An overview of existing Nuclear Weapon-Free Zones and countries with national nuclear prohibition legislation

Nuclear-Weapon-Free Zones and Regional Security in the Middle East, North-East Asia and Europe

The resolution Toward a Nuclear Weapon Free World: The Contribution of Parliaments, adopted by the 130th IPU Assembly, affirmed the role that nuclear-weapon-free-zones (NWFZs) can play in building regional security and contributing to nuclear disarmament.

NWFZs have already been established in the Antarctic, Latin America and the Caribbean, the Pacific, South East Asia, Africa and Central Asia. Additional NWFZs have been proposed for the Middle East, North-East Asia and Europe.

This panel will provide updates on these three proposals, explore the role such NWFZs could play in the region, and provide participants with an opportunity to ask questions and discuss the issue.
The event will also include the launch of the Arabic edition of the IPU Handbook for Parliamentarians on Supporting Nuclear Non-Proliferation and Disarmament.

27 October, 2016 (12.30 – 2 p.m.)

CICG, Rue de Varembé 17, 1211 Genève, Switzerland

Panel

Chair

Mr. Duarte Pacheco MP (Portugal), Vice-President of the IPU Standing Committee on Peace and International Security

Speakers

Senator Laura Rojas (Mexico), President of the Senate Committee on Foreign Affairs and International Organizations. Lessons from the Latin American and Caribbean NWFZ

Mr. Rob van Riet (UK), Director of the World Future Council Disarmament Program. Proposal for a European NWFZ

Ms. Maria Kim (Republic of Korea), PNND Assistant Coordinator for North East Asia. The 3+3 proposal for a North-East Asia NWFZ

Mr. Alyn Ware (New Zealand), PNND Global Coordinator. Parliamentary support for a Middle East Zone free of Nuclear Weapons and other Weapons of Mass Destruction

Senator Salwa Damen Barakat (Jordan), Launch of the Arabic edition of the IPU Handbook

Simultaneous interpretation will be provided in English, French and Arabic.

The Nuclear-Climate Nexus and Sustainable Peace

While humanity faces a range of interconnected transnational threats and crises in the 21st Century, climate change and the continued existence of nuclear weapons stand out as two existential threats. Both threaten the survival of life on earth as we know it and both are of our making. There is increasing interest in how climate and nuclear threats interact with each other. This workshop will present some of the key findings of a recent study on the “Climate-Nuclear Nexus” including: the impact of climate change on nuclear and international security; the climatic and ecological consequences of nuclear war; the obstacles of climate and nuclear threats to achieving sustainable peace; the problems and risks of nuclear energy in advancing climate and nuclear disarmament action; and the availability of renewable energy and other resources to diminish climate and nuclear threats.

Room H 3002 at the Technische Universität Berlin, Germany, 1st October / 16:30 - 18:30

Speakers

  • Jürgen Scheffran, INES Co-Chair, University of Hamburg (Workshop Coordinator)
  • Rob van Riet, World Future Council
  • Alex Rosen, IPPNW Deputy Director
  • M.V. Ramana, Princeton University (via Skype)

Organised by World Future Council and INES


Abstract

On the long arc of human existence, climate change and the continued existence of nuclear weapons are relatively new to the scene, having only appeared over the last century. Both threaten the survival of life on earth as we know it and both are of our making.

The Existential Threat of Climate Change and Nuclear Weapons: The Marshall Islands and action in the International Court of Justice

Flickr album

A century of weapons of mass destruction

At the invitation of the mayor of the town of Ypres, WFC project manager Holger Güssefeld spoke as a representative of the citizens of Hamburg at the conference “A century of weapons of mass destruction: FINAL!”. On April 24, 2015, he recalled the Hamburg bombing of 1943.


 

Arms control exchange: from Argentina to Bosnia and Herzegovina

Bosnia and Herzegovina and Argentina are culturally, linguistically and geographically diverse nations. However, both are fighting to realise change and bring about a new direction in their country’s development.

Over 750,000 illicit weapons and 16,000 tonnes of ammunition currently circulate within the borders of Bosnia and Herzegovina. Easy access to weapons largely left over from the conflict in the 90’s has led to these circulating remnants of war being involved in more than 10 violent incidents each week.

Argentina too has also faced risks caused by the availability of guns and a lack of gun violence education. In 2004, a 15 year old boy killed three classmates in Southern Argentina, wounding five. It is clear that despite their many evident differences, firearm awareness actions needs to be taken to curb the blight of gun violence in both nations for future generations.

“Tragedies caused by guns and other small arms are nearly a daily occurrence. Without the widespread availability of these weapons such tragedies could not occur. Further, guns can play no positive role in resolving conflicts or achieving reconciliation between conflicting parties. Resolving conflicts requires peaceful processes, including negotiations and diplomacy. Peace cannot be attained by either random or targeted killings – thus, the importance of disarmament, gun control and a non-killing ethic.” – David Krieger WFC Councillor & President, Nuclear Age Peace Foundation.

The Campaign

As part of our follow-up activities to the 2013 Future Policy Award on Disarmament, on March 6-7, the World Future Council together with UNDP Bosnia and Herzegovinas ‘Choose Life Without Weapons‘ coalition provided an opportunity for governmental entities from Argentina and Bosnia and Herzegovina to come together to exchange their experiences in combating the blight of the small arms and light weapons within their unique national contexts.

A conference at UN House in Sarajevo on 6 March allowed participants to share lessons learnt from their arms control programmes, while a visit to Banja Luka on 7 March gave participants the chance to witness and participate in the melting of collected weapons, which are then recycled to manufacture spare parts for windmills and other public infrastructure.

In 2013, Argentina’s ‘National Programme for the Voluntary Surrender of Firearms’ was recognised with a Silver Future Policy Award by the World Future Council, in collaboration with the UN Office for Disarmament Affairs and the Inter-Parliamentary Union. Under the programme, the governmental agency RENAR has successfully collaborated with civil society in reducing the number of illicit firearms while promoting a culture more focused on non-violence and peaceful conflict resolution.

Kick-off event – Sarajevo, June 14

The kick-off event in Sarajevo included the screening of the documentary Football Rebels and the football match between Bosnia and Herzegovina and Argentina later that evening.

Arms_control_exchange_kick-off

b9ddfa9640Choose life without weapons was launched in 2013 by UNDP, and their partners, to prompt action and open discourse over the issue of gun violence in Bosnia and Herzegovina.

The campaign encourages citizens to take advantage of an amnesty law allowing weapons and explosive devices to be handed over to the police without legal repercussions. Collected weapons are then melted and recycled into components for infrastructural development across the country.

Argentina similarly encouraged sustainable action against armed violence through the formation of The Argentine Disarmament Network, a coalition of civil society organisations attempting to tackle armed violence.

Security without nuclear weapons

Prague: WFC councillor Alyn Ware spoke at this conference on the role of the Czech Republic and Czech legislators in international disarmament processes. The event was hosted by Alena Gajdůšková, First Vice-President of the Senate of the Parliament of the Czech Republic, and co-sponsored by the international network of Parliamentarians for Nuclear Non-Proliferation and Disarmament (PNND) and the PragueVision Institute for Sustainable Security.

Nuclear disarmament through inter-parliamentary forums

 

New York: PNND Global Coordinator and Member of the World Future Council, Alyn Ware, presented at this side event, organized by PNND and the WFC, which took place during the NPT Preparatory Committee Meeting at the United Nations headquarters. >>

Side Event: “The Humanitarian Imperative and Cooperative Framework to achieve a Nuclear Weapons Free World”

Geneva: Disarmament Coordinator Rob van Riet spoke at a side event of the 130th Inter-Parliamentary Union Assembly, in a discussion on the humanitarian dimension of nuclear weapons abolition, contributing in particular knowledge of exemplary policies in the field as highlighted by the 2013 Future Policy Award. >>

Parliamentary Conference and PNND Annual Assembly

“Climbing the Mountain: Legislators collaborating on bilateral, plurilateral and global measures towards a secure nuclear-weapons-free world.” Disarmament coordinator Rob van Riet joined WFC Councillor Alyn Ware in a discussion of exemplary disarmament policies highlighted by the 2013 Future Policy Award. >>

Conference on the Humanitarian Consequences of Nuclear Weapons

Senate of France: Coordinator of the Peace and Disarmament Programme, Rob van Riet discussed the application of International Humanitarian Law to Nuclear Weapons and how it could give impetus to efforts to achieve a world free of nuclear weapons.