Phonm Penh. After 12 years of negotiations, the five recognized nuclear-weapon states (P5) finally agreed to sign the Southeast Asia Nuclear Weapon-Free Zone treaty (SEANWFZ), Cambodian senior officials said Thursday.
The P5 include the United States, the United Kingdom, France, China and Russia. Those country’s foreign officials will sign the protocol next Thursday during an ASEAN foreign ministers’ meeting, Koy Kuong, spokesman for Cambodia’s ministry of foreign affairs and international cooperation, told Xinhua news agency.
“As the chair of 2012 ASEAN, Cambodia is pleased to see all the five recognized nuclear-weapon states sign the protocol,” he said. “Their upcoming signatures reflect their support for the SEANWFZ.”
The protocol requires the P5 not to contribute to any violation of the treaty and not to use or threaten to use nuclear weapons within the SEANWFZ. In addition, the P5 would commit to stop nuclear weapon proliferation and testing in the Southeast Asia region.
ASEAN leaders signed the SEANWFZ Treaty in Bangkok, Thailand in 1995 — it took effect two years later. The negotiations between ASEAN and the five recognized nuclear-weapon states on the protocol have been held since May 2001.
The Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) include Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam.