IPU Assembly Roundtable

Reducing nuclear threats – the role of parliamentarians

Roundtable event for parliamentarians at the 134th Assembly of the Inter Parliamentary Union, Lusaka, Zambia.

Rising tensions between nuclear powers. Increased risks of nuclear weapons being used by accident, miscalculation, unauthorized access or intent! What can parliamentarians do to reduce these risks and support nuclear disarmament?

Tuesday, March 22, 2016 | Lusaka, Zambia

Reducing nuclear threats – the role of parliamentarians

Tuesday 22 March, 12:15 – 13:45
Light lunch from 12:00
Room: Luangwa, New Wing, Mulungushi International Convention Centre

Interpretation available in English and French

Chair :
Hon Johannes Raseriti Tau MP
President, IPU Standing Committee on Peace and International Security
Noel Stott
Senior Fellow, Institute for Security Studies - South Africa
Margret Kiener Nellen MP
Head of the Committee on Finance, National Council of Switzerland
Senator Laura Rojas Hernández
President Mexico Senate Committee on External Relations and International Organisations

The risks and catastrophic impacts of the use of weapons by accident, miscalculation, unauthorized access or intent have been highlighted by recent inter-governmental conferences in Austria, Mexico and Norway. Rising tensions between nuclear powers - including over the Ukraine, in the Middle East and in the South China Sea – have elevated this risk, leading the Bulletin of Atomic Scientists on January 26 to set their ‘Doomsday Clock’ at 3 Minutes to Midnight.

The 130th IPU Assembly adopted a resolution Toward a Nuclear Weapon Free World: The Contribution of Parliaments welcoming the inter-governmental conferences on the impact of nuclear weapons and highlighting the importance of nuclear disarmament. The resolution calls on parliaments to work with their governments to reduce nuclear risks, eliminate the role of nuclear weapons in security doctrines and policies, and support multi-lateral negotiations for nuclear disarmament. This roundtable will discuss examples and further possibilities for parliamentary action on these issues.

The roundtable will include a focus on opportunities provided by the upcoming Nuclear Security Summit (Washington, Mar 31-April 1), the United Nations Open Ended Working Group on Taking Forward Multilateral Nuclear Disarmament Negotiations (sessions in May and August), United Nations General Assembly (September – November) and the International Day for the Total Elimination of Nuclear Weapons (Sep 26).

Parliamentarians are encouraged to consider and discuss the following questions in the roundtable:

  1. Are there confidence building measures in place, or which could be developed, in your region to reduce tensions and support nuclear disarmament;
  2. What national legislative measures have been taken in your parliaments to support the global prohibition and elimination of nuclear weapons;
  3. Should parliamentarians be included in government delegations to the relevant forums including the Nuclear Security Summit, UN Open Ended Working Group and UN General Assembly?
  4. What actions can parliaments and parliamentarians take to enhance public awareness of the risks of nuclear weapons and the possibilities for multi-lateral nuclear disarmament?

For more information please see the IPU Concept note: Side event entitled:

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