The Non-Aligned Movement, representing 120 countries, submitted a draft resolution to the United Nations General Assembly late last week laying out the general mandate and dates for a special United Nations process to advance comprehensive nuclear disarmament – a United Nations High-Level Conference for Nuclear Disarmament.
The conference, which is like a summit, will take place at the United Nations in New York from May 14-16, 2018. It could build support among non-nuclear countries for the new Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons, and also build traction and progress on nuclear-risk reduction and disarmament measures to be undertaken by the nuclear-armed States. (Three of the nuclear armed States are already supporting the draft resolution).
Call on your government to support the resolution
UNFOLD ZERO asks you to contact your government and urge them to support the resolution (if they are not already doing so), and to announce that they will attend the UN High-Level Conference at the highest level.
Click here for a sample letter plus contact details for presidents/prime ministers, foreign ministers and UN ambassadors of UN member countries.
Success of UN High-Level Conferences
The High-Level Conference on Nuclear Disarmament (UNHLC) follows in the footsteps of other UN High Level Conferences on key issues for humanity that have had considerable success in building agreements and commitments.
These include the conference on Sustainable Development (2015) which achieved agreement on 17 Sustainable Development Goals; Climate Change (2015) which achieved the Paris Agreement; Refugees and Migrants (2016) which achieved the New York Declaration and Oceans (2017) which achieved the 14-point Action Plan to Protect our Oceans.
The key to success of these conferences was inclusion of all key governments (represented at head of State or ministerial level) as well as inclusion of the range of civil society sectors.
The 2018 UN High Level Conference on Nuclear Disarmament aims for the same inclusivity. The proposed mandate, outlined in the draft resolution, is to advance ‘effective measures’ for nuclear disarmament. This can include incremental measures on which it’s possible to get agreement and action by nuclear-armed and allied countries. And it includes more comprehensive measures which non-nuclear States can support, such as the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons (‘ban treaty’).
In addition, the draft resolution highlights the important role that civil society – including non-governmental organizations, academia and parliamentarians – will play in the conference.
The vote on the draft resolution will take place in the UN General Assembly on one of the days between Oct 26 and Nov 2, 2017.
100 signatories to the ban treaty by the UNHLC?
One proposal which has merit is to set a goal of 100 countries signing the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons by the end of the 2018 UNHLC. Currently there are 53 countries which have signed. The conference is being held at the United Nations, which is the depository for the treaty. This provides an opportunity for the Heads of State or Foreign Ministers to sign the treaty when they attend the UNHLC.
On Oct 11-12, the Abolition 2000 working group on the 2018 UNHLC, of which Basel Peace Office is a member, organised a global webinar conference based out of our hub in New York (right next to the UN).
The speakers (pictured above) included representatives of parliamentary networks, UN agencies, academia, think tanks, youth and civil society organisations from around the world.
The event is one of many consultation meetings, promotional events, social media actions, briefing and workshops organized by the Abolition 2000 working group and its members around the world in preparation for the 2018 UNHLC.