On January 24, 1946, the United Nations General Assembly adopted by consensus its very first resolution Resolution 1 (I), which established a commission of the UN Security Council to ensure ‘the elimination from national armaments of atomic weapons and all other major weapons adaptable to mass destruction.’
UNFOLD ZERO highlights the 71st anniversary of UNGA Res 1 (1) this week as a time to take for nuclear disarmament, and to highlight the role of the United Nations. Please inform us of actions you take to highlight the UN resolution and promote nuclear abolition.
This week also saw the opening of the 2017 session of the Conference on Disarmament (CD), the body established by the United Nations to negotiate multilateral disarmament agreements. In the past the CD successfully negotiated a number of agreements including the Chemical Weapons Convention and the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty. More recently the CD has been requested by the UN General Assembly to negotiate a fissile materials treaty, a treaty banning any use of nuclear weapons, and a comprehensive nuclear weapons convention.
On January 23, UNFOLD ZERO, Basel Peace Office, Parliamentarians for Nuclear Non-proliferation and Disarmament and the World Future Council held a 3D art event in the Place de Nations in front of the UN in Geneva.
The event highlighted the risks of nuclear weapons, supported nuclear disarmament negotiations at the Conference on Disarmament and promoted other UN initiatives for nuclear disarmament such as negotiations on a nuclear weapons ban treaty and the UN High Level Conference on Nuclear Disarmament.
UN negotiations and parliamentary action
On January 24, UNFOLD ZERO and PNND host a consultation event on nuclear disarmament negotiations/deliberations occurring in 2017-2018. These include ban treaty negotiations (New York), the Non-Proliferation Treaty Prep Com (Vienna) and the UN High Level Conference on Nuclear Disarmament (New York). The consultation also considers a draft Parliamentary Action Plan for a Nuclear-Weapon-Free World to build political support for the nuclear disarmament negotiations.
Similar consultations are being held in Vienna, New York, Washington, London and other locations.
UN Security Council
UNGA Res 1 (1) placed a primary responsibility on the Security Council in order to facilitate the elimination from national armaments of atomic weapons and all other major weapons adaptable to mass destruction. The Security Council has, so far, failed to implement this obligation. UNFOLD ZERO calls on the members of the UN Security Council to take action to support the goal of a nuclear-weapon-free world. Proposals include a special session on nuclear disarmament hosted by one of the non-permanent members of the Security Council, or an interim measure on non-use of nuclear weapons taken by a Security Council resolution. See Will the United Nations ban nuclear targeting of populated areas?
At the very least, the UN Security Council should give support to the High Level Conference on Nuclear Disarmament which the United Nations General Assembly has decided to hold no later than 2018.
Similar high level conferences in 2015 and 2016 on sustainable development, climate change and refugees have been very successful, producing agreements on the 17 Sustainable Development Goals, Paris Accord on Climate Change, and New York Declaration on Refugees and Migrants. A similar level of success for the 2018 UN High Level Conference on Nuclear Disarmament would likely require supportive action by the Security Council as well as by civil society.