ASEAN reiterates commitment to nuclear-free zone at 42nd summit – ANTARA News
ASEAN reiterates commitment to nuclear-free zone at 42nd summit – RMOL News –
The (ASEAN) member states expressed their flexibility in exploring the possibility of allowing one NWS to sign the protocol first…
Labuan Bajo, NTT (RMOL) – ASEAN members reaffirmed their commitment to maintaining Southeast Asia as a nuclear-free zone in the Chairman’s Statement of the 42nd ASEAN Summit, which was published on Thursday on the regional grouping’s official website.
“We (ASEAN member countries) reiterate our commitment to preserving the Southeast Asian region as a Nuclear Weapon-Free Zone and free of all other weapons of mass destruction, as enshrined in the Southeast Asia Nuclear Weapon-Free Zone (SEANWFZ) Treaty and the ASEAN Charter,” the statement said.
The SEANWFZ Treaty, which is also known as the Bangkok Treaty, was signed on December 15, 1995, by all ASEAN nations and came into force on March 28, 1997.
Signatories to the agreement are not allowed to develop, manufacture, acquire, possess, or have control of nuclear weapons.
They are also prohibited from placing or transporting nuclear weapons by any means as well as testing or using any nuclear weapons.
In the Chairman’s Statement of the 42nd ASEAN Summit, the regional organization’s members also emphasized the importance of the full and effective implementation of the treaty.
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In addition, they reiterated their commitment to continuing to encourage nuclear weapon states (NWS) — the five countries that are known to have nuclear weapons, namely the United States, Russia, the United Kingdom, France, and China — to sign the Protocol to the SEANWFZ Treaty.
“The (ASEAN) member states expressed their flexibility in exploring the possibility of allowing one NWS to sign the protocol first, if there was formal assurance in writing that they were willing to sign and ratify the SEANWFZ Treaty without reservations,” the statement noted.
ASEAN is holding discussions with all nuclear weapon states about the possibility of signing and ratifying the Protocol to the SEANWFZ Treaty without conditions, as currently, no one in the NWS has signed the protocol.
The 42nd summit was held under Indonesia’s ASEAN chairmanship in Labuan Bajo, West Manggarai district, East Nusa Tenggara (NTT) province, from May 9–11, 2023.
The Chairman’s Statement of the 42nd ASEAN Summit was among the 11 documents generated during the summit.
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