PSPD in English Peace/Disarmament 2014-05-08   1487

[2014 NPT prepcom] Statement: PNND and WFC launch a series of parliamentary hearings and other events on nuclear-weapon-free world

PNND and World Future Council launch a series of parliamentary hearings and other events on nuclear-weapon-free world

 

This statement was adopted at 2014 NPT PrepCom NGO Forum ‘Nuclear Disarmament through inter-parliamentary forums(8th May, 2014)‘, which was mainly organized by PNND. PSPD works as a coordinator of PNND Korea.

>>> Click here to see this statement in Korean

Parliamentarians for Nuclear Non-proliferation and Disarmament (PNND) and the World Future Council (WFC) today launched [Parliamentary Events for Abolition (PEAs),] 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.

 

The parliamentary hearings/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.

 

‘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.’

 

‘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 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. In addition to the IPU resolution, the event will be following up on the vision and agenda 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.’

 

[NGO session – 2014 NPT prep com]

Statement on the role of parliamentarians

Your Excellencies, representatives of civil society, ladies and gentlemen,

On February 27 this year, United States Senator Ed Markey, along with the government of Kazakhstan and Parliamentarians for Nuclear Non-Proliferation and Disarmament (PNND), hosted a cross-party event in the Kennedy Caucus Room of the US Senate on the achievement of a nuclear-weapon-free world.
The event, which included legislators from the US and around the world, featured Karipbek Kuyukov, a second generation victim of Soviet nuclear tests who was born without arms but has achieved recognition as a painter (using his mouth and feet) and as the Global Ambassador.

Kuyukov told the packed audience that doctors were so horrified at the sight of him at birth that they suggested to his parents that he be given a lethal injection to end his life.  He also told of the premature deaths of his siblings and of the suffering of nearly 2 million others in Kazakhstan as a result of nuclear weapons testing. 

Senator Markey used to occasion to announce his introduction into the U.S. Senate of the SANE Act – Sensible Approach to Nuclear Expenditures – which would slash the US budget for nuclear weapons in order to release funds sorely needed for education, health, job creation, renewable energies and environmental protection.

Senator Markey said that “America faces a real choice: spend billions on nuclear weapons we no longer need or fund programs that educate our children and help find cures to deadly diseases.”

This is just one example of the many actions being taken in legislatures around the world to highlight the humanitarian imperative for nuclear disarmament, challenge the continuing reliance on nuclear weapons and support the achievement of a nuclear-weapon free world.

Legislatures have key roles to play in this endeavour.
As elected representatives they act as bridges between civil society and governments. They provide the funds to pay for national initiatives. Through their deliberations, they help to shape policy, and through their investigative and oversight powers they build public accountability.

On 24 February 2010, UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon sent a letter to every parliament in the world thanking parliamentarians for their actions, stressing the vital role of parliaments and parliamentarians in achieving the peace and security of a nuclear weapon free world, and calling on them to do more in their national parliaments and by cooperating internationally through organisations such as the Inter Parliamentary Union and Parliamentarians for Nuclear Non-proliferation and Disarmament.

He noted that: At a time when the international community is facing unprecedented global challenges, parliamentarians can take on leading roles in ensuring sustainable global security, while reducing the diversion of precious resources from human needs.  As parliaments set the fiscal priorities for their respective countries, they can determine how much to invest in the pursuit of peace and cooperative security.

The humanitarian consequences of nuclear weapons and the legal obligation for their abolition – as affirmed by the International Court of Justice in 1996 – elevate the imperative for action and the illegitimacy of continuing to rely on nuclear weapons.

Some parliaments, including those of Austria, Mongolia, Philippines and New Zealand, have been able to take bold steps to adopt laws completely prohibiting nuclear weapons. Other parliaments from non-nuclear countries could follow-suit.

Parliaments from countries that rely on nuclear weapons – the nuclear-armed States and those under extended nuclear deterrence – have more difficulty in adopting such legislation – as they have to address the political realities and drivers that have given rise to nuclear weapons in the security doctrines of their countries.

However, parliaments from these countries have a vital role to promote multilateral negotiations for the elimination of nuclear weapons under effective international control – a nuclear weapons or a package of agreements as proposed by UN General Assembly resolutions and in the UNSG’s Five Point Proposal. Such negotiations would include the development of mechanisms and approaches to deal with the core role of nuclear weapons – to deter the use of nuclear weapons by others. 

In addition, parliaments of the nuclear reliant States have a key role to play in phasing out the role of nuclear weapons in security doctrines in order to assist such multilateral negotiations. This can include an examination of the role of nuclear weapons in the globalised world of the 21st Century, and a focus on the cooperative security mechanisms that already exist for resolving international conflicts, preventing aggression and keeping the peace without the need to rely on nuclear weapons. It can also include the establishment of additional regional nuclear weapon free zones pursuant to the achievement of global nuclear disarmament.

As such, in 2012 the Inter Parliamentary Union and PNND produced a Handbook for Parliamentarians Supporting Nuclear Non-Proliferation and Disarmament which highlights the roles of parliaments in the differing countries and provided positive examples of actions in the differing types of legislatures around the world – non-nuclear, nuclear, and allied.

And in March 2014, the IPU, elevated inter-parliamentary cooperation by adopting a resolution Toward a Nuclear Weapon Free World: The Contribution of Parliaments, in which its member parliaments (164 parliaments including most of the parliaments of the nuclear-armed States and the States under extended nuclear deterrence doctrines) agreed on a number of actions including to:

•    urge their governments to start negotiations on a nuclear weapons convention or on a package of agreements to help achieve a nuclear-weapon-free world, as outlined in the United Nations Secretary-General’s five point proposal and noted in the 2010 NPT Review Conference Action Plan;
•    work with their governments in the pursuit of confidence-building measures, including by eliminating the role of nuclear weapons in security doctrines and policies;
•    promote and commemorate the International Day for the Total Elimination of Nuclear Weapons each year on 26 September, in accordance with United Nations General Assembly resolution 68/32.
PNND and the World Future Council in cooperation with the IPU plan a series of parliamentary hearings and other events to follow-up this resolution beginning next month in the Czech Senate.

Civil society, parliamentarians and government should increase their cooperation in these efforts to ensure success.

Your Excellencies, representatives of civil society, ladies and gentlemen,
In the past parliamentarians had perhaps three core responsibilities or constituencies – to their electorate (their voters), to their political party and to their parliament.  In the increasingly interconnected world of the 21st Century, parliamentarians have two other core responsibilities – to the global commons and to future generations.

UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has said that the achievement of a nuclear weapon free world is a global good of the highest order. Let’s work together to achieve this vital goal.

Thank you

 

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