PNND Co-Presidents call for renewal of United Nations Open Ended Working Group

PNND Co-Presidents Uta Zapf (Germany) and Sue Miller (UK House of Lords) today called on the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) to renew the mandate of the UN Open Ended Working Group on Taking Forward Multilateral Nuclear Disarmament Negotiations (OEWG) during the current session of the UNGA in New York.

Ambassador Manuel Dengo, Chair of the Open Ended Working Group, speaking at the IPU Assembly with PNND Co-President Baroness Sue Miller and PNND Global Coordinator Alyn Ware Ambassador Manuel Dengo, Chair of the Open Ended Working Group, speaking at the IPU Assembly with PNND Co-President Baroness Sue Miller and PNND Global Coordinator Alyn Ware
The OEWG was established by the UNGA at its previous session in 2012 following 17 years of inaction in the Conference on Disarmament - the world's primary multilateral negotiating body for disarmament.

Open to all UN member States as well as to international organisations and civil society groups, the OEWG met during 2013 and 'opened the door' to multilateral negotiations by bridging long-standing differences, floating new ideas and finding common ground between non-nuclear States, allies of nuclear weapon States and those nuclear-armed States that participated.

In a letter sent to the UN ambassadors of some of the countries that were most active in OEWG, Ms Zapf and Baroness Miller noted that "The OEWG has demonstrated that it is capable of bridging the differences and building a basis for common action. It should thus continue this important and very productive work."

"We were encouraged and inspired by the OEWG deliberations, and by the final report which identifies key aspects in which further deliberations and work should  be undertaken  in order to facilitate and support multilateral negotiations to achieve a nuclear weapon free world. A renewed mandate could thus have a more specific focus to explore these aspects more deeply."

PNND Co-President Uta Zapf speaking at the IPU Assembly panel on the role of parliaments in implementing UN Security Council Resolution 1540: preventing proliferation of WMD PNND Co-President Uta Zapf speaking at the IPU Assembly panel on the role of parliaments in implementing UN Security Council Resolution 1540: preventing proliferation of WMD
Parliamentarians around the world strongly support the OEWG initiative. The Parliamentary Assembly of the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe, for example, adopted a resolution at its 22nd Annual Session in Istanbul supporting the OEWG. All parliamentary delegations, including those from NATO countries and nuclear weapon States (France, Russia, UK and USA) supported the resolution."

They also reported that the Inter Parliamentary Union at its 129th Assembly in Geneva held a special session on the achievement of a nuclear weapons free world featuring Ambassador Dengo, Chair of the OEWG. This was part of the IPU program ‘Towards a nuclear weapon free world: The contribution of Parliaments’ which is engaging parliamentarians from the 163 IPU member parliaments in this vital issue of global peace and security.

Parliamentarians have also participated in the Open the Door civil society video actions in many countries to promote the OEWG.


For further information see: