Skip to main content
States Parties

South Africa

Addressing the First Meeting of States Parties to the TPNW (1MSP) in Vienna in June 2022, Alvin Botes, South Africa’s Deputy Minister of International Relations and Cooperation, said: ‘It has indeed been a long journey and now we are finally here, working on the implementation of this vital Treaty. … We must recognise that this Treaty is the democratic wish of the overwhelming majority of UN member states and the people of the world. No longer should the world’s peoples be held hostage to the unspeakable terror of these weapons.’[1]

TPNW Status

20 Sep 2017
25 Feb 2019 (Ratification)
22 Jan 2021
Received 18 Feb 2021
TPNW Article 1(1) prohibitions: Compliance in 2022
(a) Develop, produce, manufacture, acquire Compliant
Test Compliant
Possess or stockpile Compliant
(b) Transfer Compliant
(c) Receive transfer or control Compliant
(d) Use Compliant
Threaten to use Compliant
(e) Assist, encourage or induce Compliant
(f) Seek or receive assistance Compliant
(g) Allow stationing, installation, deployment Compliant
TPNW voting and participation
UNGA resolution on TPNW (latest vote) Voted yes (2023)
Participated in 1MSP (2022) Yes
1MSP delegation size (% women) 19 (21%)
Adoption of TPNW (7 July 2017) Voted yes
Participated in TPNW negotiations (2017) Yes
Negotiation mandate (A/RES/71/258) Voted yes
Other weapons of mass destruction (WMD) treaties
Party to an NWFZ Yes (Ratified 1998, Pelindaba)
Party to the NPT Yes (Acceded 1991)
Ratified the CTBT Yes (Ratified 1999, Annex 2 state)
Party to the BWC Yes (Ratified 1975)
Party to the CWC Yes (Ratified 1995)
IAEA safeguards and fissile material
Safeguards agreement Yes (16 Sep 1991)
TPNW Art 3(2) deadline N/A
Small Quantities Protocol No
Additional Protocol Yes
Enrichment facilities/reprocessing plants No
HEU stocks 100–1000 kg
Plutonium stocks No

Latest developments

Together with Malaysia, South Africa was appointed by the 1MSP as a co-chair of an informal working group responsible for promoting universalisation of the TPNW.2 In this capacity, it co-facilitated a high-level signing and ratification for the TPNW in the margins of the 77th session of the UN General Assembly in September 2022. Five states signed and two ratified the Treaty on this occasion.3

At the Tenth Review Conference of the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT) in August 2022, South Africa said that the momentum behind the TPNW is ‘unstoppable’, and that the Treaty ‘goes hand in hand with the intention of the NPT.’4

Marking the International Day for the Total Elimination of Nuclear Weapons on 26 September 2022, South Africa opined that ‘the TPNW serves as a catalyst for much overdue progress in the disarmament pillar of the NPT, and in fulfilling the historic bargain between the nuclear-weapon states and the non-nuclear-weapon states.’5

In the First Committee of the UN General Assembly in October 2022, South Africa encouraged all states that have not yet done so ‘to ratify the TPNW and join the community of nations that are committed to a world free of nuclear weapons. They have a moral duty to join and we have a moral duty to bring them in, under the TPNW umbrella.’6


  • South Africa should continue to encourage other states to adhere to the TPNW.

  • South Africa should ensure that all the TPNW obligations are implemented domestically, through legal, administrative, and other necessary measures.

Can you help us update this state profile? Send e-mail
Did you find this interesting?
Print state profile