Reaching HIGH virtual conference for a nuclear-weapon-free world, Oct 11-12, 2017

A global ‘virtual’ conference to build success for the
2018 UN High-Level Conference on Nuclear Disarmament
New York and online (series of webinar sessions)
October 11-12, 2017

Click here  for the program in PDF

Reaching HIGH for a nuclear-weapon-free world is a global ‘virtual’ conference to inform and engage civil society in preparations for a successful 2018 UN High Level Conference on Nuclear Disarmament (2018 UNHLC).

This unique conference enables you to help abolish nuclear weapons and input into UN deliberations without the time, expense and carbon footprint of traveling to the United Nations in New York.

About the 2018 UN High-Level Conference

The UN has held successful High-Level Conferences over the past few years on sustainable development, climate change, oceans and refugees, all of which have adopted significant measures. We hope for similar success for the 2018 UNHLC.

Former UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has said that ‘A world free of nuclear weapons would be a global public good of the highest order.’ For the 2018 High-Level conference on nuclear disarmament, we expect and encourage governments to participate at the highest possible level (Prime Minister or President) and to reach high for significant outcomes.

About Reaching HIGH for a nuclear-weapon-free world

Reaching HIGH for a nuclear-weapon-free world, the Oct 11-12 virtual conference, takes place as governments are meeting at the United Nations General Assembly for the First Committee (Disarmament and International Security).

It builds on Reaching HIGH actions around the world on September 26, the International Day for the Total Elimination of Nuclear Weapons, and other actions and initiatives for nuclear abolition.

One of the draft resolutions which will be discussed at the UN, and then adopted at the end of the session, will set the dates and mandate for the 2018 UN High Level Conference.

The virtual conference on Oct 11-12 will involve a series of six webinar sessions over 1½ days, with conference participants joining from their locations around the world.

It will provide opportunities for civil society actors anywhere in the world to join some or all of the sessions, learn about recent developments, discuss ideas and proposals for the 2018 UNHLC, and plan advocacy campaigns to move governments to make the 2018 UNHLC a priority.

Conference format:

Each webinar session will have 2-3 experts opening the topic, followed by a facilitated discussion with input from participants all around the world. The series of webinars will be hosted from a hub in New York – the office of the Global Security Institute.

Some of the experts will speak from the hub and others from their home locations. The conference is structured so that participants from different time zones are able to participate in sessions held during waking hours in their region.

Conference program:

October 11

  1. 10:30 – 13:00. Introduction and State of the Play. Introductions to the organisations and people running the conference and leading civil society efforts on the 2018 UNHLC. Brief background to the 2018 UNHLC. Dates of UNHLC conference and the preparatory meeting. Nuclear politics and policies, nuclear risk-reduction and disarmament processes/initiatives and their inter-relationship.
  2. 14:30 – 16:00. Value of UN High Level Conferences. Experience from other UNHLCs (climate change, oceans, sustainable development, refugees & migrants).
  1. 16:30 – 18:30. Visions for UNHLC. Agenda for the UNHLC. Proposed topics and outcomes. Rules of procedure (consensus, vote, ‘gift-basket’ approach…)
  1. 19:30 – 21:30. Engaging governments and preparatory work. How to move governments to attend at the highest level. How to move them to adopt concrete measures at the UNHLC. Role of parliaments. Plans for the UNHLC Prep Com. Regional events.
  2. 22:00 – 23:00. Update and key points from the first day. Updates on discussions for participants unable to attend earlier sessions. Input and questions for the second day.

October 12:

  1. 10:00 – 13:00. Engaging key constituencies and building the campaign – parliamentarians, mayors, scientists, academics, business, faith-based communities, youth, environmental movements, regional events, social media, global actions, coordination of the campaign
  2. 13:00 – 13:30. Conclusion, announcements, next steps.

Speakers include:

  • Bill Pace, Secretary-General, World Federalist Movement;
  • Charles Chauvel, United Nations Development Program;
  • Paddy Torsney, Permanent Representative of the Inter-Parliamentary Union to the UN;
  • Marzhan Nurzhan, Convener, Abolition 2000 Youth Network;
  • Scilla Elworthy, Patron, Peace Direct. Member, World Future Council;
  • Kate Alexander, UN Deputy Representative, International Peace Bureau;
  • Kekashan Basu, Youth Ambassador, World Future Council;
  • Marc Finaud, Geneva Centre for Security Policy;
  • Paul Ingram, Executive Director, British-American Security Information Council;
  • Sergio Duarte, President, Pugwash Conferences on Science and World Affairs;
  • Bill Kidd MSP, Co-President of Parliamentarians for Nuclear Non-proliferation and Disarmament;
  • Aaron Tovish, Executive Director, Zona Libre

Background: Food for thought paper on the NPT, Ban Treaty and the 2018 UNHLC

Click here to register.


Alyn Ware. Conference convener  +1 929 216-3653
PNND/GSI. Conference host. +1 646 289-5170
Bethan Edwards: Conference administrator +44 7931 674-122
Marzhan Nurzhan: Conference administrator +420 770 649-750
Nilo Castaldini: Conference administrator +420 773 206-498


The Reaching High virtual conference is organised by UNFOLD ZERO, Parliamentarians for Nuclear Nonproliferation and Disarmament, the Global Security Institute, Basel Peace Office and the Abolition 2000 Working Group on the 2018 UNHLC.
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