[The TPNW] honours the memory of the victims of nuclear weapons and the key role played by survivors in providing living testimony and calling on us as successor generations to eliminate nuclear weapons.
Simon Coveney, Irish Minister of Foreign Affairs
The Treaty was agreed by the United Nations in July 2017 after negotiations last several months. 122 states voted in favour of the Treaty at the final stage and since then many votes at the United Nations have confirmed the position of the international community in opposing nuclear weapons. The Treaty will ban nuclear weapons on the ground of their humanitarian consequences, in the same way that chemical and biological weapons have previously been banned. Nine further states are required to ratify the Treaty before it will come into force.