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Dear friends,
Nuclear weapon States should slash nuclear weapons budgets, reallocate these funds to the Sustainable Development Goals and take action to reduce the risk of nuclear war and to achieve nuclear disarmament, according to a number of governments speaking at the start of the 2018 UN session on Disarmament and International Security this week.

During the next four weeks governments will debate, and then adopt, resolutions at the UN General Assembly on a number of disarmament and international security issues.

The session opened with statements from the UN High Representative on Disarmament Affairs, the Head of the Non-Aligned Movement and representatives of many UN member countries.

Korea peace and denuclearisation process

The Korean peace and denuclearisation process was a key issue addressed by Izumi Nakamitsu, the UN High Representative. ‘Bold and patient diplomacy has moved the situation on the Korean Peninsula back from the brink of crisis,' said Ms Nakamitsu. 'The Secretary-General has welcomed these developments and called for the international community to support these ongoing endeavors.’

Civil society representatives have not yet had the opportunity to formally address the UN this session, but informally have been very active in New York promoting the Korean peace process through delegations, forums, press conferences and other action. (See Korea Peace Network and Global Peace Forum on Korea). 

Nuclear risk reduction and the UN High Level Conference

De-alerting of nuclear weapons systems, providing assurances of non-use of nuclear weapons, and reallocating nuclear weapons budgets to fund instead the SDGs were key calls from the 120 countries that are members of the Non-Aligned Movement (NAM).

‘NAM reiterates that the convening of the United Nations High-level International Conference on Nuclear Disarmament as decided through the General Assembly resolutions, would provide an important opportunity to review progress made in nuclear disarmament and to further promote this noble objective,' said H.E. Ms. Ina H. Krisnamurthi, Deputy Permanent Representative of the Republic of Indonesia, who spoke on behalf of NAM.

On Oct 10, People for Nuclear Disarmament and the Abolition 2000 Working Group on Nuclear-Risk-Reduction, sent a letter to all delegates to the UN Disarmament Committee calling on them to take action at this UN session to advance nuclear risk-reduction measures, support a UN High-Level Conference on Nuclear Disarmament and promote the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons.

Nuclear weapons budgets and the SDGs

'Freeing up national budgets used to maintain the operational status of nuclear weapons is smart, valuable and beneficial', said H.E. Mr. Vitavas Srivihok, Ambassador of Thailand to the UN in his statement to the UN Disarmament Committee. 'These funds can be diverted to poverty reduction, universal health care and other important development goals.'

This was also the key message from Kehkashan Basu, one of the two civil society speakers at the UN High Level Meeting on Nuclear Disarmament on September 26. Ms Basu promoted Move the Nuclear Weapons Money, the global campaign to shift nuclear weapons budgets and investments to meet SDGs and other economic and environmental needs. 

A benefit concert for Move the Nuclear Weapons Money will be held in Manhattan on October 20, featuring classical, jazz and fusion music by Duo Dimeo and Wil Gallison. Get your ticket at Duo Dimeo eventbrite.
Yours sincerely
Copyright © 2018 UNFOLD ZERO

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