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UNFOLD ZERO Newsletter

Dear friends,
UNFOLD ZERO greets all UN member States, and especially the officials who are at the UN General Assembly First Committee in New York this month to discuss disarmament issues and adopt disarmament proposals.

UNFOLD ZERO is following the deliberations at the UNGA on nuclear disarmament, and especially those initiatives/proposals that can encompass, or build bridges between, incremental and comprehensive measures.

As such we highlight the civil society intervention to the UNGA on October 10 entitled Nuclear Perils and Opportunities. which discusses the opportunities provided by the UN High Level Conference on Nuclear Disarmament (UNHLC), scheduled for 2018.

In our view, the 2018 UNHLC can provide a space to advance incremental nuclear-risk reduction, non-proliferation and incremental disarmament measures, including those favoured by the nuclear-armed and allied states. It can also provide an opportunity to build support for the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons, which is favoured by non-nuclear States.

On Oct 11-12, UNFOLD ZERO, and a number of our partner organisations, held an international conference to build support for the UNHLC and ensure its success and relevance for all countries. .

The conference followed a number of consultation events about the UNHLC in UN centres and key capitals organised by Parliamentarians for Nuclear Non-proliferation and Disarmament and UNFOLD ZERO over the past year, and a food-for-though paper - The Ban Treaty, NPT and 2018 UNHLC.
Speakers for session 2: Paddy Torsney (UN Representative to the United Nations) and Charles Chauvel (United Nations Development Program).


Building success - learning from other UN processes


The conference included key participants from other UN High-Level conferences (HLCs) that have had considerable success, including those on climate change, sustainable development and the oceans.

A key point that ensured their success was that they developed a mandate, agenda and proposed outcomes for the HLC that could attract participation of all countries, and especially the most relevant countries, i.e. those who are most needed to make progress on the issue.

Another key point was that they ensured active participation of parliamentarians, including through parliamentary questions and motions, participation in the HLC preparatory meetings, and coordination through inter-parliamentary forums like the Inter-Parliamentary Union and the Parliamentary Assembly for the Organisation of Security and Cooperation in Europe.
 
Speakers for Session 3: Sergio Duarte (President of Pugwash Conferences on Science and World Affairs, Former UN Under-Secretary-General on Disarmament) and Aaron Tovish (former Director of Mayors for Peace 2020 Vision Campaign)

Visions for the UN High-Level Conference


Conference participants put forward a range of visions for concrete outcomes of the 2018 HLC. These included:
  • Aim to achieve 100 countries signing the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons (with some signing at the UN during the HLC);
  • Adoption by nuclear-armed States of negative security assurances (assurances that they will not use nuclear weapons against non-nuclear States);
  • Adoption by nuclear-armed States of additional nuclear risk-reduction measures include de-alerting and no-first-use;
  • Adoption by nuclear armed and allied States of a framework for eliminating reliance on ncuelar weapons and achieving nuclear disarmament;
  • Initiating dialogue or deliberations on additional nuclear-weapon-free zones including in the Middle East and North-East Asia....
Speakers for session 6: Kehkashan Basu (Youth Ambassador for the World Future Council), Holger Guessfeld (Special Projects, World Future Council), Scilla Elworthy (Founder, Dialogue with Decision-makers) and Kate Alexander (UN Deputy Representative, International Peace Bureau).

Civil society actions and advocacy


The Oct 11-12 conference also included planning of civil society actions and advocacy to support the 2018 HLC. For more information on the Oct 11-12 conference visit Reaching HIGH virtual conference.

We thank you for your consideration of the importance of the 2018 UN High Level Conference on Nuclear Disarmament, and how your country might be able to participate in order to ensure its success.
Yours sincerely,

Bethan, Calvin, Nilo, Marzhan, Jonathan and Alyn
On behalf of the UNFOLD ZERO team
Copyright © 2017 UNFOLD ZERO


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