Dear friends --
In a minute or two the Study Group will be live-streaming to the Study Group's Facebook page a press conference at the United Nations, presented by the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons (ICAN) regarding an upcoming UN resolution to negotiate, in 2017, a treaty banning nuclear weapons.
Co-sponsors of this resolution so far (33 states) are:
- Costa Rica
- Democratic Republic of Congo
- El Salvador
- New Zealand
- South Africa
- Sri Lanka
Last year, more than 127 states pledged to support these negotiations. We expect a resolution mandating negotiation of a ban treaty to be adopted late this month or early next month, and then to be adopted by the General Assembly as a whole, and for negotiations on a treaty prohibiting nuclear weapons to commence next year as noted below.
We are pleased to be a small part of this effort. Background can be found on our web site and at ICAN's.
A palpable sense of drama is building here. The United States has been leading efforts to prevent any disarmament negotiations over which the U.S., and other states friendly to the U.S., do not hold veto power.
Media Briefing, UN Headquarters, New York
Upcoming UN resolution to negotiate a treaty banning nuclear weapons in 2017
When: Friday, 14 October 2016, 11:00AM
Where: UN Press Correspondents Association, UN Headquarters, Room S-308
Contact: Tim Wright – firstname.lastname@example.org +1 (646) 714-8131
The International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons (ICAN) will brief the media on the likely adoption by the UN General Assembly of a resolution (draft available here) to begin negotiations in 2017 on a treaty prohibiting nuclear weapons.
On Thursday, 13 October, a cross-regional group of nations formally submitted a draft resolution to the First Committee of the UN General Assembly to establish a mandate for negotiations in 2017 on a “legally binding instrument to prohibit nuclear weapons, leading towards their total elimination”.
The resolution acts on a recommendation made in August by a UN open-ended working group on nuclear disarmament in Geneva. More than 100 nations participated in the working group, with an overwhelming majority expressing their support for the prohibition of nuclear weapons as a first step towards elimination.
Co-sponsors of the resolution include Austria, Brazil, Ireland, Mexico, Nigeria and South Africa. We expect that it will be adopted with strong support, on a date between 26 October and 2 November.
The resolution proposes two negotiating conferences to be held over 20 days in March, June and July 2017, at the UN Headquarters in New York. All UN member states, along with international organizations and members of civil society, will be invited to participate. The negotiations could continue into 2018.
A treaty prohibiting nuclear weapons would close the “legal gap” in the existing regime governing nuclear weapons. It is an anomaly that these are the only weapons of mass destruction not yet prohibited under international law in a comprehensive and universal manner.
Chemical weapons, biological weapons, anti-personnel landmines and cluster munitions are all expressly prohibited. Most nations agree the prohibition of nuclear weapons is the only appropriate course of action in light of the catastrophic humanitarian consequences of their use.
The International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons (ICAN) is a global coalition of more than 400 non-governmental organizations in 100 nations, working to establish a treaty prohibiting nuclear weapons. It was launched in 2007 and has its headquarters in Geneva.
Friday’s briefing is an opportunity for media to learn more about the draft UN resolution, the likely effect of the proposed treaty, how the negotiations might play out in 2017, and who is in favour of and against a ban.