Non-Aligned Movement and OPANAL support September 26

The Non-Aligned Movement  (NAM) commemorated the first International Day for the Total Elimination of Nuclear Weapons on September 26 by adopting a declaration supporting the day and calling for action to achieve a word free of nuclear weapons.

NAM, which comprises 120 member countries and 17 observer countries, proposed the resolution to establish the International Day, which was adopted by the UN General Assembly in December 2013. The UNGA also decided in the resolution to hold a High Level Conference on Nuclear Disarmament no later than 2018.

The idea for such a high-level conference is to push the nuclear disarmament agenda up the ‘political ladder’, so that world leaders give similar attention to nuclear disarmament as they have given to stopping the spread of nuclear weapons. The UN Secretary-General had previously called for such high-level attention to nuclear disarmament in his Five-Point Proposal for Nuclear Disarmament, as had Parliamentarians for Nuclear Non-Proliferation and Disarmament in a statement released at their 2013 assembly in Washington D.C. (See Parliamentarians call on Nuclear Security Summit process for nuclear abolition).

The Non-Aligned Movement also called for the urgent commencement of negotiations for a comprehensive convention on nuclear weapons to prohibit their possession, development, production, acquisition, testing, stockpiling, transfer, use or threat of use, and to provide for their destruction.

September 26 was also commemorated by the Organisation for the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons in Latin America and the Caribbean (OPANAL), which released a statement on nuclear disarmament at the United Nations in Geneva (See Sep 26 UN Commemoration event).

OPANAL was established by the Treaty of Tlatelolco which now includes all of the countries in Latin America and the Caribbean as members.

The OPANAL Sep 26 statement called ‘on States, particularly the Nuclear Weapon States, to eliminate the role of nuclear weapons from their doctrines, security policies and military strategies, and to fully comply with their legal obligations and unequivocal undertakings to accomplish the total elimination of nuclear weapons without further delay.’ It also affirmed the decision by the United Nations General Assembly ‘to convene, no later than 2018, a United Nations high-level international conference on nuclear disarmament.’ And it recalled that the leaders of Latin American and Caribbean countries had committed themselves at the 2014 CELAC Summit to making nuclear abolition a top priority (see Havana Declaration of the CELAC Summit).Nike