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Posted by on Jul 31, 2013 in Uncategorized

Congratulations to Parliamentary Nuclear Network’s Legislative Leaders

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.

 

Sincerely,  

 

Jonathan Granoff

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

 

Since 1998, the Hon. Uta Zapf  has been the chairperson of the subcommittee for ” DisarmamentArms Control, and Nonproliferation” of the Foreign Affairs Committee of the German Bundestag. She recently served as a Vice President of the Parliamentary Assembly for the Organisation of Security and Cooperation in Europe(OSCE Parliamentary Assembly).

 

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

 

On March 26, nearly 1000 parliamentarians from approximately 150 parliaments, meeting at the 128th Assembly of the Inter Parliamentary Union (IPU) in Quito, Ecuador agreed to the recommendation of the IPU Standing Committee on Peace and International Security for the  topic “Towards a Nuclear-Weapons-Free World: The Contribution of Parliaments” to be a focus of the IPU leading up to its 130th IPU Assembly in 2014. This follows considerable work by the IPU over the past four years on nuclear non-proliferation and disarmament led by the IPU Standing Committee on Peace and International Security which is chaired by PNND Co-President Hon. Saber Chowdhury.

 

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,

 

On June 19, to coincide with the release of the declaration, Mikyung Lee and Ui Hwa Cheong co-chaired a cross-party conference in the National Assembly on A Nuclear Free World and Issues on the Korean Peninsula, with keynote speakers J.J. Suh (Associate Professor at SAIS, Johns Hopkins University) Peter M. Beck (Korea Representative for the Asia Foundation) and Alyn Ware (PNND Global Coordinator). The conference considered the relationship between denuclearization in North East Asia and progress toward a nuclear weapons free world – in particular the possibilities for nuclear disarmament during the second term of US President Obama. (See also Presentations to the Korean Parliamentary Conference and   Photos of the Korean parliamentary conference

 

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).  

 

Mikyung Lee has recently entered into correspondence with US Secretary of State John Kerry on the issue and made a presentation for the 2013 NPT Review Conference in Geneva (seevideo of Mikyung Lee presentation to the 2013 NPT).

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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

(646) 289-5170

alyn@pnnd.org

One Belmont Avenue Suite 400 | Bala Cynwyd, PA 19004 US