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Opposed

Belgium

Umbrella state (NATO)

Belgium boycotted the TPNW negotiations in 2017 and has not adhered to the Treaty. As an umbrella state and a host of foreign nuclear weapons, it is not in compliance with all of the prohibitions in Article 1. Belgium may sign and ratify the TPNW, but will have to make changes to its policies and practices to become compliant.

TPNW status
Not signed, not ratified, not acceded
Compatibility with prohibitions in TPNW Article 1(1)
Art 1(1)(a) Develop, produce, manufacture, acquire Compatible
Test Compatible
Possess or stockpile Compatible
Art 1(1)(b) Transfer Compatible
Art 1(1)(c) Receive transfer or control Compatible
Art 1(1)(d) Use Compatible
Threaten to use Compatible
Art 1(1)(e) Assist, encourage or induce Not compatible
Art 1(1)(f) Seek or receive assistance Compatible
Art 1(1)(g) Allow stationing, installation, deployment Not compatible
TPNW voting and participation
Vote on negotiation mandate (A/RES/71/258) Voted no
Participated in treaty negotiations (% women) No (N/A)
Vote on adoption of treaty text N/A
Last vote on UNGA resolution Voted no
Fissile material
Fissile material production facilities No
Highly enriched uranium stocks 100–1,000 kg
Plutonium stocks (military/civilian) No/No
Related treaties and regimes
Party to the NPT Yes
Party to a NWFZ No
Ratified the CTBT Yes (Annex 2 state)
Party to the PTBT Yes
Member of the CD Yes
IAEA CSA in force Yes
IAEA AP in force Yes
Party to the CWC Yes
Party to the BWC Yes

Latest developments

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.

Recommendations

  • 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.
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