First Conference of the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons in Vienna

PeopleOther ♦ Published: June 21, 2022; 12:00 ♦ (Vindobona)

The Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons wants to ban the possession of Nuclear Weapons in the world. Member states of the treaty met today in Vienna for the first time to convene about further developments.

The event takes place at the Austria Center in Vienna. / Picture: © Wikimedia Commons / Robert F. Tobler / CC BY-SA 4.0 (

One and a half years after the entry into force of the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons (TPNW), member states of this international treaty convene in Vienna for its first conference. The treaty has the vision of a world free of nuclear weapons.

The nuclear powers boycott the UN conference, due to TPNW being a comprehensive ban on participation in all activities involving nuclear weapons. This includes, among other things, a commitment not to develop, test, produce, acquire, stockpile, or use nuclear weapons.

In the UN's view, the effort to seek a legally binding instrument to prohibit nuclear weapons is an outcome of discussions aimed at increasing public understanding of the humanitarian consequences of any use of nuclear weapons.

In recent years the discourse about the prohibition of nuclear weapons was raised again and many members of civil society, government and international organizations and media as well raised awareness about the issue.

As a result of three international conferences held in Norway, Mexico, and Austria in 2013 and 2014, a fact-based understanding of the short and long-term effects of nuclear weapons was presented.

A large number of States as well as the International Committee of the Red Cross and hundreds of representatives of non-governmental organizations took part in the conferences, whose coordination was primarily handled by the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons (ICAN). These conferences played a significant role in advancing nuclear disarmament negotiations along with a growing demand for action.

On 22 January 2021, the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons (TPNW) entered into force. As specified by Article 8, paragraph 2, of the Treaty, "the Secretary-General of the United Nations shall convene the first meeting of the States Parties within one year of the entry into force of this Treaty."

The event, which will take place at the Austria Center Vienna, will be the first meeting of the TPNW since its entry into force. The president-elect of the meeting is Ambassador Alexander Kmentt (Austria).

Austrian Foreign Minister Alexander Schallenberg (ÖVP) and the President of the International Committee of the Red Cross, Peter Maurer, will speak at the Austria Center at the start of the conference.

As reported by, the TPNW is a milestone in the history of nuclear disarmament. It was the first multilateral nuclear disarmament treaty in more than two decades. U.N. Secretary-General António Guterres called the treaty "an important step toward the goal of a nuclear-weapon-free world and a strong demonstration of support for multilateral approaches to nuclear disarmament."

UNIS United Nations Information Service