Govt signs treaty to ban nuclear weapons

by AFIQ AZIZ / pic by TMR FILE

PUTRAJAYA has signed the instrument of ratification of the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons (TPNW), joining other 46 countries to be a part of the treaty.

Foreign Affairs Minister Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Hussein (picture) said the treaty will prohibit Malaysia from being involved in all activities related to nuclear weapons.

This includes its development, testing, manufacturing, acquisition, possession, stockpiling, use and stationing.

Adopted on July 7, 2017, the treaty is also the first instance in international law that the threat of use of nuclear weapons is outlawed.

“Ratifying the TPNW is Malaysia’s tangible effort to advance the cause of nuclear disarmament on the international stage. It also reaffirms Malaysia’s unwavering commitment and support towards the total elimination of nuclear weapons,” Hishammuddin said in a statement after signing the treaty on behalf of the government yesterday.

Malaysia signed the TPNW on Sept 20, 2017, after it was established. However, Hishammuddin said the ratification has taken little time in ensuring that the necessary processes were completed. He said the treaty will come into force 90 days after the 50th instrument of ratification is presented to the United Nations.

“The TPNW further reinforces the norm that nuclear weapons are unacceptable, should not be used, should not be threatened to be used and need to be discarded and destroyed as soon as possible.

“Malaysia hopes that ratifying the TPNW will change the nuclear disarmament discourse from one dominated by the nuclear weapons and nuclear-armed states, to one which is more democratic, equitable and where all states have an equal voice,” he added.

Hishammuddin said while the global disarmament and arms control architecture is being eroded, some states are developing doctrines for use of strategic and tactical nuclear weapons that increase the risk of use, whether intended, unintended, or accidental.