ICRC lauds Senate approval of Treaty Prohibiting Nuclear Weapons

By Ali G. Macabalang

ICRC President Peter Maurer talking to an elderly evacuee at a shelter camp built in Saguiaran, Lanao del Sur for residents displaced in the five-month fierce clashes between state forces and combined ISIS-inspired militants, who occupied Marawi City on May 23, 2019. Maurer’s visit came a few weeks after the siege. (File photo)


The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) has lauded the recent Senate’s approval of the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons (TPNW), saying the action is prelude to making the Philippines one of the world’s “ratifying states.”

“We commend the Philippine government following the Senate’s approval on Monday, Feb. 1, of the TPNW. The Philippine government’s action on this international instrument is an important contribution toward a world free of nuclear weapons,” the ICRC said in a statement, copy furnished with the Philippine Muslim Today online media.

In its Feb. 1 regular session, the Senate approved Senator Koko Pimentel’s Resolution calling for the Ratification of the TPNW.  

Then Foreign Affairs Peter Alan Peter Cayetano signed documents signifying the Duterte government’s support to the global treaty, effectively making the Philippines one 122 States that adopted the treaty in July 2017.

Once formal notification reached the United Nations, the Philippines will become the 53rd state to ratify the treaty, which entered into force on 22 January 2021, the ICRC statement said.

It added: “The TPNW explicitly prohibits the use, threat of use, development, production, testing and stockpiling of nuclear weapons, and it obliges all States Parties to not assist, encourage or induce anyone in any way to engage in an activity prohibited by the Treaty.” 

The Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement around the world has repeatedly called on all States to ratify the Treaty, to prevent massive human suffering and environmental devastation as previously seen in the 1945 Hiroshima and Nagasaki bombings, said the statement attributed to ICRC President Peter Maurer.

“This Treaty – the result of more than 75 years of work – sends a clear signal that nuclear weapons are unacceptable from a moral, humanitarian, and now a legal point of view,” said Maurer, who had visited shelter camps for internally displaced residents of war-torn Marawi a few weeks after the infamous 2017 siege of the city.

Maurer said the TPNW “sets in motion even higher legal barriers and an even greater stigmatization of nuclear warheads than already exists (and) allows us to (live) a world free from these inhumane weapons as an achievable goal.” AGM

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