UN Decoded: Nuclear-Weapon-Free Zones (NWFZ)

7th January 2015

The establishment of nuclear-weapon-free zones (NWFZ) is a regional approach to strengthen global nuclear non-proliferation and disarmament norms and consolidate international efforts towards peace and security. All nuclear-weapon-free zones prohibit the development, stationing or testing of nuclear weapons in their respective regions. They have already been established in five regions through treaties designed to ensure the total absence of nuclear weapons from the territories of the States party to them. The treaties also provide for International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) verification of the non-diversion of nuclear material and for the establishment of regional mechanisms to deal with compliance problems
Where do they exist?
The following treaties form the basis for the five existing NWFZs:
·        Treaty of Tlatelolco – Treaty for the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons in Latin America and the Caribbean
·        Treaty of Rarotonga – South Pacific Nuclear-Free Zone Treaty
·        Treaty of Bangkok – Treaty on the Southeast Asia Nuclear-Weapon-Free Zone
·        Treaty of Pelindaba – African Nuclear-Weapon-Free Zone Treaty
·        Treaty on a Nuclear-Weapon-Free Zone in Central Asia
Mongolia’s self-declared nuclear-weapon-free status has been recognized internationally through the adoption of a General Assembly resolution. Meanwhile, efforts continue regarding the establishment of a nuclear-weapon-free zone in the Middle East. NWFZs have also been established in certain uninhabited areas – Antarctica, outer space and the sea bed. (UN News Centre)

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[source: UN News Centre]