Hostname: page-component-848d4c4894-cjp7w Total loading time: 0 Render date: 2024-06-19T16:01:58.988Z Has data issue: false hasContentIssue false

Examining the Scope of Nuclear Weapons-Related Activities Covered under the Environmental Remediation Obligation of the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  22 September 2022

Christopher P. EVANS*
Affiliation:
University of Auckland, Law School, New Zealand

Abstract

The entry into force of the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons (TPNW) in January 2021 has sparked much discussion of the Treaty's positive obligations under Article 6. But while victim assistance under Article 6(1) has received considerable attention, the environmental remediation obligation within Article 6(2) remains underexplored. Filling this gap, this article examines a specific issue relating to environmental remediation under Article 6(2): the scope of nuclear weapons-related activities captured by the obligation imposed upon TPNW parties. Ultimately, it is revealed that significant ambiguity exists as to the scope of activities covered when applying the rules of treaty interpretation of the 1969 Vienna Convention on the Law of Treaties. After offering some policy arguments both for and against a broad interpretation, this paper recommends that TPNW parties should begin to advance and clarify their positions on this issue in order to clearly identify the scope of Article 6(2).

Type
Article
Copyright
Copyright © The Author(s), 2022. Published by Cambridge University Press on behalf of the Asian Society of International Law

Access options

Get access to the full version of this content by using one of the access options below. (Log in options will check for institutional or personal access. Content may require purchase if you do not have access.)

Footnotes

*

Christopher P. EVANS is a postdoctoral research fellow at the University of Auckland, Law School, New Zealand.

References

1 Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons, 7 July 2017, GA Res. 71/258, UN Doc. A/CONF.229/2017/8 (entered into force 22 January 2021) [TPNW].

2 “ICAN Receives 2017 Nobel Peace Prize” International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons (ICAN) (22 December 2017), online: ICAN <https://www.icanw.org/ican_receives_2017_nobel_peace_prize>.

3 CHIAM, Madelaine and HOOD, Anna, “Nuclear Humanitarianism” (2019) 24 Journal of Conflict and Security Law 473 at 474CrossRefGoogle Scholar.

4 TPNW, supra note 1, art. 1(1)(a)-(g).

5 Ibid., art. 1(1)(e).

6 Ibid., art. 4 and preambular paragraph 2, which reads:

Deeply concerned about the catastrophic humanitarian consequences that would result from any use of nuclear weapons, and recognizing the consequent need to completely eliminate such weapons, which remains the only way to guarantee that nuclear weapons are never used again under any circumstances.

7 Daniel H. JOYNER, “The Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons” EJIL: Talk! (26 July 2017), online: EJIL: Talk! <https://www.ejiltalk.org/the-treaty-on-the-prohibition-of-nuclear-weapons/>. See also RIETIKER, Daniel, “The Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons: A Further Confirmation of the Human and Victim-Centred Trend in Arms Control Law” in BLACK-BRANCH, Jonathan L and FLECK, Dieter, eds., Nuclear Non-Proliferation in International Law – Volume IV: Human Perspectives on the Development and Use of Nuclear Energy (The Hague: T.M.C. Asser Press, 2019), 325 at 326Google Scholar.

8 Gro NYSTEUN, Kjølv EGELAND, and Torbjørn GRAFF HUGO, “The TPNW: Setting the Record Straight” (October 2018) Norwegian Academy of International Law at 1.

9 General Debate on All Disarmament and International Security Agenda Items of the First Committee, 72nd Session of the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA), Statement by Tijjani MUHAMMAD-BANDE, Ambassador of Nigeria to the United Nations on behalf of the African Group (2017), online: Reaching Critical Will <https://reachingcriticalwill.org/images/documents/Disarmament-fora/1com/1com17/statements/2Oct_AfricanGroup.pdf> at 3–4.

10 See, generally, Christopher A. FORD (Assistant Secretary, Bureau of International Security and Nonproliferation), “The Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons: A Well-Intentioned Mistake” Bureau of International Security and Nonproliferation (30 October 2018), online: U.S. Department of State Archives <https://2017-2021.state.gov/remarks-and-releases-bureau-of-international-security-and-nonproliferation/the-treaty-on-the-prohibition-of-nuclear-weapons-a-well-intentioned-mistake/index.html>; Newell HIGHSMITH and Mallory STEWART, “The Nuclear Ban Treaty: A Legal Analysis” (2018) 60 Survival: Global Politics and Strategy 129.

11 United States Mission to the United Nations (USUN), “Joint Press Statement from the Permanent Representatives to the United Nations of the United States, United Kingdom, and France Following the Adoption” USUN (7 July 2017), online: USUN <https://usun.usmission.gov/joint-press-statement-from-the-permanent-representatives-to-the-united-nations-of-the-united-states-united-kingdom-and-france-following-the-adoption/>.

12 United Kingdom Mission to the United Nations in New York, United Kingdom Mission to the WTO, UN, and Other International Organizations (Geneva), “P5 Joint Statement on the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons” GOV.UK (24 October 2018), online: GOV.UK <https://www.gov.uk/government/news/p5-joint-statement-on-the-treaty-on-the-non-proliferation-of-nuclear-weapons>.

13 See “Status of the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons”, online: United Nations Treaty Collection <https://treaties.un.org/Pages/ViewDetails.aspx?src=TREATY&mtdsg_no=XXVI-9&chapter=26>.

14 “Overview”, online: United Nations – UNODA Meetings Place <https://meetings.unoda.org/meeting/tpnw-msp-1-2022/>.

15 TPNW, supra note 1, art. 6.

16 International Human Rights Clinic (IHRC), “Victim Assistance and Environmental Remediation in the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons: Myths and Realities” Human Rights Programme - Harvard (April 2019), online: Harvard Law School <https://hrp.law.harvard.edu/wp-content/uploads/2019/05/TPNW_Myths_Realities_April2019.pdf> at 8.

17 This stigmatising agenda is examined elsewhere, see FIHN, Beatrice, “The Logic of Banning Nuclear Weapons” (2017) 59 Survival: Global Politics and Strategy 43CrossRefGoogle Scholar; SAUER, Tom and REVERAERT, Mathias, “The Potential Stigmatizing Effect of the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons” (2018) 25 The Nonproliferation Review 437CrossRefGoogle Scholar; STRYDOM, Clea, “Stigmatisation as a Road to Denuclearisation – The Stigmatising Effect of the TPNW” in BLACK-BRANCH, Jonathan L. and FLECK, Dieter, eds., Nuclear Non-Proliferation in International Law – Volume VI: Nuclear Disarmament and Security at Risk – Legal Challenges in a Shifting Nuclear World (The Hague: T.M.C. Asser Press, 2021), 453Google Scholar.

18 See e.g. SINGH, Nidhi, “Victim Assistance under the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons: An Analysis” (2020) 3 Journal for Peace and Nuclear Disarmament 265CrossRefGoogle Scholar; DOCHERTY, Bonnie, “A Singular Opportunity: Setting Standards for Victim Assistance under the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons” (2021) 12 Global Policy 126CrossRefGoogle Scholar; CAMINS, Emily, “Addressing Victim Suffering Under Disarmament Law: Rights, Reparations and Humanising Trends in International Law” in DUNWORTH, Treasa and HOOD, Anna, eds., Disarmament Law: Reviving the Field (London, New York: Routledge, 2020), 102Google Scholar. Others, while discussing both victim assistance and environmental remediation, afford greater attention to the former obligation, see e.g. Daniel RIETIKER, “Winds of Change in Nuclear Disarmament: The Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons as a New Example of Humanitarian, Victim-centred Arms Control” (2018) LI Suffolk University Law Review Online 1.

19 See e.g. the limited discussion in DOCHERTY, Bonnie, “From Obligation to Action: Advancing Victim Assistance and Environment Remediation at the First Meeting of States Parties to the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons” (2020) 3 Journal for Peace and Nuclear Disarmament 253CrossRefGoogle Scholar; GHIASSEE, Bahram, “Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons: An Assessment of the Environmental Provisions” (2019) 4 International Journal of Nuclear Governance, Economy and Ecology 238CrossRefGoogle Scholar.

20 Daniel RIETIKER and Manfred MOHR, “Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons: A Short Commentary Article by Article” International Association of Lawyers Against Nuclear Arms (IALANA) (April 2018), online: IALANA <https://www.ialana.info/wp-content/uploads/2018/04/Ban-Treaty-Commentary_April-2018.pdf> at 26–7.

21 Vienna Convention on the Law of Treaties, 23 May 1969, 1155 U.N.T.S. 331 (entered into force 27 January 1980) [VCLT].

22 See e.g. the testimonies and evidence discussed by ALEXIS-MARTIN, Becky, BOLTON, Matthew B., HAWKINS, Dimity, TISCH, Sydney, and MANGIONI, Talei Luscia, “Addressing the Humanitarian and Environmental Consequences of Atmospheric Nuclear Tests: A Case Study of UK and US Test Programs at Kiritimati (Christmas) and Malden Island, Republic of Kiribati” (2021) 12 Global Policy 106 at 113–4CrossRefGoogle Scholar.

23 KOPPE, Erik V., The Use of Nuclear Weapons and the Protection of the Environmental During International Armed Conflict (Oxford: Bloomsbury, 2009) at 61Google Scholar.

24 PRĂVĂLIE, Remus, “Nuclear Weapons Tests and Environmental Consequences: A Global Perspective” (2014) 43 AMBIO: A Journal of the Human Environment 729 at 741CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed.

25 Ibid.; United Nations Scientific Committee on the Effects of Atomic Radiation (UNSCEAR), “Report of the United Nations Scientific Committee on the Effects of Atomic Radiation to the General Assembly Vol I” (2000), online: UNSCEAR <https://www.unscear.org/docs/publications/2000/UNSCEAR_2000_GA-Report.pdf> at 5; Beyza UNAL, Patricia LEWIS, and Sasan AGHLANI, “The Humanitarian Impacts of Nuclear Testing: Regional Responses and Mitigations Measures” Chatham House International Security Department (May 2017), online: Chatham House <https://www.chathamhouse.org/sites/default/files/publications/research/2017-05-08-HINT.pdf>.

26 See, generally, Ariana ROWBERRY, “Castle Bravo: The Largest US Nuclear Explosion” Brookings (27 February 2014), online: Brookings <https://www.brookings.edu/blog/up-front/2014/02/27/castle-bravo-the-largest-u-s-nuclear-explosion/>.

27 Ibid.

28 Jack NIEDENTHAL, “Paradise Lost – ‘For the Good of Mankind’” The Guardian (6 August 2002), online: The Guardian <https://www.theguardian.com/travel/2002/aug/06/travelnews.nuclearindustry.environment>.

29 U.S. Department of Energy, “Report on the Status of the Runit Dome in the Marshall Islands” US Department of Energy, Washington, DC 20585, (June 2020), online: U.S. Department of Energy <https://www.energy.gov/sites/prod/files/2020/06/f76/DOE-Runit-Dome-Report-to-Congress.pdf> at iii.

30 Ibid.; Susanne RUST, “How the U.S. Betrayed the Marshall Islands, Kindling the Next Nuclear Disaster” Los Angeles Times (10 November 2019), online: Los Angeles Times <https://www.latimes.com/projects/marshall-islands-nuclear-testing-sea-level-rise/>.

31 See Part I.D.

32 Nuclear Energy Agency (NEA) and Organization for Economic Co-Operation and Development (OECD), “Managing Environmental and Health Impacts of Uranium Mining” (2014) NEA No. 7062, online: OECD iLibrary <https://read.oecd-ilibrary.org/nuclear-energy/managing-environmental-and-health-impacts-of-uranium-mining_9789264216044-en> at 9.

33 See e.g. the conclusions reached by Ben HEARD, “Environmental Impacts of Uranium Mining in Australia: History, Progress and Current Practice” Minerals Council of Australia, Policy Paper (May 2017), online: Minerals Council of Australia <https://www.minerals.org.au/sites/default/files/Environmental%20impacts%20of%20uranium%20mining%20in%20Australia_May%202017_WEB.pdf>.

34 See e.g. the findings reached during an International Workshop held by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), “Environmental Contamination from Uranium Production Facilities and their Remediation” IAEA, Lisbon (11–13 February 2004), online: IAEA Publications <https://www-pub.iaea.org/MTCD/Publications/PDF/Pub1228_web.pdf>.

35 Ibid.

36 The process is either open pit mining, underground mining, or in situ leaching, see usefully SRIVASTAVA, Rajiv R., PATHAK, Pankaj, and PERWEEN, Mosarrat, “Environmental and Health Impact Due to Uranium Mining” in GUPTA, Charmendra K. and WALTHER, Clemens, eds., Uranium in Plants and the Environment (Cham: Springer, 2020), 69 at 73–5Google Scholar.

37 NEA and OECD, supra note 32 at 74.

38 See IAEA, supra note 34.

39 NEA and OECD, supra note 32 at 83.

40 Ibid.

41 See PAULILLO, Andrea, DODDS, Jonathan M, MILLIKEN, Andrew, PALETHORPE, Stephen J, and LETTIERI, Paola, “The Environmental Impacts of Reprocessing Used Nuclear Fuels: A UK Case Study” (2020) 25 Sustainable Materials and Technologies e00186CrossRefGoogle Scholar.

42 See “Environment and Nuclear Weapons” Reaching Critical Will, online: Reaching Critical Will <https://www.reachingcriticalwill.org/resources/fact-sheets/critical-issues/4734-environment-and-nuclear-weapons> [Environment and Nuclear Weapons].

43 See Roger J. MATSON, “An Assessment of Criticality Safety at the Department of Energy Rocky Flats Plant Golden, Colorado (July-September 1989)” Report of the US Department of Energy, DOE/EH/79081-T1, 1 September 1989, particularly at 2–8 to 2–9.

44 The International Nuclear and Radiological Event Scale is an indicator developed by the IAEA that symbolises the significance of a particular nuclear accident or event to the wider public, see “International Nuclear and Radiological Event Scale (INES)” IAEA, online: IAEA <https://www.iaea.org/resources/databases/international-nuclear-and-radiological-event-scale>.

45 See John A GARLAND and Richard WAKEFORD, ‘Atmospheric Emissions from the Windscale Accident of October 1957’ (2007) 41 Atmospheric Environment 3904.

46 For an extensive summary of activities at Mayak, see Charles DIGGES, Alexander NIKITIN, and Andrei OZAROVSKY, “Questions of Handling the Legacy of Radioactive Contamination at the Mayak Production Association”, Bellona, Working Paper, 2018.

47 Georg STEINHAUSER et al., “Airborne Concentrations and Chemical Considerations of Radioactive Ruthenium from Undeclared Major Nuclear Release in 2017” (2019) 116 Proceedings of the National Academic of Sciences 16750.

48 See generally Rodney C EWING, William J. WEBER, and Frank W. CLINARD Jr, “Radiation Effects in Nuclear Waste Forms for High-Level Radioactive Waste” (1995) 29 Progress in Nuclear Energy 63.

49 See Part I.A.

50 Charles DIGGES, “Before the Bombs Go Off: The Environmental and Health Consequences of Nuclear Weapons Production” Bellona (26 December 2012), online: Bellona <https://bellona.org/news/nuclear-issues/nuclear-russia/2012-12-before-the-bombs-go-off-the-environmental-and-health-consequences-of-nuclear-weapons-production#_ftn3>.

51 IAEA, “Storage of Spent Nuclear Fuel” IAEA Safety Standards, No. SSG-15 (Rev.1) (2020), online: IAEA Publications <https://www-pub.iaea.org/MTCD/Publications/PDF/P1882_web.pdf> at 5.

52 James CONCA, “Finland Breaks Ground on World's First Deep Geological Nuclear Waste Repository” Forbes (21 May 2021), online: Forbes <https://www.forbes.com/sites/jamesconca/2021/05/31/finland-breaks-ground-on-its-deep-geologic-nuclear-waste-repository/?sh=55b370116103>.

53 Environment and Nuclear Weapons, supra note 42.

54 Ibid.

55 See Alexander V. AKLEYEV, Lyudmila Yu KRESTININA, Marina O. DEGTEVA, and Evgenia I. TOLSTYKH, “Consequences of the Radiation Accident at the Mayak Production Association in 1957 (the ‘Kyshtym Accident’)” (2017) 37 Journal of Radiological Protection 19.

56 See Territorial Dispute (Libyan Arab Jamahiriya/Chad), [1994] I.C.J. Rep. 6 at para. 41; LaGrand (Germany v. United States of America), [2001] I.C.J. Rep. 466 at para. 99.

57 Anthony AUST, Modern Treaty Law and Practice, 3rd ed. (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2013) at 206–7. See also Francis G JACOBS, “Varieties of Approach to Treaty Interpretation: With Special Reference to the Draft Convention on the Law of Treaties Before the Vienna Diplomatic Conference” (1969) 18 International and Comparative Law Quarterly 318 at 318–20.

58 Ian SINCLAIR, The Vienna Convention on the Law of Treaties, 2nd ed. (Manchester: Manchester University Press, 1984) at 114.

59 As noted by Shai DOTHAN, “The Three Traditional Approaches to Treaty Interpretation: A Current Application to the European Court of Human Rights” (2019) 42 Fordham International Law Journal 765 at 767.

60 VCLT, supra note 21, art. 31(2).

61 Report of the International Law Commission on the Work of its Eighteenth Session, United Nations Yearbook of International Law Commission, Vol II, UN Doc A/6309/Rev.1 (1966), 169 at 220.

62 Territorial Dispute (Libyan Arab Jamahiriya/Chad), [1994] I.C.J. Rep. 6 at para. 41.

63 Treaty on a Nuclear-Weapon-Free Zone in Central Asia, 8 September 2006, 2970 U.N.T.S. (entered into force 21 March 2009), art 6 [Treaty of Semipalatinsk].

64 See e.g. the aforementioned quote by Rietiker and Mohr, supra note 20.

65 Gro NYSTUEN, Kjølv EGELAND, and Torbjørn GRAFF HUGO, “The TPNW and its Implications for Norway” Norwegian Academy of International Law (September 2018) at 9.

66 Bahram GHIASSEE, “The Need to Enhance the Environmental Provisions of the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons” UK Environmental Law Association Newsletter, Issue 121 (November/December 2020), online: UK Environmental Law Association <https://www.ukela.org/common/Uploaded%20files/elaw/e-law%20121.pdf> at 20.

67 REVILL, James, DALAQUA, Renata H., and WAN, Wilfred, “The TPNW in Practice: Elements for Effective National Implementation” (2021) 4 Journal for Peace and Nuclear Disarmament 13 at 25CrossRefGoogle Scholar.

68 MOFFATT, Michael J., “In Search of the Elusive Conflict: The (In-)Compatibility of the Treaties on the Non- Proliferation and Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons” (2019) 102 Nuclear Law Bulletin 7 at 39Google Scholar.

69 Ibid. Indeed, Moffatt argues that mining and other activities are “neither specific to testing or using, nor nuclear explosive devices in general”.

70 TPNW, supra note 1, art. 6(1).

71 Treaty of Semipalatinsk, supra note 63, art. 6.

72 Resolution Adopted by the General Assembly on 7 December 2015, GA Res. 70/33, UN Doc. A/RES/70/33 (11 December 2015).

73 See e.g. Elements for a Treaty Banning Nuclear Weapons, Submitted by Fiji, Nauru, Palau, Samoa, and Tuvalu, UN Doc. A/AC.286/WP.14 (3 March 2016), at para. 16; Annika THUNBORG (Director of the Department of Disarmament, Non-proliferation and Export Control, Swedish Ministry for Foreign Affairs), “Statement on Elements, Panel IV” OEWG (9 May 2016), online: Reaching Critical Will <https://www.reachingcriticalwill.org/images/documents/Disarmament-fora/OEWG/2016/Statements/09May_Sweden.pdf> at 2.

74 “Statement of ICAN at the OEWG” OEWG (23 February 2016), online: Reaching Critical Will <https://www.reachingcriticalwill.org/images/documents/Disarmament-fora/OEWG/2016/Statements/23Feb_ICAN.pdf> at 2; Thomas NASH, “Article 36 Remarks to OEWG” OEWG (23 February 2016), online: Reaching Critical Will <https://www.reachingcriticalwill.org/images/documents/Disarmament-fora/OEWG/2016/Statements/23Feb_Article36.pdf> at 2.

75 Taking Forward Multilateral Nuclear Disarmament Negotiations, Report of the OEWG, UN Doc. A/71/371 (1 September 2016), at para. 34, 67.

76 Ibid., at para. 35.

77 Bonnie DOCHERTY, “Completing the Package: The Development and Significance of Positive Obligations in Humanitarian Disarmament Law” in Treasa DUNWORTH and Anna HOOD, eds., Disarmament Law: Reviving the Field (London; New York: Routledge, 2020), 57 at 68. For a useful discussion of the development of positive obligations in the TPNW negotiations, see Matthew B. BOLTON and Elizabeth MINOR, “The Agency of International Humanitarian Disarmament Law: The Case of Advocacy for Positive Obligations in the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons” in Matthew B. BOLTON, Sarah NJERI, and Taylor BENJAMIN-BRITTON, eds., Global Activism and Humanitarian Disarmament (Cham: Palgrave Macmillan, 2020), 59 at 71–85.

78 Resolution Adopted by the General Assembly on 23 December 2016, GA Res. 71/258, UN Doc. A/RES/71/258 (11 January 2017).

79 Docherty, supra note 77 at 68.

80 See e.g. Bonnie DOCHERTY, “Advancing Humanitarian Disarmament Through the Ban Treaty” (2017) 1 Nuclear Ban Daily 5. See also Elizabeth MINOR, “The Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons: Assisting Victims and Remediating the Environment” ICRC: Humanitarian Law and Policy (10 October 2017), online: ICRC <https://blogs.icrc.org/law-and-policy/2017/10/10/the-nuclear-weapons-ban-assisting-victims-and-remediating-the-environment/> (“[p]art of this argumentation involved making the case that the treaty should not take a step back from recent international law on the prohibition of certain weapons”).

81 Humanitarian Positive Obligations for a Nuclear Weapons Ban Treaty, Working Paper submitted by Pace University International Disarmament Institute, UN Doc. A/CONF.229/2017/NGO/WP.22 (26 May 2017), at para. 9.

82 See notably, “Statement delivered by Ambassador Walton Webson of Antigua and Barbuda on behalf of CARICOM” United Nations Conference to Negotiate a Legally Binding Instrument to Prohibit Nuclear Weapons, Leading Towards Their Total Elimination (29 March 2017), online: Reaching Critical Will <https://www.reachingcriticalwill.org/images/documents/Disarmament-fora/nuclear-weapon-ban/statements/29March_CARICOM-T2.pdf>.

83 Possible Elements for the UN Nuclear-Weapon-Ban Treaty, Working Paper submitted by Papua New Guinea, UN Doc. A/CONF.229/2017/WP.4 (10 May 2017), at para. 9.

84 Banning Nuclear Weapons: Positive Obligations and Other Elements of a Legally Binding Instrument, Working Paper submitted by the Women's International League for Peace and Freedom, UN Doc. A/CONF.229/2017/NGO/WP.3 (17 March 2017), at para. 5.

85 Draft Convention on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons, UN Doc A/CONF.229/2017/CRP.1 (22 May 2017).

86 Communique from President Elaine Whyte GÓMEZ, “Draft Legally Binding Instrument to Prohibit Nuclear Weapons, Leading Towards Their Total Elimination” United Nations Conference to Negotiate a Legally Binding Instrument to Prohibit Nuclear Weapons, Leading Towards Their Total Elimination (22 May 2017), online: UN Conference Website <https://s3.amazonaws.com/unoda-web/wp-content/uploads/2017/05/Letter-from-the-Chair_May-24-2017.pdf> at 1.

87 Draft Convention on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons, supra note 85, art. 6(2).

88 “Audiovisual Records, 17th Meeting” United Nations Conference to Negotiate a Legally Binding Instrument to Prohibit Nuclear Weapons, Leading Towards Their Total Elimination (20 June 2017), online: UN WebCast <https://www.unmultimedia.org/avlibrary/asset/1914/1914100/>.

89 See e.g. Elizabeth MINOR (ICAN Representative), “Cluster 4: Positive Obligations” United Nations Conference to Negotiate a Legally Binding Instrument to Prohibit Nuclear Weapons, Leading Towards Their Total Elimination (20 June 2017), online: Reaching Critical Will <https://reachingcriticalwill.org/images/documents/Disarmament-fora/nuclear-weapon-ban/statements/20June_ICAN.pdf>; Comments of the International Committee of the Red Cross on Key Provisions of the Draft Convention on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons, UN Doc. A/CONF.229/2017/CRP.2 (14 June 2017), at 5–6; Erin HUNT, “Statement by Mines Action Canada” United Nations Conference to Negotiate a Legally Binding Instrument to Prohibit Nuclear Weapons, Leading Towards Their Total Elimination (20 June 2017), online: Reaching Critical Will <https://reachingcriticalwill.org/images/documents/Disarmament-fora/nuclear-weapon-ban/statements/20June_MAC.pdf> at 1.

90 Ibid. Such language would have reflected the meagre obligation under the Treaty of Semipalatinsk, supra note 62, art. 6.

91 Agenda Item 5, Indicative Timetable for the Meetings of the Conference, UN Doc A/CONF.229/2017/3/Add.1/Rev.1 (12 June 2017).

92 Nuclear-Armed States, Positive Obligations, Institutional Issues, and Final Clauses: Further Comments, Prepared by the International Association of Lawyers Against Nuclear Arms, UN Doc. A/CONF.229/2017/NGO/WP.38 (14 June 2017), at para. 9.

93 Comments and Notes on the Treaty Draft Text in View of the Second Session of Negotiations at United Nations, Prepared by ICAN (Italy), UN Doc. A/CONF.229/2017/NGO/WP.47 (27 June 2017), at para. 14.

94 “Articles 6-8, Papers by the Facilitators” United Nations Conference to Negotiate a Legally Binding Instrument to Prohibit Nuclear Weapons, Leading Towards Their Total Elimination (30 June 2017), online: UN Conference Website <https://s3.amazonaws.com/unoda-web/wp-content/uploads/2017/06/Articles-6-8-30-June-30.pdf>.

95 Second Revised Draft Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons, UN Doc. A/CONF.229/2017/L.3 (3 July 2017).

96 Comments of the International Committee of the Red Cross on Key Provisions of the Draft Convention on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons, supra note 89 at 6.

97 CASEY-MASLEN, Stuart, The Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons: A Commentary (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2019) at 209Google Scholar.

98 “Audiovisual Records, 26th Meeting” United Nations Conference to Negotiate a Legally Binding Instrument to Prohibit Nuclear Weapons, Leading Towards Their Total Elimination (5 July 2017), online: UN WebCast <https://media.un.org/en/asset/k1y/k1y8biadz8> at 16:30–16:48.

99 See also in this regard Docherty, supra note 19; IHRC, “Environmental Remediation in the Nuclear Weapon Ban Treaty: A Comprehensive and Detailed Approach” Article 36 and the International Human Rights Clinic (June 2017), online: Article 36 <https://article36.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/06/ER-ban-treaty-full-1.pdf>.

100 A collection of the statements and presentations delivered by participants can be found at Reaching Critical Will, “Humanitarian Impact of Nuclear Weapons”, online: Reaching Critical Will <https://www.reachingcriticalwill.org/disarmament-fora/hinw>.

101 See e.g. Ira HELFAND, “The Wider Impact: Long Term Effects on Health, Environment and Development” Oslo Conference on the Humanitarian Impact of Nuclear Weapons (4 March 2013), online: Regjeringen <https://www.regjeringen.no/globalassets/upload/ud/vedlegg/hum/hum_helfand.pdf>; Michael J MILLS, Alan Robock, Owen B. TOON, Lili XIA, Andrea STENKE, and Ira HELFAND, “Global Famine after a Regional Nuclear War: Overview of Recent Research” Vienna Conference on the Humanitarian Impact of Nuclear Weapons (8–9 December 2014), online: Reaching Critical Will <http://www.reachingcriticalwill.org/images/documents/Disarmament-fora/vienna-2014/8Dec_Mills.pdf>. Although see Arjun MAKHIJANI, “Assessing the Harm from Nuclear Weapons Testing and Production” Vienna Conference on the Humanitarian Impact of Nuclear Weapons (8-9 December 2014), online: Reaching Critical Will <https://www.reachingcriticalwill.org/images/documents/Disarmament-fora/vienna-2014/8Dec_Makhijani.pdf>.

102 However, as will be discussed in Part III.B, a broad interpretation that address additional forms of harms could nonetheless conform with the humanitarian purpose of the TPNW.

103 See e.g. IHRC, “Victim Assistance and Environmental Remediation in the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons: Myths and Realities” Human Rights Programme - Harvard (April 2019), online: Harvard Law School <https://hrp.law.harvard.edu/wp-content/uploads/2019/05/TPNW_Myths_Realities_April2019.pdf> at 4.

104 IHRC, “Environmental Remediation under the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons” Human Rights Programme - Harvard (April 2018), online: Harvard Law School <http://hrp.law.harvard.edu/wp-content/uploads/2018/04/Environmental-Remediation-short-5-17-18-final.pdf> at 2.

105 Rietiker argues that the imposition of primary responsibility for victim assistance on the affected state is “regrettable” and could lead to the position in which states “affected by testing of nuclear weapons might not be in a position to fulfil their obligations under Article 6(1)”, a point that could logically extend to environmental remediation under Article 6(2) as well: see Daniel RIETIKER, “New Hope for Nuclear Disarmament or ‘Much Ado About Nothing?’ Legal Assessment of the new ‘Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons’ and the Joint Statement by the USA, UK, and France Following its Adoption” (2017) 59 Harvard International Law Journal Online 22 at 29.

106 “Kazakhstan: Nuclear Overview” Nuclear Threat Initiative (23 April 2018), online: Nuclear Threat Initiative <https://www.nti.org/analysis/articles/kazakhstan-nuclear/>.

107 As will be conceded, however, such concerns of overburdening or structuring environmental remediation efforts to an extended range of harms should not be overstated, see Part III.B.

108 See above.

109 TPNW, supra note 1, art. 7, which envisages international cooperation and assistance in relation to the implementation of the treaty as a whole.

110 See Part I.

111 IAEA, “Policy and Strategies for Environmental Remediation” IAEA Nuclear Energy Series No NW-G-3.1 (2015), online: IAEA Publications <https://www-pub.iaea.org/MTCD/Publications/PDF/Pub1658_web.pdf> at 28.

112 Of course, environmental remediation activities under Article 6(2) of the TPNW also have the potential to significantly benefit the environment itself, see Environmental Remediation under the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons, supra note 104.

113 See Part III.A.

114 Recall that in treaty interpretation, the ordinary meaning of a treaty's text should be interpreted in light of the object and purpose of the treaty, VCLT, supra note 21, art. 31(1).

115 “Home” Humanitarian Disarmament: Seeking to Prevent and Remediate Arms-Inflicted Human Suffering and Environmental Harm, online: Humanitarian Disarmament <https://humanitariandisarmament.org/>. For an excellent history of the notion of humanitarian disarmament, see DUNWORTH, Treasa, Humanitarian Disarmament: An Historical Enquiry (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2020)CrossRefGoogle Scholar; DOCHERTY, Bonnie, “Ending Civilian Suffering; The Purpose, Provisions and Promise of Humanitarian Disarmament Law” (2010) 15 Austrian Review of International and European Law 7Google Scholar.

116 IAEA, “Guidebook on the Development of Regulations for Uranium Deposit Development and Production” IAEA-TECDOC-862 (1996), online: IAEA INIS Repository Search <https://inis.iaea.org/collection/NCLCollectionStore/_Public/27/060/27060403.pdf>; IAEA, “Best Practice in Environmental Management of Uranium Mining” IAEA Nuclear Energy Series, No. NF-T.1.2 (2010), online: IAEA Publications <https://www-pub.iaea.org/MTCD/Publications/PDF/Pub1406_web.pdf>.

117 “Sustaining Global Best Practices in Uranium Mining and Processing: Principles for Managing Radiation, Health and Safety, Waste and the Environment” World Nuclear Association, online: World Nuclear Association <https://www.world-nuclear.org/our-association/publications/technical-position-papers/best-practice-in-uranium-mining.aspx>.

118 Managing Environmental and Health Impacts of Uranium Mining, supra note 32.

119 See usefully BOYLE, Alan, “The Choice of a Treaty: Hard Law versus Soft Law” in CHESTERMAN, Simon, MALONE, David M., and VILLAPANDO, Santiago, eds., The Oxford Handbook of United Nations Treaties (New York: Oxford University Press, 2019), 101Google Scholar.

120 TPNW, supra note 1, art. 8.

121 Part III.A.

122 As discussed in Part I.

123 In which case, such concerns should balance each other out, and not act as a decisive factor as to whether a broad or narrow interpretation of Article 6(2) is ultimately endorsed.

124 See Part III.A.

125 Given their continued opposition to the treaty in multilateral discourse, see e.g. P5 Joint Statement on the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons, supra note 12; and among NWPS allies within NATO, see “Brussels Summit Communiqué, issued by the Heads of State and Government participating in the meeting of the North Atlantic Council in Brussels” North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) (14 June 2021), online: NATO <https://www.nato.int/cps/en/natohq/news_185000.htm> at para. 47.

126 “GDP (Current US$): 2020)” World Bank (2020), online: World Bank <https://data.worldbank.org/indicator/NY.GDP.MKTP.CD> [World Bank].

127 Part III.B.

128 World Bank, supra note 126, which states that Kazakhstan's economy measures approximately $171.082 billion.

129 See specifically TPNW, supra note 1, art. 7(3).

130 CASEY-MASLEN, Stuart and VESTNER, Tobias, “Trends in Global Disarmament Treaties” (2020) 25 Journal of Conflict and Security Law 449 at 462–3CrossRefGoogle Scholar.

131 Casey-Maslen, supra note 97 at 226.

132 See e.g. IHRC, “Implementing Environmental Remediation under the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons” Human Rights Programme - Harvard (July 2021), online: Harvard Law School <http://hrp.law.harvard.edu/wp-content/uploads/2021/07/TPNW-ER-factsheet_7-21.pdf>; Docherty, supra note 19; and the discussions during “Panel Discussion 1: National Implementation, Victim Assistance and Environmental Remediation, Implementation of the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons” United Nations Institute for Disarmament Research (UNIDIR) (18 January 2021), online: UNIDIR <https://unidir.org/events/implementation-treaty-prohibition-nuclear-weapons>.

133 Draft Vienna Action Plan, TPNW/MSP/2022/CRP.7 (22 June 2022) at 4–5; Decisions to be taken by the first Meeting of States Parties to the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons, TPNW/MSP/2022/CRP.6 (22 June 2022) at 2–4.

134 See generally TPNW, supra note 1, art. 1; and useful commentary by Casey-Maslen, supra note 97 at 234–7.

135 TPNW, supra note 1, art. 10(1).

136 Ibid., art 10(2).

137 Ibid., art 10(3).

138 See Aust, supra note 57 at 232–44; Jan KLABBERS, “Treaties, Amendment and Revision” (2006) Max Planck Encyclopaedia of International Law.

139 Klabbers, supra note 138 at paras. 7–8.

140 As noted by Rietiker and Mohr, supra note 20 at 32.

141 This, in effect, represents the solution proposed by the VCLT, supra note 21, art 40(4).

142 TPNW, supra note 1, art 8(1).

143 Pursuant to art 8(2), the 1MSP employed the rules of procedure used during the 2017 Conference, see Rules of Procedure of the United Nations Conference to Negotiate a Legally Binding Instrument to Prohibit Nuclear Weapons, Leading Towards their Total Elimination, UN Doc. A/CONF.229/2017/5 (13 June 2017).

144 See usefully Aust, supra note 57 at 212–14.

145 Subsequent Agreements and Subsequent Practice in Relation to the Interpretation of Treaties, Report of the International Law Commission on the Work of its Seventieth Session, UN Doc. A/73/10 (2018), at 11, Conclusion 6(2) [Subsequent Agreements and Practice].

146 Ibid., Conclusion 7(1).

147 Convention on the Prohibition of the Development, Production and Stockpiling of Bacteriological (Biological) and Toxin Weapons and on their Destruction, 10 April 1972, 1015 U.N.T.S. 163 (entered into force 26 March 1975).

148 Subsequent Agreements and Practice, supra note 145 at 90, Conclusion 11.