The prohibitions of the TPNW
All of the 94 states that were states parties or signatories to the TPNW were compliant with all of the Treaty’s prohibitions throughout 2022. The conduct of 57 states not party was also fully compatible with the prohibitions, while 44 states not party—two more than in the previous year—engaged in conduct that was not compatible with one or more of the prohibitions. States not party Iran and Saudi Arabia were again recorded as states of concern.
Each State Party undertakes never under any circumstances to:
(a) Develop, test, produce, manufacture, otherwise acquire, possess or stockpile nuclear weapons or other nuclear explosive devices;
(b) Transfer to any recipient whatsoever nuclear weapons or other nuclear explosive devices or control over such weapons or explosive devices directly or indirectly;
(c) Receive the transfer of or control over nuclear weapons or other nuclear explosive devices directly or indirectly;
(d) Use or threaten to use nuclear weapons or other nuclear explosive devices;
(e) Assist, encourage or induce, in any way, anyone to engage in any activity prohibited to a State Party under this Treaty;
(f) Seek or receive any assistance, in any way, from anyone to engage in any activity prohibited to a State Party under this Treaty;
(g) Allow any stationing, installation or deployment of any nuclear weapons or other nuclear explosive devices in its territory or at any place under its jurisdiction or control.
The prohibitions of the TPNW are contained in Article 1 of the Treaty. In the following sections, the Nuclear Weapons Ban Monitor sets out interpretations of each of the prohibitions and evaluates the extent to which all states—regardless of whether they have consented to be bound by the Treaty—acted in accordance with them in 2022. On the basis of their policies and practices, states parties and signatories are categorised as either ‘compliant’ or ‘not compliant’, whereas states not party are categorised as either ‘compatible’ or ‘not compatible’. Where a state has been assessed to be ‘of concern’, this means that worrying developments in the state warrant close attention. The conclusion of the assessments for each respective state can be found in the state profiles in this report.
Every state may lawfully sign and ratify the TPNW, but the 57 states not yet party whose conduct is fully compatible with all of the prohibitions can adhere to the Treaty knowing that they meet its demands without making any changes to their existing policies and practices. The 44 states listed in Figure 6 above that engaged in conduct in 2022 which is not compatible with one or more of the prohibitions would have to make varying degrees of changes to their existing policies and practices to enable compliance.
Changes in 2022
The figure below disaggregates compliance and compatibility in 2022 for each of the Article 1 prohibitions. Most importantly, the conduct of the nine nuclear-armed states was again not compatible with the prohibitions in Article 1(1)(a) on developing, producing, manufacturing, or acquiring nuclear weapons, or on possessing or stockpiling them. In 2022, however, three states—Russia, North Korea, and France—were found to be not compatible with the TPNW’s prohibition in Article 1(1)(d) on threatening to use nuclear weapons, whereas in the previous year no clear cases of states threatening to use nuclear weapons had been recorded.
The prohibition in Article 1(1)(e) on assisting, encouraging, or inducing prohibited acts, however, continued in 2022 to stand out as the one where the greatest number of states have policies and practices that are not compatible. The Ban Monitor found that a total of 38 states assisted, encouraged, or induced acts in 2022 that are prohibited by the TPNW. This was an increase of two compared with 2021, because Sweden and Finland in 2022 made declarations and statements that amount to encouragement of other states’ possession of nuclear weapons.
There was also an increase by one in the number of states that were found to be not compatible with the prohibition in Article 1(1)(f) on seeking or receiving assistance to engage in a prohibited act under the TPNW, as a result of South Korea’s requests in 2022 for further integration into the United States’ nuclear planning and exercising.
The TPNW does not explicitly prohibit or even mention ‘nuclear deterrence’. The reason for this is that deterrence is not a specific act or behaviour, but a psychological state that may or may not exist inside an adversary’s head. However, the TPNW prohibits a range of specific actions that are typically performed with the aim of fostering deterrence, including possessing nuclear weapons, hosting nuclear weapons, threatening to use nuclear weapons, or assisting or encouraging other states to engage in such behaviour. Crucially, these behaviours are prohibited irrespective of whether they succeed in fostering ‘deterrence’ in the minds of potential adversaries.
Compliance and compatibility by region
As the figure below shows, Europe is the region with the most states whose conduct conflicts with the TPNW. With the addition of Sweden and Finland in 2022, a total of 32 of the 47 states in Europe (68%) currently maintain policies and practices that are not compatible with one or more of the prohibitions in Article 1 of the TPNW. In Africa, all of the 54 states are fully compliant or compatible. In the other regions, compliance and compatibility with the TPNW is also generally high.
In the Americas, only 2 states (Canada and the United States) of the 35 states across the region engage in conduct which is not compatible with the Treaty. In Asia, where most of the nuclear-armed states are located, 8 of the 45 states maintain policies and practices that are not compatible: Armenia, China, India, Israel, Japan, North Korea, Pakistan, and South Korea. In addition, the two states listed as being ‘of concern’—Iran and Saudi Arabia—are both in Asia. In Oceania, Australia and the Marshall Islands are the two states with policies and practices that are not fully compatible with the TPNW among the 16 states in the region.
For more information, see the tables below, this website's sections on the respective prohibitions, and the state profiles.