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22. January 2022

MEDIA STATEMENT: COMMEMORATION OF THE FIRST ANNIVERSARY OF THE ENTRY-INTO-FORCE OF THE TREATY ON THE PROHIBITION OF NUCLEAR WEAPONS (TPNW)

South Africa marked the first anniversary of the entry-into-force of the TPNW.

Saturday, 22 January 2022, marked the first anniversary of the entry-into-force of the United Nations (UN) TPNW, which signals a progressive march forward in humanity’s endeavour to rid the world of nuclear weapons.

Marking the entry-into-force of the TPNW, International Relations and Cooperation Minister, Dr Naledi Pandor, stated that: “Twenty-four years ago in 1998, President Nelson Mandela in his last address to the UN General Assembly (UNGA) asked a pertinent question, namely that: ‘We must ask the question, which might sound naive to those who have elaborated sophisticated arguments to justify their refusal to eliminate these terrible and terrifying weapons of mass destruction – why do they need them anyway!’”

The TPNW is the culmination of that very first UNGA Resolution 76 years ago, in 1946, which sought to deal with the elimination of nuclear weapons and other weapons adaptable to mass destruction. While the TPNW is not the final word on nuclear weapons, it is an indispensable step in the advancement of the disarmament and non-proliferation architecture that is required to eventually achieve a world free of nuclear weapons.

Since the catastrophic events of 1945 in Hiroshima and Nagasaki, the TPNW represents one of the most important developments in the area of nuclear disarmament. The TPNW complements the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty and represents the highest non-proliferation standard that the international community must commit to.

Minister Pandor concluded: “This occasion provides an opportunity for all states that have not yet done so, to join an instrument that expresses their total opposition to nuclear weapons without further delay. I take this opportunity to renew South Africa’s commitment to the total elimination of nuclear weapons as the only guarantee that nuclear weapons will never again be used by anyone under any circumstances. Nuclear weapons are immoral, unethical and they should not be allowed to exist.”

Enquiries: Mr Clayson Monyela, Spokesperson for DIRCO, 082 884 5974

ISSUED BY THE DEPARTMENT OF INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS AND COOPERATION

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Source: http://www.dirco.gov.za/docs/2022/tpnw0122.htm

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