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 4-5 days over the next two weeks, 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 support 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. The proposal calls for a nuclear-ban amendment conference of the Non-Proliferation Treaty.

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 nuclear ban, particularly in nuclear-armed and allied states. 

For more information see UN body considers draft nuclear disarmament report – BPO makes novel proposal.


The Basel Peace Office working paper also called on the OEWG to support the adoption of no-first-use policies by the nuclear-armed States as an interim measure, until they 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.



Call on your government to support the proposals to the OEWG for no-first-use and an NPT amendment conference. Contact your prime minister, foreign minister or UN ambassador to seek their support.

Contacts: Africa, Americas and Caribbean, Asia, Central and Eastern Europe, Middle East, Oceania, Western Europe

Yours sincerely
Copyright © 2016 UNFOLD ZERO

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