Nuclear Dangers to Cooperative Security:
Parliamentarians and the Legal Imperative for Nuclear Disarmament
Liu Institute for Global Issues, University of British Colombia
Nov 7-9, 2003
Assassination attempt does not deter international parliamentarians'
dialogue on strategies to address nuclear dangers.
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Text of presentations
On November 7-9, 2003,
parliamentarians from around the world gathered in Vancouver for the
first international conference of the Parliamentary Network for Nuclear
Disarmament. The goal of this event was to consider ways that
parliamentarians can work collaboratively in order to address dangers
arising from nuclear proliferation, as well as the
increasingly-threatening policies and practices of the nuclear-weapon
The conference opened with the
unnerving news that one of its would-be participants, Israeli Member of
Parliament Issam Makhoul, had been the target of an assassination
attempt only two days earlier. It was suspected that the
assassination attempt arose in reaction to Mr Makhoul's criticism of
government policies on security issues, including Israel's secrecy over
their nuclear weapons program. Fortunately, Mr. Makhoul, along with his
family, survived when the bomb planted under their car was detonated.
The assassination attempt did
not deter a very positive dialogue amongst parliamentarians from around
the globe, including from some of the other proliferation 'hot-spots'
such as South Asia and Korea, from the nuclear-weapon States and their
allies, and from key countries working for nuclear non-proliferation
and disarmament such as the members of the New Agenda Coalition.
A key focus of the event was on
the comprehensive nuclear non-proliferation and disarmament program
proposed at the United Nations General Assembly and the
Non-Proliferation Treaty meetings by the New Agenda Coalition, an
international coalition of governments including Brazil, Egypt,
Ireland, Mexico, Aotearoa-New Zealand, South Africa and Sweden.
Participants at the conference
also considered proposals to:
• create a
nuclear weapon free zone in North East Asia
existing nuclear weapon free zones into a Southern Hemisphere and
Adjacent Areas Nuclear Weapon Free Zone
preparatory work on an international treaty to eliminate nuclear weapons
with a new coalition of Mayors for Peace
the threat or use of nuclear weapons through domestic legislation
the World Court's decision on the illegality of nuclear weapons through
direct action at nuclear weapons facilities
The International Parliamentary
Conference, entitled "From Nuclear Dangers to Cooperative Security" was
made possible in part through the generous support of its co-covenor,
the Simons Foundation.