United Nations Office of Disarmament Affairs
Nuclear Weapon Free Zones (NWFZs) have been established by negotiations to cover Antarctica, Latin America and the Carribean, South Pacific, South East Asia, Africa, Central Asia, the Sea Bed, Outer Space and the moon.
Prior to the establishment of these zones, most of these areas experienced nuclear weapons activities, such as nuclear weapons deployment or testing by the nuclear weapon States or fledgling nuclear programs by States in the zones. The establishment of the zones has thus played an important role in reversing nuclear proliferation and consolidating a nuclear non-possession norm.
NWFZs contain non-nuclear commitments that go beyond those in the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty. The zones proscribe deployment of nuclear weapons on the territories of the States parties, and also include additional protocols for the Nuclear Weapon States under which they commit to respect the zones and not to threaten or use nuclear weapons against the States parties to the zones. However, such protocols require the assent of the NWS, and not all of them have signed and ratified the protocols of all the NWFZs.
Basel Peace Office is working to support the existing NWFZs, and to encourage negotiations for the achievement of additional NWFZs, particularly in North East Asia, the Arctic, the Middle East and Central Europe.