PNND and World Future Council launch a series of hearings and events

Parliamentarians for Nuclear Non-proliferation and Disarmament (PNND) and the World Future Council (WFC) today announced a series of hearings, seminars and other events in parliaments around the world to implement a landmark resolution, Toward a Nuclear Weapon Free World: The Contribution of Parliaments, adopted by the 164 member parliaments of the Inter Parliamentary Union (IPU) in Geneva on 20 March 2014.

United Nations, New York, May 8, 2014

The parliamentary hearings and events, which will be held in cooperation with the IPU, will focus on key agreements in the IPU resolution, in particular the role that parliaments can play to highlight the economic and humanitarian imperative to abolish nuclear weapons, eliminate the role of nuclear weapons in security policies and promote multilateral negotiations to achieve a safe and secure nuclear-weapon-free world.

PNND and WFC announced the initiative at the United Nations in New York during a conference of States Parties to the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty – a preparatory meeting for the 2015 NPT Review Conference. Seed funding for the initiative has come from The Simons Foundation in Canada.

A Nuclear Free World will only be possible if parliamentarians around the world work together in order to offer real solutions to a lethal power game,’ said Birgitta Jonsdottir MP (Iceland) who represented the Iceland Parliament at the IPU Assembly in Geneva. ‘No one will be a winner if these weapons are used.’

Parliamentarians in the 21st Century have a responsibility not only to their constituents, political parties and national legislatures – but also to global citizens which is threatened by climate change, resource depletion, unresolved conflicts and nuclear threats,’ said Hon. Dr. Hedy Fry, Member of the Canadian Parliament and Special Representative on Gender to the Parliamentary Assembly of the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe. ‘In an increasingly inter-dependant world, parliamentarians must work together across national borders to build cooperative security and the rule of law, not continue to rely on nuclear weapons which make no sense.’

These hearings will offer policymakers the opportunity to learn more about tried and tested nuclear disarmament policies,’ said Jakob von Uexkull, Founder of the World Future Council, ‘and to explore feasible and practical action available to them to advance nuclear disarmament in their respective countries as well as at the regional and international level.’

The first parliamentary event Security without nuclear weapons: The role of Czech Republic and Czech legislators in international disarmament processes will be held in the Czech Parliament on May 15 hosted by Senator Alena Gajduskova, First Vice-President of the Senate of the Czech Republic and a PNND Council Member. The event will feature Angela Kane, UN High Representative for Disarmament Affairs. In addition to the IPU resolution, the event will be following up on the vision for a nuclear-weapon-free world announced in Prague by US President Barak Obama on April 5, 2009, and the 2013 nuclear disarmament resolution adopted by the Council of Delegates of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies.

Parliaments must discuss these key issues for peace and security,’ said Senator Gajduskova. ‘We have to base our activities on a common set of rules, starting with human rights, which a nuclear war would violate. In addition, nuclear weapons belong to the most prominent roots of our budgetary problems.  Should we pay more for weapons than for the economic stabilization of the world? It is clear that both questions are interdependent.’

PNND, WFC and the Inter Parliamentary Union have been cooperating to educate and engage parliamentarians on nuclear non-proliferation and disarmament issues since 2008, with a key aim to enhance parliamentary action and build inter-parliamentary cooperation for nuclear disarmament.

The IPU greatly values the cooperation that has been developing with PNND and the World Future Council in recent years,’ said Paddy Torsney, Permanent Observer of the Inter Parliamentary Union to the United Nations. ‘Our joint Handbook for Parliamentarians on Supporting Nuclear Non-Proliferation and Disarmament is an important tool which provides practical ideas and advice on how to advance  this crucial  issue . The forthcoming seminars and other events in parliaments will further that work and ensure we move resolutely towards a Nuclear Weapon Free World.’

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