Chilean Chamber of Deputies Hosts PNND Event

Nuclear disarmament event held in Chilean Parliament.

16 additional parliamentarians join PNND.

On 30 November, Deputy Marcos Espinosa (PRSD) the First-Vice President of the Chilean Chamber of Deputies, and Deputy Denise Pascal Allende (PS), co-hosted an event in the Chilean Parliament to inform parliamentarians about nuclear disarmament issues and parliamentary initiatives. The event also introduced parliamentarians to Parliamentarians for Nuclear Non-Proliferation and Disarmament (PNND) and invited them to join.

Chile has been one of the driving forces behind this issue,’ said Deputy Pascal Allende who had just returned from the 135th Assembly of the Inter Parliamentary Union where she was promoting nuclear disarmament amongst the 170 member parliaments along with other members of PNND. Key PNND events at the IPU Assembly included the launch of 'Move the Nuclear Weapons Money' and a workshop on nuclear-weapon-free zones including the one established in Latin America and the Caribbean.

We have participated in all relevant treaties since Latin America became a nuclear-weapon-free zone in 1968. Together with the other Latin American and Caribbean countries we are working to ensure that nuclear weapons no longer exist.’

The United Nations has affirmed the imperative that nuclear weapons must never be used. ‘This is demonstrated by the UN General Assembly resolution, introduced by Chile and eleven other countries, which calls for nuclear weapons States to step back from their current readiness to use nuclear weapons within 10 minutes’ notice,’ said Deputy Pascal Allende. ‘They should take their finger off the nuclear button.’

Nearly all the parliamentarians participating in the event in the Chilean Parliament accepted the invitation to join PNND and become more active in nuclear disarmament. 'This demonstrates that Chilean parliamentarians have rejected the possession, use and threat of use of nuclear weapons as an option to address international conflicts,' said Deputy Marcos Espinosa.

Deputy Marcos Espinosa (PRSD), First Vice-President of the Chamber of Deputies

Deputy Pascal Allende believes that the event held at the Chilean Chamber comes at a crucial moment, as tensions between nuclear-armed States increases and nuclear war becomes a frightening possibility once again.

However, there are also new opportunities for nuclear disarmament,’ she noted. ‘The United Nations has decided to commence multilateral negotiations in 2017 on a nuclear prohibition treaty, and hold a High Level Conference in 2018 to advance the global abolition of nuclear weapons. A new UN Secretary-General, Antonio Guterres, comes into office in January 2017 and will preside over these UN events.’ 

Ban Ki-moon, in a letter to all parliaments in 2010, highlighted the vital role of parliamentarians to support such disarmament efforts. ‘Chilean parliamentarians are joining with others around the world to ensure the success of these efforts to achieve international security through a world free of nuclear weapons,’ concluded Deputy Pascal Allende.