Established as a research programme in 2018, the Nuclear Weapons Ban Monitor is produced and published by Norwegian People's Aid (NPA), a partner organization of the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons (ICAN). The Ban Monitor evaluates the nuclear-weapons-related policies and practices of each of the 197 states that can become party to the treaties in the legal architecture for disarmament and non-proliferation of nuclear weapons and other weapons of mass destruction. Currently, this is the 193 UN member states, the two UN observer states (the Holy See and the State of Palestine), as well as the two other states (Cook Islands and Niue).
The Ban Monitor tracks progress towards a world without nuclear weapons and highlights activities that stand between the international community and the fulfilment of the United Nations’ long-standing goal of the elimination of nuclear weapons. In measuring progress, the Ban Monitor uses the TPNW as the primary yardstick, because this Treaty codifies norms and actions that are needed to create and maintain a world free of nuclear weapons.
The Ban Monitor records progress in universalisation of the TPNW, but also tracks gaps in adherence to all the other key treaties in the existing legal architecture for disarmament and non-proliferation of nuclear weapons and other weapons of mass destruction, specifically the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT), the nuclear-weapon-free-zone treaties, the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty (CTBT), Safeguards Agreements and Additional Protocols with the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), the Biological Weapons Convention (BWC), and the Chemical Weapons Convention (CWC).
The Ban Monitor also sets out clear legal interpretations of each of the prohibitions and positive obligations of the TPNW, and assesses the extent to which the 197 states — regardless of whether they have consented to be bound by the Treaty — act in accordance with them or not. States parties and signatories are categorized as either ‘compliant’ or ‘not compliant’ with the TPNW, whereas states not party are categorized as either ‘compatible’ or ‘not compatible’. This is done with a view to providing guidance on implementation of the Treaty’s obligations: to states that have already ratified or acceded to the Treaty; to those that are considering whether to do so; and to those that could do so in the future.