In addition to its comprehensive prohibitions, the TPNW obligates its states parties to take a number of positive measures to implement the Treaty. By pairing prohibitions with positive obligations, the TPNW provides a broad response to the catastrophic humanitarian
consequences of the use and testing of nuclear weapons.
In the sections in the menu on the left, interpretations of the TPNW’s positive obligations are set out and their significance discussed. For some of the positive obligations, an assessment of the states parties’ compliance is also included. The Nuclear Weapons Ban Monitor does not yet offer a compliance and compatibility assessment for all of the positive obligations and for all states in the same way as it does for the prohibitions. This is because not all of the TPNW’s positive obligations apply to all states parties and no nuclear-armed states or states with foreign nuclear weapons on their territory have yet adhered to the Treaty, as well as because implementation of the positive obligations is in its early stages. Most of the positive obligations do not set out specific deadlines or criteria for the states parties to meet, but are rather long-term goals to work towards in good faith.
The Nuclear Weapons Ban Monitor does, however, review the global status of observance of the norms that the TPNW’s positive obligations seek to promote or establish in order to prevent and remediate harm inflicted by nuclear weapons. Specifically, this relates to the obligations regarding safeguards agreements with the IAEA, the elimination of nuclear weapons, the removal of foreign nuclear weapons, victim assistance, environmental remediation, and international cooperation and assistance.
Positive obligations are key elements of humanitarian disarmament treaties. The parallel positive obligations in the Anti-Personnel Mine Ban Convention (APMBC) and the Convention on Cluster Munitions (CCM) have significantly enhanced their humanitarian impact. While much work remains to be done, the positive obligations in those treaties have led to a dramatic reduction in the stockpiles of banned weapons, clearance of wide swathes of land, vital support for victims, and an increase in international assistance from states parties as well as states not party. The positive obligations of the TPNW will similarly advance the Treaty’s broader humanitarian and developmental goals.