OEWG 2016

Support the United Nations working group
on nuclear disarmament


#LetsTalkNukes is a social media platform to encourage public dialogue about nuclear weapons and nuclear disarmament.

Use the hashtag #LetsTalkNukes to challenge the policies of your country, ask diplomats what they’re going to say on your behalf at the UN, or just express your opinion about nuclear weapons. At the OEWG meetings in Geneva, UNFOLD ZERO will relay some of your questions to the diplomats.

How to participate

Post your question or opinion on Twitter or Instagram with the hashtag #LetsTalkNukes. If you do that, your post will appear further down on this page.

Include a hashtag of your country if your comment is addressed to them, and you can also tweet it directly to your officials (download list of diplomatic Twitter accounts).

Not social media savvy? Send your comment to info@unfoldzero.org and we will post it for you. Just remember to keep it short, under 140 characters.

Get creative


Want to post more than text? Get creative with free online apps:

  • Print out your message and take a photo with it.
  • Make a meme with AddText, Pixlr or another app. Include a funny photo of yourself, your friends, your cat … make it viral.
  • Record a video with your phone/webcam and post it on YouTube or another video server.
  • Upload a voice message on Chirbit or a similar service.

Don’t forget to post your product on Twitter with #LetsTalkNukes, or send it to info@unfoldzero.org.

Sample posts:

Dear Ms President, will #Narnia call for nuclear disarmament at the #OEWG? #LetsTalkNukes

Dear @UNmissionNarnia, we don’t want security based on annihilation of civilians. Support nuclear disarmament. #Narnia #LetsTalkNukes


April 27, 2016
Webinar: Let’s Talk about the Open Ended Working Group
4:00pm Central Europe Time

Learn more about the diplomatic process and deliberations at the OEWG. Watch the recording of our first webinar with disarmament experts Marc Finaud, Alexandra Arce von Herold and Alyn Ware.

May 8, 2016
OEWG Round 2: Civil-society briefing and strategy meeting
3:30pm – 6:00pm, World Future Council, Maison de la Paix, Chemin Eugène-Rigot 2, Building 5

A meeting to review the OEWG deliberations from the previous week, discuss strategies for the coming week, and prepare for civil society interventions, actions and side-events.

May 12, 2016
Global support and political will for nuclear disarmament

1:15pm – 2:45pm, Council Chamber, Palais des Nations.

Reports of actions around the world to promote the OEWG, and discussion of approaches to build political will for nuclear disarmament.

Contact: info@unfoldzero.org or phone: +41 788 912 156 


OEWG dates, agenda and meetings/events:

Background documents:

Other documents of the OEWG are available on the OEWG official webpage.

About OEWG 2016


The Open Ended Working Group (OEWG), open to all UN member countries and also to civil society, will be convened in Geneva and will run for the equivalent of 15 full working days in 2016.

It’s mandate is to:

  1. ‘substantively address concrete effective legal measures, legal provisions and norms that will need to be concluded to attain and maintain a world without nuclear weapons.’
  2. make recommendations on;
    • ‘transparency measures related to the risks associated with existing nuclear weapons’;
    • ‘measures to reduce and eliminate the risk of accidental, mistaken, unauthorized or intentional nuclear weapon detonations’;
    • other measures to increase understanding of the humanitarian consequences that would result from any nuclear detonation;


Legal measures to attain a nuclear-weapon-free world

The New Agenda Coalition – submitted a working paper to the 2015 NPT Review Conference outlining what the main options would be for legal measures to achieve nuclear disarmament. These include a comprehensive nuclear weapons convention (requiring agreement by the nuclear-armed States), a nuclear-weapons-ban treaty (by non-nuclear-States), a framework agreement or a hybrid approach. There have also been proposals for a building blocks approach, and a global ban on use followed by negotiations on verified elimination of stockpiles.

These approaches were discussed and developed in an earlier OEWG in 2013. It is hoped that the 2016 OEWG could progress further and identify which options or legal measures could be negotiated in the near future, report on this to the 2016 UNGA and pave the way for actual negotiations to commence in 2017.

Participation of nuclear-armed States

A problem is that the nuclear armed States did not support the UN resolution establishing the OEWG and possibly won’t participate. The OEWG should therefore consider other ways to engage with, or impact on, the nuclear armed States.

Participation of States under extended nuclear deterrence doctrines

A considerable number of States under extended nuclear deterrence doctrines (NATO countries, Japan, South Korea and Australia) participated in the 2013 OEWG and are expected to participate in the 2016 OEWG. Success of the OEWG might revolve around the degree to which they can agree to nuclear risk reduction measures, transparency measures and other legal measures to attain a nuclear-weapon-free world. If they block progress on these measures, it’s quite possible that non-nuclear States will start a process outside the UN.