Palau with 49 countries has ratified the United Nations treaty to ban nuclear weapons, which will now come into force on January 22, 2021.
The nation of Palau is among the 10 countries in the Pacific that are signatory to the treaty.
President Tommy Remengesau Jr. in his speech to the United Nations General Debate in September said Palau was one of the first nations to ratify the treaty.
“We were among the first countries to ratify the Paris Agreement and the Nuclear Ban Treaty, after actively contributing to their negotiation,” Remengesau said.
Palau has signed and ratified the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons in 2017 and the country’s instrument of ratification was deposited with the UN secretary-general on 3 May 2018.
Palau participated in the negotiation of the treaty at the United Nations in New York in 2017 and in that year’s address to the UN, Remengesau said that “we must take seriously the long-term need to ban nuclear weapons”, and “a good place to start is the accession to the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons.”
Ten of those 50 come from members of the Pacific Islands Forum, Palau, New Zealand, Vanuatu, Fiji, Kiribati, Nauru, Tuvalu, Samoa, Cook Islands, and Niue.
Ambassador and Permanent Representative of Palau to the UN Olai Uludong said the treaty is a landmark decision.
“The treaty to ban nuclear weapons has reached a landmark achievement. It’s entry into force shows solidarity and the urgency to free the world of Nuclear Weapons. Nuclear Weapons have no place in this world. We must work towards its total elimination. This is a great start towards a nuclear free world,’ she said.
The UN Secretary-General António Guterres in a statement over the weekend, lauded the countries for ratifying the treaty.
“The entry-into-force of the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons is the culmination of a worldwide movement to draw attention to the catastrophic humanitarian consequences of any use of nuclear weapons. It represents a meaningful commitment towards the total elimination of nuclear weapons, which remains the highest disarmament priority of the United Nations.,” he stated