Belgium voted against the UN General Assembly resolutions on the TPNW in 2018, 2019, and 2020. In January 2020, a resolution urging the Belgian government to remove the US nuclear weapons stationed on its territory and join the TPNW was narrowly rejected by parliament (74 votes against and 66 votes in favour). In September 2020, the country’s new coalition government agreed on a government declaration which states that 'Belgium will play a proactive role in the 2021 NPT Review Conference and, together with European NATO allies, will explore how to strengthen the multilateral non-proliferation framework and how the UN Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons can give new impetus to multilateral nuclear disarmament.' Four former prime ministers and foreign ministers of Belgium (Willy Claes, Erik Derycke, Yves Leterme and Guy Verhofstadt) were among the signatories to an open letter in September 2020 calling on current leaders in umbrella states to 'show courage and boldness' and join the TPNW. A total of 39 cities and municipalities in Belgium have joined ICAN's Cities’ Appeal. In September 2019, 152 Belgian mayors signed an open letter urging Belgium to join the TPNW. See: bit.ly/2kKlHc0, bit.ly/31DJsEL, bit.ly/2TwCaOp, bit.ly/31JwyF5.
- Belgium should ensure that nuclear weapons do not have a role in its national defence plans and security policies. It should ensure the removal of the foreign nuclear weapons on its territory, renounce the retention and potential use of nuclear weapons on its behalf, for instance through a declaratory statement, and refrain from endorsing future alliance statements in support of weapons of mass destruction.
- Belgium should urgently sign and ratify the TPNW, and encourage other states to adhere to the Treaty. Until it is in a position to do so, it should welcome the TPNW as a valuable contribution to the global disarmament and non-proliferation architecture, attend its meetings of states parties as an observer, and work with its states parties on practical steps towards disarmament.