Nuclear weapons treaty undermines non-proliferation - France

Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons – Entry into force (22 January 2021) – Press briefing by the Ministry for Europe and Foreign Affairs Spokesperson (excerpt)

Paris, 22 January 2021

The Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons, which entered into force today, is a text that is unsuited to the international security context. It will not contribute to reducing growing tensions or effectively address the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction that characterize it.

This treaty will not make it possible to eliminate any nuclear weapons. It is not accompanied by any clear or rigorous verification mechanisms. It undermines the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT), the cornerstone of the nuclear non-proliferation regime.

France has not participated in the negotiation of this treaty and does not intend to join it. We are not bound by this treaty and it does not impose any obligations on France. The members of the Atlantic Alliance collectively expressed their opposition to this treaty on 15 December 2020.

France’s security and defence policy, like that of the Atlantic Alliance and other close partners, is based on nuclear deterrence. The goal of deterrence is to protect our country from any aggression against our vital interests emanating from a state, whatever its origin, whatever its form, and to prevent war. It is strictly defensive, limited to extreme circumstances of legitimate defence, and is based on the principle of strict sufficiency.

France has already taken concrete and substantial nuclear disarmament measures. President Macron put forward, in his speech on 7 February 2020, realistic proposals in order to move nuclear disarmament forward step by step. This cannot be decreed. It is developed.

France reaffirms its attachment to the NPT which offers a realistic and shared approach to disarmament. It will work with all States parties to ensure the success of the 10th Review Conference of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, scheduled to take place in August./.

Published on 25/01/2021

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