The states that promoted universal adherence to the TPNW did so by calling directly on other states to join, as well as indirectly by promoting the significance of the Treaty. They did so through a range of activities, including through powerful national and regional statements in the UN and other multilateral forums; public statements and press releases; participation in public events and webinars. They also raised adherence to and engagement with the TPNW in meetings and consultations between states. One example is a bilateral meeting at political level in May 2021, where Mexico recognized and appreciated Switzerland’s decision to participate in the First Meeting of States Parties to the TPNW as an observer and expressed ‘hope that in the near future Switzerland can also become a state party to the treaty’. In addition, many politicians and diplomats will have encouraged adherence to the TPNW in closed meetings and in private conversations with representatives of other states.
A total of 70 states — both states parties, signatories, and other supporters — co-sponsored the 2021 UN General Assembly resolution on the TPNW, which, as in previous years, called ‘upon all States that have not yet done so to sign, ratify, accept, approve or accede to the Treaty at the earliest possible date.’
Certain states parties have started to use the Universal Periodic Review (UPR) process (review under the auspices of the Human Rights Council of the human rights records of all UN member states) to promote universalization of the TPNW. This is based on the view expressed by the UN Human Rights Committee in 2018 that the use or threat of use of nuclear weapons ‘is incompatible with respect for the right to life’. For instance, Panama and Honduras in 2021 submitted recommendations that Oman ratify or accede to the TPNW.
Many ministers, ambassadors, and other diplomats also spoke about the significance of the TPNW in media interviews or published op-eds, and social media were widely used to promote the Treaty, via government and personal accounts. Several states organized or participated in celebrations on the occasion of the entry into force of the TPNW on 22 January 2021.
Preparations for the First Meeting of States Parties in Vienna in 2022, which will be an important arena for universalization, institutionalization, and implementation of the TPNW, formed part of states’ efforts to promote the TPNW throughout the year. For example, Thailand hosted consultations in New York between states parties from Asia, ‘prepping for fruitful dialogue’ at the Meeting. New Zealand hosted a virtual roundtable on 7 December 2021 with Pacific island states, including states that have not yet adhered to the TPNW, to prepare for the Meeting.
As the host of the First Meeting of States Parties, Austria’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs and its President-Designate for the Meeting, Alexander Kmentt, were of course particularly active in 2021. The many outreach activities undertaken by Ambassador Kmentt included a visit to Canada, where among other activities he gave a talk about the TPNW at the University of Ottawa.
In reviewing the multitude of activities and statements in 2021 by the states supportive of the TPNW, it is clear that a great many of them are highly committed to driving nuclear disarmament and in so doing making the most of the opportunities presented by the new Treaty. Documented examples of statements and activities by states to encourage universality of the TPNW, which are not exhaustive, can be found in their respective state profiles on this website.