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Participation in the Southeast Asian Nuclear-Weapon-Free Zone Treaty includes all of ASEAN

The Southeast Asian Nuclear-Weapon-Free Zone Treaty (SEANWFZ) or the Bangkok Treaty of 1995, is a nuclear weapons moratorium treaty between 10 Southeast Asian member-states under the auspices of the ASEAN: Brunei Darussalam, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, and Viet Nam. It was opened for signature at the treaty conference in Bangkok, Thailand, on 15 December 1995 and it entered into force on March 28, 1997 and obliges its members not to develop, manufacture or otherwise acquire, possess or have control over nuclear weapons.

The Zone is the area comprising the territories of the states and their respective continental shelves and Exclusive Economic Zones (EEZ); "Territory" means the land territory, internal waters, territorial sea, archipelagic waters, the seabed and the sub-soil thereof and the airspace above them.

The treaty includes a protocol under which the five nuclear-weapon states recognized by the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT), namely China, the United States, France, Russia and the United Kingdom (who are also the five permanent members of the United Nations Security Council) undertake to respect the Treaty and do not contribute to a violation of it by State parties. None of the nuclear-weapon states have signed this protocol.

Background[edit | edit source]

The groundwork of the establishment of the future Southeast Asian Nuclear-Weapon-Free Zone Treaty (SEANWFZ) was started on November 27, 1971, when the 5 original members of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines, Singapore, and Thailand, met in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia and signed the declaration on ASEAN's Zone of Peace, Freedom and Neutrality (ZOPFAN). One of the targets of ASEAN was also the establishment of SEANWFZ.

However, due to the political atmosphere at that time, including rivalries among the members and conflicts in the region and the Cold War, it was less feasible then to establish SEANWFZ. Thus the formal proposal for establishing a nuclear-free region was delayed until the 1990s, after the Cold War ended and conflicts were settled, and the member states renewed the denuclearization efforts. After conducting negotiations and finalizing the treaty for SEANWFZ by an ASEAN working group, the SEANWFZ treaty finally signed by the heads of government from 10 ASEAN member states in Bangkok on December 15, 1995. The treaty took effect on 28 March 1997 after all but one of the member states have ratified it. It became fully effective on 21 June 2001, after the Philippines ratified it, effectively banning all nuclear weapons in the region.

Listing of states[edit | edit source]

Membership[edit | edit source]

State Signed Deposited
 Brunei Dec 15, 1995 Nov 22, 1996
 Burma Dec 15, 1995 Jul 17, 1996
 Cambodia Dec 15, 1995 Mar 27, 1997
 Indonesia Dec 15, 1995 Apr 10, 1997
 Laos Dec 15, 1995 Jul 16, 1996
 Malaysia Dec 15, 1995 Oct 11, 1996
 Philippines Dec 15, 1995 Jun 21, 2001
 Singapore Dec 15, 1995 Mar 27, 1997
 Thailand Dec 15, 1995 Mar 20, 1997
 Vietnam Dec 15, 1995 Nov 26, 1996

Protocol[edit | edit source]

The SEANWFZ treaty has a protocol that is open to signature by the five recognized nuclear-weapon states: China, France, Russia, the United Kingdom, and the United States. The protocol commits those states not to contribute to any violation of the treaty and not to use or threaten to use nuclear weapons within the zone.[1]

None of the five has signed the SEANWFZ protocol, but in November 2011 they agreed with ASEAN states on steps that would enable them to do so.[2]

State Signed Deposited
 United Kingdom
 United States

See also[edit | edit source]

External links[edit | edit source]

  1. "SOUTHEAST ASIA NUCLEAR-WEAPON-FREE ZONE TREATY (TREATY OF BANGKOK)". Monterey Institute of International Studies. http://cns.miis.edu/inventory/pdfs/seanwfz.pdf. Retrieved 15 December 2011. 
  2. "Joint Statement of the 3rd ASEAN-U.S. Leaders' Meeting". Bali, Indonesia. 18 November 2011. http://www.asean.org/26742.htm. Retrieved 15 December 2011. 

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