PNND Alumni Alexander Van der Bellen elected as President of Austria

Mr Van der Bellen beats far-right candidate in nail-biting result.
Former leader of the Green party, supporter of Europe and active on nuclear disarmament.

PNND commends and congratulates Mr Alexander Van der Bellen on his election on Sunday to the Presidency of Austria. Mr Van der Bellen, the former leader of the Austrian Green Party, came from behind in the presidential race to beat the far-right candidate Norbert Hofer (Freedom Party) by a very slim margin.

A number of PNND Co-Presidents and Council members joined with others to congratulate Mr Van der Bellen for his election, and to commend him for promoting peace and common security in his election campaign – including support for the principles of the European Union. Many note the importance of such a platform at this time of growing international tensions and challenges to Europe, including a worrying resurgence of militarist nationalism (See PNND messages to Mr Van der Bellen below).

Mr Van der Bellen and nuclear disarmament

During his time as a parliamentarian, Mr Van der Bellen was an active member of PNND, joining initiatives such as the Joint parliamentary statement supporting a Middle East free from nuclear weapons and other weapons of mass destruction, and co-sponsoring nuclear disarmament resolutions in the parliament.

One nuclear disarmament resolution he co-sponsored in 2010 was especially influential, inspiring similar resolutions in other parliaments around the world and helping pave the way for a successful outcome to the 2010 Non-Proliferation Treaty Review Conference.  See NPT supports framework for nuclear disarmament- highlights Ban Ki-moon's disarmament plan.

His support helped PNND build a very positive and cooperative relationship with the Austrian parliament and the Austrian government, both of which have taken leadership in the field of nuclear disarmament.

This has included, among other things, the 2010 Non-Proliferation Treaty Review Conference in which the disarmament subcommittee was chaired so successfully by Austria, the International Conference on Humanitarian Impact of Nuclear Weapons hosted by the Austrian government on December 8-9, 2014, and a special side-event on nuclear disarmament for parliamentarians from around the world hosted by the Austrian Parliament on December 9, 2014.

Supporting messages from PNND Co-Presidents and Council members

I am absolutely delighted at this wonderful positive last minute turn of events. We should have more people with a sense of conscience about human rights and environmental matters in positions of power.
Senator David Norris, Ireland.

Great news for Austria - and the world!
Saber Chowdhury MP, Bangladesh. PNND Co-President. President of the Inter Parliamentary Union

Warmest congratulation to the elected President!  Thanks God and Austrian voters. It is especially wonderful, that Mr Alexander Van der Bellen has Estonian roots. Greetings from Tallinn, Estonia!
Tõnis Kõiv MP (2005-2015), Estonia

What a great moment of hope this result gives us in the UK as we face our EU Referendum forced on us by our right wing
Baroness Sue Miller of Chilthorne Domer, United Kingdom. PNND Co-President

Congratulations to Van der Bellen for being the first President in Europe for a Green party with strong core values for the future of humanity.
Birgitta Jónsdóttir MP, Iceland

My congratulations with the confidence of Austrian people! Great success and luck to H.E the President!
Senator Byrganym Aitimova, Former Ambassador of Kazakhstan to the United Nations

Many greetings and congratulations from Tanzania to President elect. Election is over now we urge the people of Austria to be one and move forward to champion the development agenda and welfare of the people. Long live Alexander Van der Bellen
Dr. Raphael Chegeni MP, Tanzania

Warmest congratulations
Prof., Sergey Kolesnikov, Russia. Member of Russian Academy of Sci., Distinguished Scientist of Russia, Past Co-President of PNND

Congratulations from Costa Rica for election Alexander van der Bellen, President elect in Austria and Member PNND. Great.
Edine von Herold MP, Costa Rica