UNFOLD ZERO Newsletter

Dear friends,

The final session of the UN nuclear disarmament working group (OEWG) opened in Geneva on Friday August 5, as nuclear abolition campaigners around the world were gearing up for Hiroshima and Nagasaki Day actions.

Governments will meet for another 3 days next week, to discuss the OEWG draft report, with the aim to adopt the final report on August 19 for submission to the UN General Assembly.

A number of non-nuclear States have called for multilateral negotiations in 2017 on a legal agreement to ban nuclear weapons. However, other States have expressed doubts about the value of such negotiations if there is no participation of nuclear-armed States or those under extended nuclear deterrence relationships. To-date, none of the nuclear-armed or allied States have expressed support for such negotiations, and there is no obligation for them to join.

Novel proposal to ensure engagement of nuclear-armed States

On Friday, the Basel Peace Office, an UNFOLD ZERO partner, introduced a working paper which expanded on a novel proposal in the OEWG draft report to adopt a nuclear disarmament protocol to the Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT). This could be done by holding an NPT amendment conference. Basel Peace Office suggests that a simple but effective amendment could be to make the current NPT prohibition on nuclear-weapons-acquisition applicable to all States Parties including the nuclear-armed States.

If one-third of the States Parties to the NPT call for such a conference, the NPT depositories (Russia, the United Kingdom and the United States) are legally obliged to hold the conference, invite all States Parties to the NPT to attend, and discuss the proposed nuclear weapons ban. Such an NPT conference could therefore build political momentum and legal impact for a more comprehensive nuclear weapons ban, particularly in nuclear-armed and allied states. 


The Basel Peace Office working paper also discussed proposals in the OEWG draft report to reduce the role of nuclear weapons in security doctrines, and called specifically on the OEWG to support the adoption of no-first-use policies by the nuclear-armed States.

This would be an interim measure, until the nuclear-armed States agree to a comprehensive prohibition on nuclear weapons. China, India and North Korea have already adopted such a policy. President Obama is considering doing so for the United States.


Chain Reaction 2016

UNFOLD ZERO also reported to the OEWG on Friday on the chain reaction of nuclear disarmament actions and events around the world, and presented the Hiroshima Appeal for a Total Ban on Nuclear Weapons.


Yours sincerely
Copyright © 2016 UNFOLD ZERO

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