Congratulations are in order for recent achievements and activities of several Co-Presidents of the Parliamentary Network for Nuclear Nonproliferation and Disarmament (PNND) and its Global Coordinator Alyn Ware.
With so many pressing challenges requiring global cooperation such as ensuring the health of the oceans and rainforests, a balanced climate, cyber-security, ending terrorism, and rapid progress in ending poverty, it is worth noting that legislators the world over are demonstrating their commitment to end the world’s greatest threat to global security, nuclear weapons. It is inspiring to note that PNND is now active in more than 80 countries and we are pleased to share some positive news.
President of the Global Security Institute
Member PNND Council
PNND Global Coordinator Alyn Ware and PNND Co-President the Hon. Uta Zapf
Hon. Uta Zapf leads movement in the OSCE Parliamentary Assembly to promote nuclear disarmament
On 3 July, the Parliamentary Assembly for the Organisation of Security and Cooperation in Europe(OSCE Parliamentary Assembly) adopted the Istanbul Declaration which includes a paragraph proposed by PNND Co-President Uta Zapf, supporting the UN Open Ended Working Group on Taking Forward Multilateral Nuclear Disarmament Negotiations (OEWG), an exciting new UN process designed to break the 17-year deadlock on nuclear disarmament negotiations in the Conference on Disarmament (CD) in Geneva.
What was most exciting about the OSCE PA decision is that Uta Zapf, who also served as one of the OSCE Parliamentary Assembly Vice-Presidents, managed to build support from the cross-party delegations of all participating parliaments, including those of France, Russia, the United Kingdom and the United States – countries which are not yet participating in the UN Open Ended Working Group.
“I am glad that the delegates of all countries accepted the proposal” says Ms Zapf. “This can support the deliberations in Geneva and motivate governments who have until now refrained from being part of this Open Ended Group to join it. This exciting new process can give impetus to disarmament negotiations and break the stalled process in the CD.”
The OSCE Parliamentary Assembly was established in 1991 in order to help the OSCE to build an effective cooperative security framework in Europe through the establishment and use of political and legal mechanisms to promote dialogue, resolve conflicts, advance human rights, prevent war and reduce military spending. The end of the Cold War provided an opportunity to extend the Helsinki Process (begun in the 1970s by the Conference on Security and Co-operation in Europe) to enhance cooperative security and reduce the role of military security. With governments slow to pick up on this – still relying heavily on security through military force and high military budgets – the work of the OSCE to advocate for cooperative security is very important and can be influential to move governments is very important.
The development of cooperative security has been identified as an important part of the framework for nuclear disarmament, in particular to replace the reliance of some countries on nuclear deterrence. This was highlighted in the Framework Forum conference organised by PNND and the Middle Powers Initiative in February and hosted by the German Federal Foreign Office, following a request from the Bundestag Subcommittee on Disarmament and Arms Control chaired by Uta Zapf. The Forum, which was attended by 26 key governments and a number of parliamentarians and disarmament experts, examined the possibilities to enhance cooperative security in order to implement NATO’s commitment “Create the conditions for a nuclear weapons free world.”
The OSCE Parliamentary Assembly also adopted a proposal by Uta Zapf to support the Inter Parliamentary Union decision to focus its peace and security work from 2013-2014 on “Towards a Nuclear Weapons Free World: The Contribution of Parliaments.” The proposal calls on parliamentarians from OSCE countries to be actively involved in the IPU program, which will include a report, deliberations at its 129th Assembly in Geneva, Switzerland followed by the adoption of a resolution at its 130th Assembly in Baku, Azerbaijan (see next item).
For more information and photos see OSCE Parliamentary Assembly supports new UN process for nuclear disarmament
PNND Co-President and newly-elected US Senator Ed Markey
Hon. Ed Markey elected to US Senate
On 25 June, Ed Markey, Co-President of Parliamentarians for Nuclear Nonproliferation and Disarmament (PNND), swept the Massachusetts senate vote to win the seat
vacated by John Kerry after he was appointed US Secretary of State.
In his victory speech, the senator-elect said … “And I will fight to preserve our planet for generations to come.” We know he will. Since 1976, he has been a leader in nuclear nonproliferation and disarmament, environmental protection, a free and secure internet, responsible energy and fiscal policies in the US House of Representatives.
Recently he led efforts to adopt the Smarter Approach to Nuclear Expenditures (SANE) Act which calls for a sizeable reduction in nuclear weapons spending in order to devote such resources to health, job creation, environmental protection and social security (See SANE approach to nuclear weapons in US Congress).
His articulate, inspiring voice in the US Senate will be an enormous contribution to advancing a safer saner world.
PNND Co-President Hon. Saber Chowdhury
Hon. Saber Chowdhury and the Inter-Parliamentary Union: New parliamentary action for a Nuclear Weapons Free World
In 2009 the IPU adopted a resolution calling on parliamentarians to support a range of non-proliferation and disarmament steps and measures, including the Comprehensive Nuclear
Test Ban Treaty, a treaty on fissile materials, reductions in nuclear stockpiles, the establishment of additional nuclear weapon free zones – especially in the Middle East – and the proposals in the UN Secretary-General’s Five Point Plan. IPU and PNND have collaborated on follow-up to this resolution including the publication of a Handbook for Parliamentarians Supporting Nuclear Nonproliferation and Disarmament.
The resolution adopted in Quito demonstrates that parliaments and parliamentarians from around the world see that it is time to move from incremental steps to a more comprehensive approach to achieving a nuclear weapons free world – dealing with all necessary issues in order to accomplish this.
In light of this development, IPU and PNND were invited to address a session of the UN Open Ended Working Group, followed by an interactive discussion with participating governments, to build collaboration between governments and parliamentarians on key measures to achieve global nuclear abolition. (See Baroness Sue Miller addresses new UN body on nuclear disarmament below).
PNND Co-President Baroness Sue Miller
Baroness Sue Miller addresses new UN body on nuclear disarmament
On 23 May, PNND Co-Presidents Sue Miller and Saber Chowdhury, along with IPU Deputy Secretary General Martin Chungong and PNND Global Coordinator Alyn Ware addressed a session of the UN Open Ended Working Group on Taking Forward Multilateral Nuclear Disarmament Negotiations (OEWG), followed by an interactive discussion with participating governments, to build collaboration between governments and parliamentarians on key measures to achieve global nuclear abolition
The OEWG is an exciting new UN process designed to break the 17-year deadlock on nuclear disarmament negotiations in the Conference on Disarmament (CD) in Geneva. Chaired by Ambassador Dengo (Costa Rica), the OEWG is breathing new life into the disarmament process by providing a forum where governments can explore solutions to the various issues that have so far prevented progress on multilateral nuclear disarmament (See Reflections on the May sessions of the OEWG). However, any proposal discussed in the OEWG will require political traction in order to be supported (and implemented) by governments. Baroness Miller (UK House of Lords) and Saber Chowdhury (Bangladesh parliament) highlighted the capacity parliamentarians have, working particularly through cross-party and international collaboration, to move government policy and elevate the issues and proposals in the capitals.
Baroness Miller’s insights were particularly valuable to the government delegates in order to develop approaches to engage the nuclear weapon States, including the UK, who have not yet joined the OEWG process.
Back in the UK, Baroness Miller contacted the Foreign Office to encourage the UK to join the OEWG process, and is raising the issue with other parliamentarians. She worked with Uta Zapf to build support for the OEWG through the OSCE Parliamentary Assembly, including to successfully encourage the UK delegation to support the nuclear disarmament amendment (See OSCE Parliamentary Assembly supports new UN process for nuclear disarmament).
Baroness Miller comments that “The support of the delegations from nuclear weapon States provides important encouragement to our governments to engage in the OEWG process in a constructive way to resolve the security concerns and relax the policy positions currently preventing progress.’
PNND Co-President Hon. Mikyung Lee
Mikyung Lee leads cross-party actions for denuclearization in North East Asia
On June 19, a group of 66 top South Korean politicians, civil society leaders, and religious leaders from both liberal and conservative sides came together and issued a six-point declaration, calling for diplomatic efforts by South Korea towards North Korea in order to end the tensions and achieve denuclearization.
The effort, led by PNND Co-President Mikyung Lee and PNND Korea Co-Chair Ui Hwa Cheong, has generated considerable media and political attention in South Korea, and has been submitted to the National Congress for deliberation and adoption.
The declaration calls for:
- Renewing and further developing civil and political exchanges and cooperation between South and North Korea;
- Commencing negotiations to formally end the war and turn the 1953 armistice into a peace agreement;
- Denuclearization of the Korean peninsula – in particular by North Korea;
- Advancing human rights in North Korea through the development of a realistic action plan;
- Resumption of humanitarian aid to North Korea and the Family Reunion Plan regardless of progress on human rights and denuclearization;
- Resumption and further development of economic exchanges and cooperation between South and North Korea regardless of the political tensions.
The declaration breaks new ground in the often politicized South Korean environment by being led by parliamentarians from opposing parties and incorporating positions from both. It thus provides a possibility for genuine progress in the very difficult political and security environment of North East Asia,
PNND Korea (under the leadership of Mikyung Lee) and PNND Japan have been promoting a North East Asian Nuclear Weapon Free Zone as part of this process. To date, over 100 parliamentarians from Korea and Japan have endorsed the proposal (See NE Asia NWFZ – moving toward sustainable regional security).
PNND is a program of the Global Security Institute
For More Information Please Contact:
Parliamentarians for Nuclear Nonproliferation and Disarmament
866 UN Plaza Suite 4050
New York, NY 10017