TM14 | A New Scientific Network to Support the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons (TPNW)
A New Scientific Network to Support the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons (TPNW)
Convener: Petra Seibert | Co-convener: Gerardo Suarez
Thu, 18 Apr, 19:00–20:00 (CEST)
Room -2.91
Thu, 19:00
"As an international treaty in the UN framework, the TPNW prohibits developing, testing, producing, manufacturing, transferring, possessing, stockpiling, using or threatening to use nuclear weapons, or allowing nuclear weapons to be stationed. It also prohibits assisting, encouraging or inducing anyone to engage in any of these activities. If nuclear-armed states join the TPNW, there will be a process to verify their compliance. Furthermore, the Treaty includes so-called positive obligations, namely to provide assistance to victims of nuclear weapons and for the remediation of contaminated environments. (See and our presentation in Session EOS4.2). Currently, the TPNW has 69 members - among them, for example, Austria, Kazakhstan, Mexico, and South Africa - plus an additional 24 signatories who haven't yet ratified.

In order to institutionalise the scientific and technical support for the implementation of the TPNW, the first meeting of States parties (Vienna 2022) decided to establish a Scientific Advisory Group (SAG) and to task it, inter alia, to ""identify and engage scientific and technical institutions in States parties and more broadly to establish a network of experts to support the goals of the Treaty"".

The SAG is active since Spring 2023 and is currently considering the procedure for establishing such a scientific network. Basically, the network's purpose will be
(a) to provide a broader knowledge base for the SAG and the States parties to draw on as they work towards the implementation of the Treaty, and
(b) to serve as a collaborative platform for enhancing scientific capacities to support the goals of the Treaty.
It is envisaged that, once established, network members, on a voluntary basis, may engage in a broad range of research, capacity-building, outreach, educational and cooperation activities. All this will depend on the composition of the network and available resources.

The Townhall meeting will introduce the TPNW, the main scientific issues associated with it, such as, e.g., simulations of the radiological and health consequences of nuclear explosions and problems related to the so-called nuclear winter. There will be the opportunity to ask questions as well as to make comments and proposals for the network building and future operation. Participants will have the opportunity to deposit their interest to stay informed about the process. Finally, we hope that the Townhall meeting will enable a face-to-face (and if infrastructure allows, also online) encounter of scientists interested in these topics."