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Switzerland voted in favour of adopting the TPNW at the UN Diplomatic Conference in 2017 but has consistently abstained on the annual UN General Assembly resolutions on the TPNW, including in 2021.

TPNW Article 1(1) prohibitions: Compatibility in 2021
(a) Develop, produce, manufacture, acquire Compatible
Test Compatible
Possess or stockpile Compatible
(b) Transfer Compatible
(c) Receive transfer or control Compatible
(d) Use Compatible
Threaten to use Compatible
(e) Assist, encourage or induce Compatible
(f) Seek or receive assistance Compatible
(g) Allow stationing, installation, deployment Compatible
TPNW voting and participation
2021 UNGA resolution on TPNW
2020 UNGA resolution on TPNW
2019 UNGA resolution on TPNW Abstained
2018 UNGA resolution on TPNW Abstained
Participated in TPNW negotiations Yes
Share of women in TPNW negotiations 14%
Vote on adoption of treaty text Voted yes
Adoption of TPNW (7 July 2017) Voted yes
IAEA safeguards and fissile material
Safeguards Agreement Yes
TPNW Art 3(2) deadline N/A
Small Quantities Protocol No
Additional Protocol Yes
Fissile material production facilities No
Highly enriched uranium stocks Cleared
Plutonium stocks (mil/civ) No /Less than 2 kg
Related treaties and regimes
Party to the BWC Yes
Party to the CWC Yes
Party to the PTBT Yes
Ratified the CTBT Yes (Annex 2 state)
Party to the NPT Yes
Party to a NWFZ No
Member of the CD Yes

Latest developments

Switzerland maintains policies and practices that are compatible with all of the prohibitions in Article 1 of the TPNW, and can therefore sign and ratify or accede to the Treaty without the need for a change in conduct.

In the First Committee of the 2021 UN General Assembly, Switzerland said that it will participate as an observer in the First Meeting of States Parties to the TPNW in 2022. It added: 'Irrespective of the still open question of Switzerland’s accession to the TPNW, we are ready to contribute to a constructive relationship between the NPT and the TPNW. We also emphasise that the humanitarian consequences must remain a driving force for nuclear disarmament.'1

In June 2018, the Swiss Government published an interdepartmental working group (IDAG) report on the implications of accession to the TPNW. 'At the current stage', the report concluded, 'the reasons against an accession of Switzerland outweigh the potential opportunities accompanying a signature and ratification of this treaty.' Both houses of the Swiss Parliament subsequently instructed the government to sign and ratify without delay.2 The Swiss Government plans to update the IDAG report and review its decision after the NPT Review Conference, expected to be held in 2022, and contends that this fulfils the mandate given by Parliament. Parliament and NGOs disagree.

Responding to a question in Parliament on 16 March 2021, the head of the foreign ministry, Ignazio Cassis, said that 'there will be no problem in joining this treaty' if concerns expressed by some other states about the Treaty’s impact on the NPT are 'abandoned'.3


  • Switzerland should urgently adhere to the TPNW.
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