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Why Switzerland hasn’t (yet) signed the treaty banning nuclear weapons via SwissInfo.ch

Switzerland has not yet signed or ratified the Nuclear Weapons Ban Treaty, adopted by the United Nations last summer. A decision is expected in the coming months. Meanwhile, pressure is building for the Swiss to adhere to the convention.

Despite participating in the preparatory work and negotiations of the treaty, Switzerland is one of several countries that has yet to sign the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons. To date, 122 countries have adopted the treaty, 57 have signed and five have ratified it. 

Campaigners argue that a failure to sign the treaty by Switzerland could have an impact on the country’s humanitarian credentials.

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“Switzerland participated in negotiations and the preparatory work of the treaty. We have approved the result of the negotiations on July 7 because Switzerland shares the desire for a world without nuclear weapons and supports the mention in the treaty of the catastrophic humanitarian impact of the use of a nuclear weapon.” 

However, the government does not hide a certain scepticism towards this agreement: “We are not sure that this treaty will really be a step towards the elimination of nuclear weapons because the countries which have the atomic bomb are not a party to it, although we are convinced that they should be implicated, them and their allies. This treaty should not be against them but with them,” insists Dallafior. 

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Other avenues 

Pertinent or not, the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons is far from the only response to the nuclear threat. In Geneva, the Conference on Disarmament (CD) has agreed on a new working procedure [[to establish five working groups to explore common ground on so-called “core issues”] after 20 years of paralysis, leading some to hope that new ways of addressing the nuclear threat could be on the horizon if the willingness to advance demonstrated by its members continues. 

“I note that this decision has been taken by consensus, which seemed impossible in relation to the CD. It concerns nuclear, but also other developments in the weapons industry. Disarmament as a whole,” comments Dallafior.

Read more at Why Switzerland hasn’t (yet) signed the treaty banning nuclear weapons

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