On the side-lines of the seventy-second general debate at United Nations Headquarters, 71 Member States and two Observer States undertook a total of 98 treaty actions in a four-day event that ended today.
Participants in the annual treaty event included 13 Heads of State, 5 Heads of Government and 46 high-level officials at the ministerial level. The treaty actions comprised 9 acceptances, 7 accessions, 23 ratifications, 58 signatures and 1 denunciation.
Much of the attention was focused on the new Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons, the world’s first legally binding treaty prohibiting nuclear weapons. The following 50 Member States and Observer States signed the instrument on 20 September, the day it opened for signature: Algeria, Austria, Bangladesh, Brazil, Cabo Verde, Central African Republic, Chile, Comoros, Congo, Costa Rica, Côte d’Ivoire, Cuba, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Ecuador, El Salvador, Fiji, Gambia, Ghana, Guatemala, Guyana, Holy See, Honduras, Indonesia, Ireland, Kiribati, Libya, Liechtenstein, Madagascar, Malawi, Malaysia, Mexico, Nepal, New Zealand, Nigeria, Palau, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, Philippines, Samoa, San Marino, Sao Tome and Principe, South Africa, State of Palestine, Thailand, Togo, Tuvalu, Uruguay, Vanuatu and Venezuela. Guyana, Holy See and Thailand also ratified the Treaty.
The Treaty will enter into force 90 days after it has been ratified by at least 50 countries.
“The Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons is the product of increasing concerns over the risk posed by the continued existence of nuclear weapons, including the catastrophic humanitarian and environmental consequences of their use,” Secretary-General António Guterres said at the treaty signing ceremony chaired by Izumi Nakamitsu, High Representative for Disarmament Affairs. “The Treaty is an important step towards the universally-held goal of a world free of nuclear weapons,” the Secretary-General added. It is my hope that it will reinvigorate global efforts to achieve it.”
Devoted to promoting multilateral treaties that safeguard humanity, the 2017 treaty event also included the ratification of the Paris Agreement on climate change by Bhutan, Cabo Verde, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Liechtenstein and Myanmar; the ratification of the Minamata Convention on Mercury by Indonesia, Luxembourg and Singapore; accession by the Lao People’s Democratic Republic; and the acceptance of the Doha amendment to the Kyoto Protocol by Fiji, Luxembourg and Myanmar.
In September 2000, the United Nations invited world leaders attending the landmark Millennium Summit to take advantage of their presence at United Nations Headquarters to sign a wide range of major international treaties. Since then, the Treaty Event has been held every year, usually coinciding with the General Assembly’s general debate in September. Since 2000, the United Nations treaty events have resulted in more than 2,000 treaty-related actions, including signatures, ratifications and accessions.
For more information on the 2017 treaty event, please visit: http://treaties.un.org.
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