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– Frank Klotz
former Administrator of the National Nuclear Security Administration
March 7, 2018
TPNW States to Meet in January in Vienna

May 2021

The first formal meeting of the states-parties to the 2017 Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons (TPNW) will be convened at UN facilities in Vienna on Jan. 12–14, Austria announced on April 15.

Alexander Kmentt, one of the diplomatic drivers of the treaty, has been named the president-designate for the conference, which will be the first since the treaty entered into force in January 2021. The decision on the date and location for the meeting was made April 15 by unanimous consent following the second round of informal consultations on the meeting.

“We are embarking together on setting up a brand-new treaty regime in challenging times,” Kmentt wrote in a message to states-parties in March outlining plans for a series of informal consultations ahead of the first meeting of the states-parties.

“[T]he current limitations of physical meetings also provide us with the opportunity to discuss and coordinate across continents in the most inclusive way with modest cost implications. It also allows us to draw in leading expertise to advise us on all the decisions before us and take them in the most informed manner possible,” Kmentt said.

On Jan. 22, the TPNW formally entered into force following the 50th state ratification of the treaty last year. The treaty bans nuclear weapons development, production, possession, use, and threat of use and the stationing of another country’s nuclear weapons on a state-party's national territory. The TPNW will also require states to provide assistance to those affected by nuclear weapons use and testing. Review conferences are to be held every six years. To date, 86 states have signed the treaty, and 54 have ratified it.—DARYL G. KIMBALL