ICAN reports that two decades of paralysis in multilateral nuclear disarmament efforts have ended as representatives from more than 130 governments began work. More than 800 elected representatives from 42 nations helped ICAN to build support for this UN process by signing their parliamentary appeal.
A team of ICAN campaigners participated in the March session at the UN headquarters in New York, presenting ideas on how to establish the most robust and effective treaty possible. Hundreds of campaigners around the world organized local actions to draw attention to this initiative and build public and political support for the treaty.
“Your task this week, and again over three weeks in June and July, is to establish a clear, new, international standard – to declare, in no uncertain terms, that nuclear weapons are illegitimate, immoral and illegal.” – Setsuko Thurlow
ICAN and its partner organizations delivered several statements during the plenary meetings, outlining their views on what elements the treaty should include. They presented ideas for the preamble, for the core set of prohibitions, for positive obligations such as stockpile destruction, environmental remediation and victim assistance, and for institutional arrangements to ensure the treaty’s full implementation.
Setsuko Thurlow, a survivor of the atomic bombing of Hiroshima, delivered ICAN’s opening statement – an impassioned plea to delegates to bear in mind the victims of these horrific weapons and to work for a comprehensive, unambiguous ban.
Sue Coleman-Haseldine (left), an Aboriginal nuclear test survivor from Australia, echoed her call, urging governments to include in the treaty a provision on victim assistance. Read her testimony here: https://www.pressenza.com/2017/03/harrowing-testimony-nuclear-bomb-test-survivor-reinforces-urgency-ban-campaigners/
“Pacific islanders continue to experience epidemics of cancers, chronic diseases and congenital abnormalities as a result of the radioactive fallout that blanketed their homes and the vast Pacific Ocean.” – ICAN report
Many nations praised civil society organizations and their dedicated efforts over the past few years to put this issue on the global agenda. Their contributions also included offering expert advice on the elements for the treaty, answering questions and responding to comments by diplomats. Between meetings, campaigners met members of most of the government delegations and also officials from several of the nations boycotting the process.
ICAN published live updates on its blog and wrote reports for the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists. Many of the world’s largest news outlets, including the New York Times, Bloomberg, Reuters, Al Jazeera, CNN and the Guardian used quotes from its campaign in their reports.
The chair of the conference, Costa Rican ambassador Elayne Whyte, expressed confidence that the treaty can be concluded by 7 July.
Read the whole report here: http://www.icanw.org/campaign-news/report-on-the-march-negotiations/?mc_cid=63bf258edc&mc_eid=22f11f638b