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Southeast Asian Nuclear-Weapon-Free Zone

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
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.
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[1] 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. In 2014 at the Meeting of the
Commission for the Treaty on the SEANWFZ, the Ministers
reviewed the progress on the implementation of the 2013-2017
Plan of Action to Strengthen the SEANWFZ Treaty, while
reaffirming their commitment to preserve Southeast Asia as a
Nuclear-Weapon Free Zone.

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[3] Dec 15, 1995 Mar 27, 1997

Thailand Dec 15, 1995 Mar 20, 1997

Vietnam Dec 15, 1995 Nov 26, 1996

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.[4]
As of April 2015, none of the five has signed the SEANWFZ
protocol,[5] but in November 2011 they agreed with ASEAN
states on steps that would enable them to do so.[6]