PNND leaders promote new parliamentary appeal on nuclear abolition

Three of the PNND Co-Presidents - Saber Chowdhury, Sue Miller and Uta Zapf - this month circulated a new parliamentary appeal on nuclear aboliton to members of Parliamentarians for Nuclear Nonproliferation and Disarmament (PNND) encouraging them to endorse, and to use the appeal to build political will from governments to negotiate for the complete elimination of nuclear weapons.

The Global Parliamentary Appeal for a Nuclear Weapons Ban, launched by ICAN (an international civil society campaign to abolish nuclear weapons), calls on ‘all national governments to negotiate a treaty banning nuclear weapons and leading to their complete eradication’ noting that ‘The only way to guarantee that they [nuclear weapons] will never be used again is to outlaw and eliminate them without further delay.’ The appeal will be presented to a range of intergovernmental and inter-parliamentary forums over the next two years to advance nuclear abolition.

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
The three Co-Presidents, who signed a support letter for the Appeal during a nuclear disarmament meeting of the Inter Parliamentary Union, note that PNND has been active in highlighting the humanitarian and environmental consequences of any use of nuclear weapons as one of the reasons making nuclear non-proliferation and disarmament a vital issue for the 21st Century.

The International Court of Justice in 1996 concluded that “The destructive power of nuclear weapons cannot be contained in either time or space”, that the threat or use of nuclear weapons would thus be generally illegal, and that there is an unconditional and universal legal obligation to achieve the complete elimination of nuclear weapons. Governments have accepted this obligation – but have not dedicated sufficient political will to its achievement. Parliamentarians globally are instrumental in building this political will.

PNND presenting the Parliamentary Declaration Supporting a Nuclear Weapons Convention to UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon PNND presenting the Parliamentary Declaration Supporting a Nuclear Weapons Convention to UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon
The appeal complements the parliamentary resolutions supporting a nuclear weapons convention and the Parliamentary Declaration for a Nuclear Weapons Convention which PNND presented to the United Nations Secretary General and the States Parties to the Non-Proliferation Treaty in 2010, and which helped move States Parties to the NPT to agree that “all States need to make special efforts to establish the necessary framework to achieve and maintain a world without nuclear weapons,” noting “the Five-Point Proposal for Nuclear Disarmament of the Secretary-General of the United Nations, which proposes inter alia the consideration of negotiations on a nuclear weapons convention or a framework of separate mutually reinforcing instruments backed by a strong system of verification."

The three PNND Co-Presidents note that the Appeal is also complementary to a range of other parliamentary initiatives, some of which focus on initial steps or regional measures, and others which take a more comprehensive approach to achieving global abolition.


PNND Co-Presidents Saber Chowdhury and Sue Miller speaking at the UN Open Ended Working Group in Geneva PNND Co-Presidents Saber Chowdhury and Sue Miller speaking at the UN Open Ended Working Group in Geneva
The three PNND Co-Presidents circulating the appeal are global leaders in nuclear non-proliferation and disarmament. Saber Chowdhury MP (Bangladesh) is the President of the Inter Parliamentary Union Standing Committee on International Peace and Security. Baroness Sue Miller (UK) is a Member of the UK delegation to the Inter Parliamentary Union and was instrumental in the 2009 IPU resolution on nuclear non-proliferation and disarmament which achieved support from all IPU member parliaments (over 160 parliaments) and included promotion of the UN Secretary-General's Five-Point Proposal for Nuclear Disarmament). Uta Zapf has served as Chair of the Bundestag Subcommittee on Disarmament and Arms Control and was responsible, among other things, for the Parliamentary Assembly of the Organisation for Security and Cooperaton in Europe endorsing new nuclear abolition efforts in July 2013.

Other PNND Co-Presidents include Mani Shankar Aiyar (India), Senator David Coltart (Zimbabwe), Bill Kidd (Scotland), Mi-kyung Lee (South Korea), Senator Edward Markey (United States) and Marit Nybakk (Norway).

For more information see
  *  Parliamentarians promoting a global treaty to abolish nuclear weapons
  *  ICAN Appeal