Protocols to the Nuclear-Weapon-Free-Zone Treaties

Each treaty establishing a nuclear-weapon-free zone includes protocol(s) for the five nuclear-weapon states recognized under the NPT – China, France, Russia, the United Kingdom, and the United States – to sign and ratify. These protocols, which are legally binding, call upon the nuclear-weapon states to respect the status of the zones and not to use or threaten to use nuclear weapons against treaty states-parties. Such declarations of non-use of nuclear weapons are referred to as negative security assurances.

 

Status of ratification of the protocols to the treaties establishing nuclear-weapon-free zones*

 

PROTOCOL

STATUS

CHINA

FRANCE

RUSSIAN FEDERATION

UNITED KINGDOM

UNITED STATES

Additional Protocol II to the Treaty of Tlatelolco

Signed

Ratified

21 Aug. 1973

12 June 1974

18 July 1973

22 Mar. 1974

18 May 1978

8 Jan. 1979

20 Dec. 1967

11 Dec. 1969

1 Apr. 1968

12 May 1971

Protocol 2 to the Treaty of Rarotonga

Signed

Ratified

10 Feb. 1987

21 Oct. 1988

25 Mar. 1996

20 Sep. 1996

15 Dec. 1986

21 Apr. 1988

25 Mar. 1996

19 Sep. 1997

25 Mar. 1996

-a[1]

Protocol to the Bangkok Treaty

Signed

Ratified

 -

 -

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

Protocol I to the Pelindaba Treaty

Signed

Ratified

11 Apr. 1996

10 Oct. 1997

11 Apr. 1996

20 Sep. 1996

5 Nov 1996

5 Apr. 2011

11 Apr. 1996

12 Mar. 2001

11 Apr. 1996

-b[2]

Protocol to the CANWFZ Treaty

Signed

Ratified

6 May 2014

17 Aug. 2015

6 May 2014

17 Nov. 2014

6 May 2014

22 Jun. 2015

6 May 2014

30 Jan. 2015

6 May 2014

-c[3]

 

The status of signature and ratification of the treaties and protocols are available at the UN Disarmament Treaties Database:

https://treaties.unoda.org/

 

 

Detailed information on the Protocols to the Nuclear-Weapon-Free Zone Treaties

Treaty of Tlatelolco

The Treaty of Tlatelolco has two Additional Protocols.

Additional Protocol I has been signed and ratified by the United States, France, The Netherlands, and the United Kingdom, albeit with certain reservations and declarations attached.

Additional Protocol II has been signed and ratified by China, the United States, France, The United Kingdom, and Russia, albeit with certain reservations and declarations attached.

Additional Protocol I is directed towards extra-continental or continental States having de jure or de facto international responsibility for territories situated in the Zone of Application of the Treaty of Tlatelolco. These States undertake legally binding commitments to apply the status of denuclearization in respect of warlike purposes as defined in Articles 1, 3, 5 and 13 of the Treaty for the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons in Latin America and the Caribbean in territories for which, de jure or de facto, they are internationally responsible and which lie within the limits of the geographical zone established in that Treaty.

Additional Protocol II is directed towards nuclear-weapon States. Said States undertake legally binding commitments not to contribute in any way to the performance of acts involving a violation of the obligations of Article 1 of the Treaty in the territories to which the Treaty applies in accordance with Article 4 thereof. In addition, States Parties to Additional Protocol II commit themselves not to use or threaten to use nuclear weapons against the Contracting Parties of the Treaty for the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons in Latin America and the Caribbean.

Full text of the Protocols to the Treaty of Tlatelolco is available at the UN Disarmament Treaties Database:

https://treaties.unoda.org/t/tlatelolco

 

Treaty of Rarotonga

The Treaty of Rarotonga has three Protocols.

All nuclear weapon States have signed the Treaty’s protocols, but not all have ratified. France and the United Kingdom have ratified the three Protocols. China and Russia ratified Protocols II and III. The United States has signed the protocols but has not ratified any.

Protocol I calls on each Party with respect to the territories situated within the South Pacific Nuclear Free Zone for which it is internationally responsible, to apply the prohibitions of the Treaty.

Protocol II requires Nuclear Weapons States not to use or threaten to use nuclear explosive devices against any Party to the Treaty or against each other’s territories located within the Zone.

Protocol III calls on the Nuclear Weapons States not to test nuclear explosive devices within the Zone.

Full text of the Protocols to the Treaty of Rarotonga is available at the UN Disarmament Treaties Database:

https://treaties.unoda.org/t/rarotonga

 

Treaty of Bangkok

The Treaty of Bangkok has one Protocol.

Currently, none of the nuclear-weapon States have signed or ratified the Protocol to the Treaty of Bangkok.

The Protocol to the SEANWFZ Treaty provides for legally-binding security assurances from the nuclear-weapon States not to use or threaten to use nuclear weapons against any State Party to the Treaty. It further undertakes not to use or threaten to use nuclear weapons within the Southeast Asia Nuclear Weapon-Free Zone.

Since the signing of the SEANWFZ Treaty, States Parties have pursued consultations with the five nuclear-weapon States (NWS) - namely the People’s Republic of China, the French Republic, the Russian Federation, the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, and the United States of America - to secure the latter’s recognition of the SEANWFZ Treaty through their signing of the Protocol to the Treaty. After a long hiatus, direct consultations between the States Parties and the NWS resumed in 2011. However, the French Republic, the Russian Federation, and the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland have indicated that they would submit reservations to the Protocol upon signing. As ASEAN Member States need more time to consider this matter, none of the NWS have acceded to the Protocol to the Treaty so far.

In April 2019, the NWS indicated their willingness to resume consultations with ASEAN on the Protocol to the Treaty. In this regard, States Parties reaffirmed their commitment to continuously engage the NWS and intensify ongoing efforts of all parties to resolve all outstanding issues in accordance with the objectives and principles of the Treaty.

NWS have not signed the Protocol to the SEANWFZ Treaty because they object to the inclusion of continental shelves and EEZ; to the restriction not to use nuclear weapons within the zone; or from within the zone against targets outside the zone, and to the restriction on the passage of nuclear-powered ships through the zone vis-à-visthe issue of the high seas as embodied in the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS). The NWS also raised the issue that the continental shelves and EEZ are not clearly defined in the South China Sea, which creates uncertainty over the scope of the treaty, as well as the treaty's protocol obligations. The United States also expressed concerns with the nature of the legally binding negative security assurances to be expected of the parties to the protocol, the alleged ambiguity of the treaty's language concerning the permissibility of port calls by ships, which may carry nuclear weapons, and the procedural rights of the parties to the protocol to be represented before the various executive bodies set up by the treaty to ensure its implementation.

Full text of the Protocol to the Treaty of Bangkok is available at the UN Disarmament Treaties Database

https://treaties.unoda.org/t/bangkok_protocol

 

Pelindaba Treaty

The Pelindaba Treaty has three Protocols.

China, France, Russian Federation and the United Kingdom have signed and ratified Protocols I and II with reservations by some of them. The United States have signed, but not ratified Protocol I and II. France and Spain have neither signed nor ratified Protocol III.

Under Protocol I, the Parties undertake not to use or threaten to use a nuclear explosive device against Any Party to the Treaty; or any territory within the African nuclear-weapon-free zone for which a State that has become a Party to Protocol III is internationally responsible as defined in annex I.

Under Protocol II, the Parties undertake not to test or assist or encourage the testing of any nuclear explosive device anywhere within the African nuclear-weapon-free zone.

Under Protocol III, the Parties undertake to apply, in respect of the territories for which it is de jure or de facto internationally responsible situated within the African nuclear-weapon-free zone, the provisions contained in articles 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9 and 10 of the Treaty and to ensure the application of safeguards specified in annex II of the Treaty.

Full text of the Protocols to the Pelindaba Treaty is available at the UN Disarmament Treaties Database:

https://treaties.unoda.org/t/pelindaba

 

Central Asia Nuclear-Weapon-Free Zone Treaty

The Central Asia Nuclear-Weapon-Free Zone Treaty (CANWFZ) Treaty has one Protocol.

The CANWFZ Treaty Protocol has been signed by the five nuclear-weapons States in 2014, but was, so far, ratified by four with the exception of the United States in order to finalize the institutionalization of the zone.

The Protocol to the CANWFZ Treaty provides for legally-binding security assurances from the nuclear-weapon States not to use or threaten to use a nuclear weapon or other nuclear explosive device against any Party to the Treaty.

>Full text of the Protocol to the CANWFZ Treaty is available at the UN Disarmament Treaties Database:

https://treaties.unoda.org/t/canwfz_protocol


* as at 1 December 2020

[1] a The Protocol was submitted on 2 May 2011 to the United States Senate for its consent to ratification (United States, Message from the President of the United States transmitting Protocols 1, 2, and 3 to the South Pacific Nuclear Free Zone Treaty, signed on behalf of the United States at Suva on March 25, 1996 (Washington, DC, United States Government Printing Office, 2011), available from https://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/CDOC-112tdoc2/pdf/CDOC-112tdoc2.pdf).

[2] b The Protocol was submitted on 2 May 2011 to the United States Senate for its consent to ratification (United States, Message from the President of the United States transmitting Protocols I and II to the African Nuclear-Weapon-Free Zone Treaty, signed on behalf of the United States at Cairo, Egypt, on April 11, 1996, including a Third Protocol Related to the Treaty (Washington, DC, United States Government Printing Office, 2011), available from https://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/CDOC-112tdoc3/pdf/CDOC-112tdoc3.pdf).

[3] c The Protocol was submitted on 27 April 2015 to the United States Senate for its consent to ratification (United States, Message from the President of the United States Transmitting the Protocol to the Treaty on a Nuclear-Weapon-Free Zone in Central Asia, signed at New York on May 6, 2014 (Washington, DC, United States Government Printing Office, 2015), available from https://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/CDOC114tdoc2/pdf/CDOC-114tdoc2.pdf).