The Netherlands may sign and ratify or accede to the TPNW, but will have to make changes to its policies and practices to become compliant. In a statement to the 1MSP, the Netherlands promised to ‘contribute to constructive dialogue’, but noted that it remains firmly committed to NATO’s ‘policy of nuclear deterrence and our nuclear task’ – that is, the hosting of US nuclear weapons on Dutch territory – and ‘does not have the intention to sign or accede to the TPNW’, which it views as ‘incompatible with our NATO obligations’.2
In a report to the Dutch parliament in August 2022 on the outcomes of the 1MSP, the foreign ministry opined that ‘for the time being’ further participation by the Netherlands in TPNW meetings as an observer ‘is not useful’.3
At the Tenth Review Conference of the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT) in August 2022, Thijs van der Plas, the Vice-Minister for Foreign Affairs of the Netherlands, said that the world is currently neither at peace nor safe. ‘We need to create a safer world, free from the risk of nuclear warfare. Now more than ever.’ he said4
- The Netherlands should renounce the possession and potential use of nuclear weapons on its behalf, end the hosting of foreign nuclear weapons on its territory, and ensure that nuclear weapons do not have a role in its defence posture.
- The Netherlands should comply with its existing obligation under Article VI of the NPT and pursue negotiations in good faith on nuclear disarmament.
- The Netherlands should urgently adhere to the TPNW. Until it is in a position to do so, it should welcome the TPNW as a valuable component in the global disarmament and non-proliferation architecture, work with the Treaty's states parties on practical steps towards disarmament, and attend the meetings of states parties as an observer. @The Netherlands should upgrade to a Modified Small Quantities Protocol with the IAEA.