Nuclear Weapons Convention
The United Nations General Assembly has adopted a resolution every year since 1996 calling for negotiations on a nuclear weapons convention (NWC) – a global treaty which would prohibit the threat or use of nuclear weapons and establish a phased program for their complete elimination under strict and effective international control.
TAKE ACTION: Support the UN resolutions calling on negotiations for a NWC
Over 130 countries have supported the resolution including some of the nuclear-armed States – China, India, North Korea and Pakistan (Click here for voting result of the 2013 resolution). However, such negotiations have not been able to begin for two main reasons:
- The call is not supported by other nuclear-armed countries (France, Russia, United Kingdom and the United States) and countries under extended nuclear deterrence relationships (NATO members, Australia, Japan and South Korea);
- The forum typically used to negotiate multilateral non-proliferation and disarmament treaties (the Conference on Disarmament), operates by consensus and has been unable to undertake any substantive work since it negotiated the Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty in 1996.
A number of recent initiatives have open the door to the commencement of negotiations (or at least pre-negotiations) on a NWC or package of agreements to prohibit and eliminate nuclear weapons. These include:
- Circulation by UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon of a Model NWC as a guide to negotiations to achieve a nuclear weapon free world;
- Establishment of a UN Open Ended Working Group in which UN member countries have developed and discussed proposals to take forward nuclear disarmament negotiations;
- Adoption of a UN General Assembly resolution affirming the call for negotiations on a NWC, and calling for a High Level Conference no later than 2018 to review progress;
- Over 6000 mayors worldwide joining the Mayors for Peace 2020 Vision call for the achievement of a NWC by the year 2020;
- Resolution adopted by the 164 Member parliaments of the Inter Parliamentary Union calling on governments to eliminate the role of nuclear weapons in security doctrines, and urging the commencement of negotiations to achieve a NWC or package of agreements. This includes the parliaments of most nuclear armed countries and countries under extended nuclear deterrence relationships.
Take action: Call on your governments to:
- Support the UN resolutions calling on negotiations for a NWC;
- Undertake further work on a nuclear weapons convention or package of agreements in the UN Open Ended Working Group;
- Use the forthcoming UN High Level Conference to build global political will in support of the achievement of a NWC.