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Switzerland

Switzerland’s highest executive authority, the Federal Council, intended to decide at the beginning of 2023 whether or not Switzerland will become a state party to the TPNW based on a report to be published by the federal administration.[1] Switzerland attended as an observer the First Meeting of States Parties to the TPNW (1MSP) in Vienna in June 2022.

TPNW Status

SIGNATURE
DEPOSIT WITH UNSG
ENTRY INTO FORCE
DECLARATION
TPNW Article 1(1) prohibitions: Compatibility in 2022
(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
UNGA resolution on TPNW (latest vote) Abstained (2023)
Participated in 1MSP (2022) Observer
1MSP delegation size (% women) 2 (0%)
Adoption of TPNW (7 July 2017) Voted yes
Participated in TPNW negotiations (2017) Yes
Negotiation mandate (A/RES/71/258) Abstained
Other weapons of mass destruction (WMD) treaties
Party to an NWFZ No
Party to the NPT Yes (Ratified 1977)
Ratified the CTBT Yes (Ratified 1999, Annex 2 state)
Party to the BWC Yes (Ratified 1976)
Party to the CWC Yes (Ratified 1995)
IAEA safeguards and fissile material
Safeguards agreement Yes (6 Sep 1978)
TPNW Art 3(2) deadline N/A
Small Quantities Protocol No
Additional Protocol Yes
Enrichment facilities/reprocessing plants No
HEU stocks Cleared
Plutonium stocks <2 kg

Latest developments

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 2022. It announced in June 2022 that the ‘new evaluation’ of the Swiss position on joining the TPNW would begin later in 2022, based on the outcomes of the 1MSP and the Tenth Review Conference of the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT) in August. ‘Regardless of the result of this new evaluation, Switzerland intends to continue to engage constructively with the TPNW,’ it said.2

At the NPT Review Conference, Switzerland noted the TPNW’s entry into force and posed the question ‘whether this new Treaty can find its place in the normative architecture built around the NPT, and whether efforts in this field can be complementary’. It further called on nuclear-armed states ‘to abandon the nuclear build-up and the parade of nuclear arsenals – to return to the path of arms control and disarmament.'3

In the First Committee of the UN General Assembly in October 2022, Switzerland highlighted the convening of the 1MSP and said that it would continue reassessing the Treaty ‘with due consideration of developments within the framework of the NPT and the TPNW’, as well as the ‘broader security context’.4

In November 2022, 34 prominent Swiss citizens, including former government officials, federal councillors, and presidents and vice-presidents of the International Committee of the Red Cross, criticised the government’s decision not to sign the TPNW to date as an ‘unjustifiable anomaly’ and called on it to become a signatory immediately.5

Recommendations

  • Switzerland 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.

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