Press Release : Ministry of Foreign Affairs hosts Regional Workshop on the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons news3

Press Release : Ministry of Foreign Affairs hosts Regional Workshop on the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons

                The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Kingdom of Thailand, with the New Zealand Government, and the United Nations Office for Disarmament Affairs (UNODA) through its Regional Centre for Peace and Disarmament in Asia and the Pacific (UNRCPD), hosted the “Regional Workshop on Why We Need the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons” on 31 August 2018, at the United Nations Conference Centre in Bangkok.

                The event was organised with the aim of promoting further awareness of the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons (TPNW) in order to facilitate the signing and/or ratification process of the Treaty. The event was attended by participants from ASEAN member countries and Timor-Leste, New Zealand, Austria and Thailand. On Thai side, Mr. Thani Thongphakdi, Deputy Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs attended the event.  Moreover, representatives from international organisations such as UNODA, the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), and the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons (ICAN), which was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize last year, also attended.

                The Deputy Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, emphasised the importance of nuclear disarmament and associated treaties to prevent the catastrophe brought by atomic bombs similar to the cases of Hiroshima and Nagasaki in 1945 which prompted collective efforts toward nuclear disarmament (the workshop organised by Thailand serves as an example of such efforts). H.E. Ms. Dell Higgie, Permanent Representative of New Zealand to the Conference on Disarmament, also delivered opening remarks, noting New Zealand’s support for the TPNW and the workshop, and the engagement among nuclear-weapon-free zones.

                During the workshop, distinguished speakers, including H.E. Ms. Eva Hager, Ambassador of Austria to Thailand and H.E. Mr. Virachai Plasai, Ambassador of Thailand to the United States and Former Ambassador and Permanent Representative of Thailand to the United Nations, shared their insights and experiences regarding the TPNW’s history, its scope and implementation, its comparison with other international agreements on nuclear disarmament and non-proliferation, and how to move the Treaty forward. The discussion was focused on the TPNW being a milestone in nuclear disarmament, supporting international efforts in nuclear non-proliferation, and the importance of engaging all stakeholders, from the general public and the civil society to parliamentarians, to raise awareness and advance the goal of the total elimination of nuclear weapons.

                The TPNW was opened for signature on 20 September 2017, and Thailand was one of the first three countries to sign and ratify the Treaty. At present, 60 countries have signed the Treaty, including Indonesia, Malaysia, Lao PDR, and the Philippines from ASEAN while 14 countries have already ratified the Treaty, including Vietnam, among others.