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1. UN Secretary-General calls on parliaments to act

2. NATO to discuss nuclear doctrine

3. NATO parliamentarians to Obama – No more nukes in Europe!

4. European Parliament and Obama’s nuclear-free vision

5. START and US Nuclear Posture Review

6. PNND and NE Asia NWFZ

7. Nuclear Weapons Convention gains momentum
a. will the NPT agree to a NWC?
b. Parliamentary declaration
c. French Senate motion
d. Unanimous support from Costa Rica parliament
e. Austrian parliament resolution
f. Scottish parliament resolution
g. Ban Ki-moon - NPT 40th anniversary
h. Order of Canada recipients support NWC

8. International events
a. IPU Assembly – Bangkok
b. NWFZ Conferences – New York
c. NPT Review Conference – New York
d. NATO Parliamentary Assembly – Riga

9. National parliament events
a. Security without nuclear weapons- Italy
b. Arctic NWFZ conference - Denmark
c. Dutch views on NPT - Netherlands

PNND Update 27
March 2010

1. UN Secretary-General calls on parliaments to act

On 24 February 2010, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon sent a letter to all parliaments noting the importance of the upcoming Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty Review Conference, highlighting his five-point plan for nuclear disarmament, commending the Inter-Parliamentary Union and Parliamentarians for Nuclear Non-proliferation and Disarmament for their efforts in support, and reminding parliamentarians of their key role in helping achieve the objective of nuclear disarmament. (Ban Ki-moon’s letter is available in English, French, German, Japanese, Korean, Portuguese, Russian, Spanish, and Arabic).

Secretary-General Ban with the PNND Assembly
October, 2009

The UN Secretary-General’s five-point plan was specifically endorsed in a resolution adopted by Inter-Parliamentary Union at its 120th Assembly in April 2009, and is finding increasing support from governments, 70 of which attended a special meeting in New York with Mr Ban Ki-moon to discuss the plan and its implementation (See PNND Update 26 - UN Secretary-General's five-point plan). 

Suggested parliamentary action: Ask your government whether they have joined the group supporting the UN Secretary-General’s five-point plan for nuclear disarmament, and what other efforts they are taking to help implement the plan.

2. NATO to discuss nuclear doctrine

NATO Secretary-General
Anders Fogh Rasmussen

NATO member nations plan to discuss the alliance's stance on nuclear weapons at a meeting of Foreign Ministers in Estonia on 22 April.  NATO Secretary-General Anders Fogh Rasmussen reported that the issue would be discussed after top diplomats from Belgium, Germany, Luxembourg, the Netherlands and Norway sent a letter to him in late February. The nations are believed to have called for the removal of US nuclear weapons from Europe.

There is no certainty that the other NATO Foreign Ministers will all agree. Rasmussen reported that: “The alliance's need for a nuclear "deterrent" must be taken into consideration along with demands for withdrawal of US nuclear weapons,’ and that “nuclear weapons on the continent must be addressed through the alliance's "multilateral framework and that no unilateral step be taken" (See NATO to Discuss Nuclear Position, Global Security Newswire, Thursday, March 4).

3. NATO parliamentarians to Obama – No more nukes in Europe!


On 1 March legislators from Belgium, Germany, Italy and the Netherlands released a parliamentary sign-on letter to US President Obama expressing support for his vision of a nuclear weapons-free world, and supporting proposals for the withdrawal of the remaining US nuclear weapons deployed in Europe. The letter also calls on the US and Russia to work on the elimination of tactical nuclear weapons by both countries. The parliamentary letter remains open for signature until 19 April.

Suggested parliamentary action: Legislators in the nuclear-sharing countries ( Belgium, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands and Turkey) are encouraged to sign-on to the parliamentary letter.

4. European Parliament and Obama’s nuclear-free vision

Frieda Brepoels, MEP

On 10 March, Frieda Brepoels, Chair of PNND European Parliament Section, sent a letter to President Obama, co-signed by 66 Members of the European Parliament. The letter, like the letter from NATO parliamentarians, expresses support for Obama’s vision for a nuclear weapons-free world, and supports proposals for the withdrawal of the remaining US nuclear weapons deployed in Europe. In launching the letter, Brepoels supported the UN Secretary-General’s five point plan and called on the European Parliament and the EU to promote the plan at the NPT Review Conference, including support for negotiations on a Nuclear Weapons Convention.

Also on 10 March, the European Parliament adopted a resolution calling on states parties to use the 2010 NPT Review Conference to 'pursue the goal of complete global nuclear disarmament' by in particular 'proposing an ambitious timetable for a nuclear-free world.' The resolution also called, inter alia, for states to renounce the first-strike nuclear option, withdraw all tactical nuclear weapons in Europe and establish additional nuclear weapons-free zones.

Suggested parliamentary action: Members of the European Parliament who have not already endorsed the letter are encouraged to do so.  

5. Parliamentarians active on START and the US Nuclear Posture Review

Legislators from key allies of the United States have actively supported US President Obama’s negotiations with Russia on a follow-on agreement to reduce their nuclear stockpiles (START), and on the US Nuclear Posture Review, both of which have posed difficulties for the President.

Presidents Obama and Medvedev

START negotiations have been difficult due to verification issues and Russia’s concerns over US theatre missile defences. President Obama also faces a hurdle in ratifying the follow-on treaty once it is negotiated. The Republican Senate Caucus has announced that they will not ratify any stockpile reduction treaty unless the President commits to modernizing the nuclear arsenal.

On the Nuclear Posture Review, there appears to be a continuing battle within the US administration between those (mostly from the Defence Department) wanting to maintain a wide range of roles for nuclear weapons, and others (mostly from the State Department) pushing for a reduction in the role of nuclear weapons possibly to embrace a ‘sole purpose’ policy. The release date for the new policy has thus been set back a number of times.

Legislators from key allies of the United States – including France, Italy, Norway, Japan, New Zealand and Germany – have sent letters to President Obama and President Medvedev supporting the START follow-on negotiations, and to President Obama supporting the proposal in the Nuclear Posture Review to limit the role of nuclear weapons to a ‘sole purpose’ until they can be prohibited entirely under a nuclear weapons-free regime. The Japanese letter was signed by 204 parliamentarians including key members of the governing and opposition parties.


6. PNND and a North East Asia Nuclear Weapon-Free Zone

On 28 February Japanese and Korean parliamentarians met in Tokyo to discuss the idea of a North-East Asian Nuclear Weapons-Free Zone. The meeting, jointly organized by PNND Japan and PNND Korea, was inspired by the 3 + 3 framework for such a zone proposed by the Peace Depot, and the Draft Treaty on a NE Asian NWFZ developed by the Democratic Party of Japan Nuclear Disarmament Group chaired by Katsuya Okada – now the Japanese Foreign Minister. The parliamentarians attending the meeting adopted a joint declaration supporting the proposal for a North-East Asia NWFZ, calling for the governments of the Republic of Korea and Japan to advance the proposal, including at the 2010 NPT Review Conference, welcoming the efforts of US President Obama and UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon towards achieving a nuclear weapons-free world, and calling on the governments of ROK and Japan to acknowledge and compensate survivors of the use of nuclear weapons.

The joint parliamentary meeting is the first in a series of regional parliamentary dialogues on the proposal being organized by PNND. PNND has also raised the proposal in a private meeting with UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, and in informal meetings with government officials of Japan, Korea and the United States.

7. Nuclear Weapons Convention gains momentum

  • a) Will the NPT agree to a NWC?

The UN Secretary-General’s proposal for negotiations on a Nuclear Weapons Convention is gaining momentum in the run-up to the 2010 Non-Proliferation Treaty Review Conference. The proposal has been a principal topic of discussion in meetings involving key government representatives and disarmament experts held in Atlanta (hosted by former US President Jimmy Carter), Manila (hosted by Ambassador Libran N. Cabactulan, President of the 2010 NPT Review Conference) and Ottawa.

Ambassador Libran N. Cabactulan,
NPT Review Conference President

While few expect that it would be possible to get unanimous agreement at the 2010 NPT Review Conference to start actual negotiations on a Nuclear Weapons Convention, there is considerable support and some optimism for agreement on a Preparatory Process for a Nuclear Weapons Convention, which would pave the way for actual negotiations. The proposal includes ideas from previous NPT working papers, the Weapons of Mass Destruction Commission Report and the Report of the International Commission on Nuclear Nonproliferation and Disarmament (See also Proposed Action Plan for the 2010 NPT Review Conference by the Acronym Institute for Disarmament Diplomacy).

On 18 February, Ambassador Hilde Skorpen, Norwegian Deputy Ambassador to the Conference on Disarmament, called on states to consider the possibility of an Oslo-style process for nuclear disarmament. She noted that “We cannot leave it to the nuclear states alone to decide when it is time for them to do away with these weapons. We believe it could be possible to develop norms against the use of nuclear weapons, and even to outlaw them, without a consensus decision, and that such norms will eventually be applied globally."

(See also the ICAN Nuclear Weapons Convention briefing paper)

  • b) Parliamentary declaration

In July 2008, to commemorate the 40th anniversary of the signing of the NPT, the European Section of PNND released a Parliamentary Declaration Supporting a Nuclear Weapons Convention which was endorsed by Members of the European Parliament from across the political spectrum, including Michel Rocard (former Prime Minister of France) and Jean Luc Deheane (former Prime Minister of Belgium).  

The declaration has now been circulated to other parliaments and endorsed by parliamentarians from Australia, Austria, Bangladesh, Belgium, Bulgaria, Canada, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Costa Rica, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Latvia, Luxembourg, Mexico, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, the Philippines, Portugal, the Republic of Korea, Romania, Russia, Scotland, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Tanzania, the United Kingdom and the United States.

The declaration has been presented to the UN Secretary-General, Chair of the 2009 NPT Prep Com and President of the Conference on Disarmament. It will also be presented to the Chair of the 2010 NPT Review Conference in May.

Suggested parliamentary action: Parliamentarians are invited to endorse the declaration if they have not already done so.

  • c) French Senate resolution

Senator Demessine, Nathalie Gauchet and Jean-Marie Collin


On 24 December PNND Council Member Senator Michelle Demessine submitted a resolution to the French Senate, co-sponsored by 23 other Senators, which welcomes the recent initiatives calling for a nuclear weapons-free world, recalls the NPT dual commitments to non-proliferation and disarmament, and calls on the French government to utilise the opportunity of the 2010 NPT Review Conference to support practical steps leading to the ultimate conclusion of a Nuclear Weapons Convention.

Following the resolution, Senator Demessine organized a conference titled “Towards a Multilateral and Controlled Nuclear Disarmament: Current status and stakes,” held in the French Senate on February 16. This conference drew participants from the political, military and diplomatic institutions of the French government. The many topics discussed included France's policy of nuclear disarmament, its slow pace of progress and the modernization of its nuclear forces. Jean-Marie Collin, Director France PNND, participated in this conference.

Edine von Herold Duarte with Costa Rica President Oscar Arias
  • d) Unanimous support from Costa Rica parliament

On 23 February the Costa Rican Legislative Assembly unanimously endorsed the Parliamentary Declaration Supporting a Nuclear Weapons Convention. The motion to support the declaration was submitted by PNND Council Member Edine von Herold. Outgoing Costa Rican President Oscar Arias noted that the unanimous resolution would help Costa Rica in its efforts to promote the idea of a Nuclear Weapons Convention and the Model NWC at the United Nations. President-elect Laura Chinchilla met with Edine von Herold and PNND Global Coordinator Alyn Ware prior to the Costa Rican election to discuss strategy for promoting the NWC (See Laura Chinchilla Wins Presidency of Costa Rica).

  • e) Austrian Parliament resolution

On 9 March the Austrian parliament's Foreign Affairs Committee unanimously adopted a draft resolution calling on the Federal Government and the Federal Minister for European and International Matters to advance the UN Secretary-General’s five-point plan, including in particular the proposal for a Nuclear Weapons Convention during the 2010 NPT Review Conference. The resolution was submitted by Christine Muttonen (SPÖ), Wolfgang Schüssel (Ö VP), Alexander Van der Bellen (GRÜNE) , Gerard Hübner (FP Ö) and Herbert Scheibner (BZ Ö) on behalf of their parties. The resolution will be considered by the full parliament on 24-25 March.

  • f) Scottish Parliament motion

On 7 January 2010, PNND member Marlyn Glen lodged a motion in the Scottish Parliament encouraging parliamentarians to endorse the Parliamentary Declaration Supporting a Nuclear Weapons Convention. The motion was co-sponsored by Bill Butler, Elaine Smith, Jamie Hepburn, Bill Kidd, Patrick Harvie, Hugh O'Donnell, Robin Harper, Malcolm Chisholm, Trish Godman, Christina McKelvie, Dave Thompson, Cathy Peattie and Cathy Jamieson.

PNND Coordinator Alyn Ware with Marilyn Glenn, MSP

g) On 40th anniversary of the NPT, Ban Ki-moon calls for a Nuclear Weapons Convention

On 5 March 2010,  UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon marked the 40th anniversary of the entry-into-force of the Non-Proliferation Treaty by calling on “parties to the NPT to pursue negotiations on nuclear disarmament, either through a new convention or through a series of mutually reinforcing instruments backed by a credible system of verification.” Mr. Ban emphasized the need for a successful outcome at this year’s NPT Review Conference “to achieve the long-held and widely shared goal of a world free of nuclear weapons…My hope is based, not on wishful thinking, but on real opportunities for concrete action.” (See UN Daily News, 5 March 2010).

  • h) Nearly 500 Order of Canada recipients endorse NWC

Nearly 500 recipients of the Order of Canada, the country’s highest civilian honour, have endorsed a letter to US President Obama congratulating him on winning the Nobel Peace Prize, and calling on him to implement the vision for a nuclear weapons-free world by leading negotiations to achieve a Nuclear Weapons Convention. The letter also calls on all United Nations members to join negotiations for a Nuclear Weapons Convention as recommended by UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon in his five point plan for nuclear disarmament (see Order of Canada recipients call for NWC).

8. International events

    • a) IPU Assembly – Bangkok

The Inter-Parliamentary Union, which brings together 150 national parliaments and eight regional parliaments, will hold its 122nd Assembly in Bangkok, 27 March – 1 April 2010. This will include follow-up discussion of the IPU nuclear disarmament resolution and a PNND lunch hosted by PNND Co-President Senator Rosario Green.  PNND members planning on attending are requested to contact Alyn Ware in order to get an invitation to the PNND lunch.

    • b) NWFZ Conferences – New York

PNND, the government of Chile and Mayors for Peace are co-hosting a Civil Society Forum on Nuclear Weapon Free Zones (NWFZs) at the United Nations in New York on 29 April 2010. The Forum precedes the Second Conference of States Parties to NWFZs which will be held at the United Nations on 30 April 2010. The Forum will explore the role NWFZs play in building regional security, preventing nuclear proliferation, reducing the role of nuclear weapons in security doctrines and building momentum for a nuclear weapons-free world.

    • c) NPT Review Conference – New York

The 2010 NPT Review Conference will be held at the United Nations in New York from  3-28 May 2010. PNND will be organizing key events on 5 May (with the Inter Parliamentary Union) and 7 May (with Global Security Institute) as well as a number of other side events. See Calendar of NPT Side Events and Official NPT Review Conference site.

PNND members are requested to let us know if they will be attending the NPT Review Conference.

    • d) NATO Parliamentary Assembly – Riga

The NATO Parliamentary Assembly Spring Session will be held in Riga, Latvia from 28 May to 1 June 2010. PNND is not planning any specific event at the Assembly. However, we are actively engaged in the NATO PA discussions on NATO’s Strategic Concept Review.

9. National parliament events

    • a) Security without nuclear weapons – Italian Parliament
Federica Mogherini, MP

PNND and the Secretariat for Nobel Peace Summits are co-hosting Security Without Nuclear Weapons, an event in the Italian Parliament on 25 March featuring Hans Blix, Chair of the Weapons of Mass Destruction Commission. For more information contact PNND Council member Federica Mogherini mogherini_f@camera.it, phone 06.67605348.

    • b) Arctic NWFZ conference – Danish Parliament

A conference on the Arctic NWFZ proposal will be held in the Christianborg (Danish Parliament) on 23 March 2010 on the topic of an Arctic Nuclear-Weapon-Free Zone. The conference arises from an increased interest in the issue following a similar conference Denmark in August 2009 co-hosted by PNND, the Danish Pugwash Group and the Danish Institute for International Studies (DIIS). The 2009 conference included an information trip to Thule Air Force Base in northern Greenland, the site of a B52 nuclear bomber crash in 1968 which caused the nuclear payload to rupture and resulted in widespread radioactive contamination. For more information contact John Avery and Jens-Christian Poulsen.

    • c) Dutch views on NPT – Netherlands Senate

On 17 March 2010, a meeting of experts and parliamentarians will be held in the Netherlands Senate on Dutch input at the 2010 NPT Review Conference. The meeting, organized by IKV Pax Christi, will include guest presenters Dr. Ruud Lubbers (former Dutch Prime Minister),  Mr. Alyn Ware (Global Coordinator for Parliamentarians for Nuclear Non-proliferation and Disarmament, and winner of the 2009 Right Livelihood Award ‘Alternative Nobel Peace Prize’), Prof. Dr. Ko Colijn (Erasmus University Rotterdam/Clingendael), and Ms. Susi Snyder (Program Coordinator IKV Pax Christi Nuclear Disarmament on the road to Global Zero). For more information contact Wilbert van der Zeijden, Tel + 31 (0)30 2320595, Mob + 31 (0)6 53221643.