UNFOLD ZERO Newsletter

Dear friends,
From Feb 22-26, governments and civil society met at the Palais des Nations in Geneva for the first sessions of the UN Open Ended Working Group on Multilateral Nuclear Disarmament Negotiations (OEWG).
The OEWG has been mandated by the United Nations General Assembly to undertake substantive work on legal measures and norms to achieve a nuclear-weapon-free world, and to make recommendations on measures to reduce the risks of accidental, mistaken, unauthorized or intentional nuclear weapon detonations.

The deliberations, chaired by Ambassador Thani Thongphakdi of Thailand, opened up a refreshing and productive dialogue, particularly between non-nuclear countries and those under extended nuclear deterrence relationships.

Big gaps still remain between these groups on which nuclear disarmament measures should be pursued, and on whether nuclear weapons provide any security benefits or only security risks (see Security and nuclear deterrence – talking past each other).
Are non-nuclear States and those States under nuclear deterence security doctrines talking past each other? The OEWG, under the expert chairmanship of Ambassador Thani Thongphakdi, provides a forum for States to instead dialogue with each other in the cooperative pursuit of security and nuclear disarmament.
However, the positive dialogue which was started last week - if continued in subsequent OEWG sessions (May and August) - could help to bridge differences and move toward agreement on legal measures that should be negotiated to achieve a nuclear-weapon-free world.

Global support for the OEWG

The OEWG was supported by parliamentarians, mayors, religious leaders and other civil society representatives around the world.

Mayors for Peace, an organisation of over 6,800 cities, circulated an open letter to the OEWG urging all States to engage in constructive deliberations in the OEWG. 

Mayors for Peace also joined with Religions for Peace (representing millions of people of faith) and Parliamentarians for Nuclear Non-proliferation and Disarmament in presenting the joint declaration A Nuclear-Weapon-Free World: Our Common Good to a formal session of the OEWG, and to Ambassador Thongphakdi, Chair of the OEWG, at a side-event.
PNND, Mayors for Peace and Religions for Peace present 'A Nuclear-Weapon-Free World: Our Common Good' to Ambassador Thani Thongphakdi, Chair of the OEWG
The declaration, available in Arabic, English, French , German, Japanese, Portuguese, Russian and Spanish, was endorsed by legislators and religious leaders from Australia, Austria, Bangladesh, Belgium, Brazil, Bulgaria, Cameroon, Canada, Costa Rica, Czech Republic, Democratic Republic of Congo, Denmark, Ecuador, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Iceland, India, Indonesia, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Japan, Jordan, Kazakhstan, Malawi, Marshall Islands, Mauritania, Mexico, Monaco, Netherlands, New Zealand, Nigeria, Norway, Pakistan, Palestine, Portugal, Saudi Arabia, Scotland, South Africa, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Turkey, Uganda, United Kingdom, United States and Zimbabwe.


UNFOLD ZERO played an active role at the OEWG, including: UNFOLD ZERO encourages all governments to exercise diplomatic courage, dedication and persistence in the May and August OEWG sessions in order to facilitate success.
Yours sincerely
Copyright © 2016 UNFOLD ZERO

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