The Role of Civil Societies and Faith-based Organizations in Global Nuclear Disarmament
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On 30th September 2020, Malaysia signed the instrument to ratify the 2017 Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons (TPNW) as the 46th state party to the treaty. Following the 50th ratification by Honduras on 24 October 2020, the treaty will enter into force on 22 January 2021.
TPNW is the first globally applicable multilateral agreement to address the humanitarian consequences of nuclear weapons use and testing on the people and the environment. It not only prohibits State Parties from using and threatening to use nuclear weapons, but also from developing, testing, acquiring and inducing others to do the same. It further requires State Parties to individually or jointly provide assistance to victims affected by the use or testing of nuclear weapons, including with the assistance of the Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement that comprise the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), International Federation of the Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC), and National Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies such as the Malaysian Red Crescent (MRCS).
Malaysia has consistently played a prominent role in the call for nuclear disarmament worldwide, as evidenced by its contributions leading up to and during negotiations on the TPNW. Notably, Malaysia’s pioneering initiative to reframe the global nuclear disarmament debate based on the humanitarian consequences of nuclear weapons use and testing has greatly contributed to the negotiations and adoption of the TPNW. Malaysia is also consistently engaged with the 1968 Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT) regime, having chaired the Third Session of the NPT Preparatory Committee in 2019. In 2021, Malaysia will chair Main Committee I at the NPT Review Conference. Being the 46th State to ratify TPNW, Malaysia has now also brought the TPNW closer to its entry into force that requires the ratification of 50 States, and the world to be free of nuclear weapons.
The ICRC and MRCS are therefore collaborating with the Institute of Advance of Islamic Studies (IAIS) to organise this event to commemorate this historic ratification by bringing together key civil society members that include academia, faith-based organizations (FBOs), non-governmental organizations (NGOs) and youth organizations to foster understanding on the significance of The Treaty on Prohibition of Nuclear Weapon (TPNW) and to mobilize grassroots support for the campaign against nuclear weapons.