Press releases, 27.03.2024

On the basis of a new comprehensive reassessment, the Federal Council decided at its meeting on 27 March 2024, that there is currently no reason to change its position on the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons (TPNW), which entered into force in 2021. It has therefore reaffirmed the conclusion it reached in 2018 and 2019 and has decided that Switzerland will not join the TPNW for the time being. The Federal Council's conclusion is based both on the assessment made in 2018–19 and recent security policy developments in Europe and globally. The Federal Council considers Switzerland's commitment to a world without nuclear weapons, pursued within the framework of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT), to be a more effective approach.

In its Foreign Policy Strategy 2024−27, the Federal Council unequivocally advocates for a world free of nuclear weapons. The use of nuclear weapons would hardly be compatible with international humanitarian law. Ten days ago, Switzerland took a clear position in the UN Security Council, declaring that a nuclear war cannot be won and must never be fought.

The question of how to achieve the goal of a world free of nuclear weapons is also hotly debated in Switzerland. To thoroughly reassess its earlier decisions on the TPNW, the Federal Council commissioned an interdepartmental working group (IDWG) with representatives from the FDFA, DDPS, DETEC, and EAER. The latest report weighed security policy developments since 2018, the findings of the NPT Review Conference, and the assessments of external experts. With the Dittli postulate (22.3800), Parliament also called for a specific report on the foreign and security policy implications of potential TPNW accession, particularly in light of Russia's war against Ukraine and its consequences for Europe's security architecture.

Deteriorating security environment

At its meeting on 27 March 2024, the Federal Council took note of the IDWG's report and adopted its report in fulfilment of postulate 22.3800. Based on these two reports, the Federal Council concluded that there is currently no need to change its position and that Switzerland will not join the TPNW for the time being. The Federal Council is convinced that joining the TPNW is not in Switzerland's interests, given the current international context and the war in Europe, which have highlighted the renewed urgency of security considerations.

The Federal Council still holds the view that the effectiveness of the TPNW is limited, since neither the nuclear-armed states nor the majority of Western and European countries recognise it. Moreover, a world free of nuclear weapons can only be achieved with, not against, the nuclear-armed states. Despite the current standstill in nuclear disarmament efforts and clear indications of an arms build-up, Switzerland will continue to call on the states concerned to fulfil their disarmament obligations.

Switzerland maintains its commitment to nuclear disarmament

As part of its “Strategy Arms Control and Disarmament Strategy 2022 -2025”, the Federal Council is working to reducing nuclear risks and developing verifiable future disarmament treaties. Switzerland has been a member of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) since 1977, which has been signed by 191 states parties, including the nuclear-weapon states United States, Russia, China, France and the United Kingdom. The NPT is the cornerstone of nuclear arms control efforts and the global security architecture. Switzerland actively works to strengthen this architecture.


The Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons (TPNW) was negotiated at the United Nations in 2017. It contains a comprehensive and explicit ban on nuclear weapons, prohibiting their use, threat of use, production, stockpiling, acquisition, possession, deployment, transfer, testing, and any support for these prohibited activities. It entered into force in 2021 and has been ratified by 70 states to date. The nuclear-weapon states, their allies and other states have not yet acceded to the treaty.

Further information:

Nuclear disarmament
Arms Control and Disarmament Strategy 2022–2025
FDFA Article

Update on the report of the working group analysing the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons(pdf, 531kb)

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