Press Release – femLINKPACIFIC
Campaigners have welcomed the joint statement New Zealand will deliver in the coming week and FemLINKPACIFIC as a member of the Global Partnership for the Prevention of Armed Conflict and International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons (ICAN) says …PI Governments called to amplify call to ban nuclear weapons as NZ leads the way / ICAN Campaign
Suva, Fiji Islands, 12 October 2013 – Ahead of the UN General Assembly First Committee meeting addressing the humanitarian impact of nuclear weapons Pacific Island Governments are being urged to:
• Express their intention to participate at the Nayarit(Mexico) conference
• Express concern at the catastrophic humanitarian harm caused by nuclear weapons
• Call for a negotiations on a legal instrument prohibiting nuclear weapons
Campaigners have welcomed the joint statement New Zealand will deliver in the coming week and FemLINKPACIFIC as a member of the Global Partnership for the Prevention of Armed Conflict and International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons (ICAN) says that emphasis on the catastrophic humanitarian consequences of nuclear weapons is a reality for the Pacific Island region which continues to bear the impact of the use and testing of nuclear weapons.
“Our work on advancing commitments to peace, human security and conflict prevention, including through the Regional Action Plan on Women, Peace and Security builds on a rich “Her’Story” of Peacewomen in the Pacific, dating back to the early days of the Fiji Young Women’s Christian Association which provided the early nurturing ground to the Nuclear Free Independent Pacific movement and we are keen to see linkages within the broader efforts of conflict prevention and human security and security sector governance so that Governments actively work in close participation with civil society in disarmament and non-proliferation machinery including small arms and light weapons control, the banning of cluster munitions and landmines, and the complete elimination of nuclear weapons”
The humanitarian consequences of nuclear weapons have been reflected in numerous UN resolutions, including the first resolution passed by the UN General Assembly in 1946, and in multilateral instruments, including the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty.
In 2012, the General Assembly adopted a resolution proposed by the Non-Aligned Movement, to hold a high-level meeting on nuclear disarmament during the beginning of the 68th session of the General Assembly. The aim is to “contribute to achieving the goal of nuclear disarmament”, but it will be opportunity for heads of state and government, foreign ministers, and other high-level officials to outline policies and priorities for nuclear disarmament. It is the first time a high-level meeting has been held on nuclear disarmament. The recent high-level meeting follows the important conference on the humanitarian impact of nuclear weapons that took place in Oslo in March 2013, where governments met for the first time to discuss this topic. A key outcome was the announcement by Mexico that it would host another meeting on this topic to continue the discussions.
ICAN’s goal is to have as many states as possible calling for negotiations of a treaty banning nuclear weapons in their national statements in Mexico, and to get commitments from several governments to act on this. In the run-up to that conference, we need to use all opportunities possible to get our governments to support our call:
“The Conference on the Humanitarian Impact of Nuclear Weapons convened by Norway last March was a vivid reminder that no State or international body could address the immediate humanitarian emergency caused by a nuclear weapon detonation or provide adequate assistance to victims and that the catastrophic humanitarian consequences of nuclear weapons are a fundamental and global concern. Additionally we need to see an investment in people centred development and human security and not on the stockpiling of arms and weapons including nuclear weapons.”
(see NZ statement: http://www.icanw.org/wp-content/uploads/2013/10/UNGA-2013-Humanitarian-statement-NW-FINAL.pdf?utm_source=ICAN+Campaigners&utm_campaign=2d85262d59-Campaigners_List_5_14_2013&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_cd5f0de77f-2d85262d59-57003401)
The International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons (ICAN) is a global campaign coalition working to mobilize people in all countries to inspire, persuade and pressure their governments to initiate negotiations for a treaty banning nuclear weapons
ICAN is calling on states to launch negotiations as soon as possible towards an international treaty banning nuclear weapons:
• These negotiations should not be held up by nuclear-armed states that do not wish to participate. The new treaty would be complementary to existing mechanisms on nuclear weapons and would be another step along the way to elimination.
• The high-level meeting is a key opportunity where states can voice their support for this approach.
• In 2012, the General Assembly adopted a resolution proposed by the Non-Aligned Movement, to hold a high-level meeting on nuclear disarmament at the beginning of the 68th session of the General Assembly.
• The aim is to “contribute to achieving the goal of nuclear disarmament”, and it will be opportunity for heads of states, foreign ministers and other high-level officials to outline policies and priorities for nuclear disarmament. It is the first time a high-level meeting has been held on nuclear disarmament.
• This high-level meeting follows the important conference on the humanitarian impact of nuclear weapons that took place in Oslo in March 2013, where governments met for the first time to discuss this topic.
• The Oslo conference was influential in reframing the debate on nuclear weapons and building the argument that nuclear weapons should be banned because of their unacceptable humanitarian impact.
ICAN therefore encourages governments to raise the following items in their statements at the meeting, with a view to expressing support for the meeting in Mexico on the humanitarian impact of nuclear weapons and to start work on a treaty banning nuclear weapons on that basis.
Any use of nuclear weapons would have catastrophic humanitarian consequences
• The catastrophic humanitarian consequences of any nuclear weapon use make it an imperative to prevent any use or accidental detonation of a nuclear weapon.
• Acknowledge and reaffirm the evidence that the Oslo conference provided, and welcome the chair’s summary by Norwegian Foreign Minister Espen Barth Eide.
• Welcome the announcement by Mexico to hold a follow-up conference in February 2013, emphasize the importance of continuing the discussion on humanitarian impact of nuclear weapons and declare an intention to participate in this conference.
The current disarmament machinery is deadlocked and has not achieved the progress needed.
• This deadlock is not acceptable. New ways of preventing a humanitarian catastrophe must be explored and all states have a responsibility to act.
• The most effective guarantee against use is to ban and eliminate nuclear weapons.
• It is an anomaly in international law that nuclear weapons are the only remaining weapons of mass destruction not subject to an explicit treaty prohibition.
The catastrophic humanitarian impact that any use of nuclear weapons would cause highlights the urgent need for a ban on nuclear weapons.
• The development and agreement of a treaty banning nuclear weapons should be undertaken by committed states even without the participation of those states armed with nuclear weapons.
• It is only by committed governments taking responsibility to agree to a treaty banning nuclear weapons that a clear legal rejection of nuclear weapons will be put in place.
• A treaty process should be seen as a responsible initiative by states seeking to implement their international obligations for disarmament in good faith, including in accordance with Article VI of the Non-Proliferation Treaty.
• A treaty banning nuclear weapons, even if entirely negotiated, adopted, and implemented by nuclear-free states, will affect the calculations of the nuclear-armed states. It will remove all justification for continued possession and modernization of these weapons by any state.
• A treaty banning nuclear weapons will help change the political environment in which nuclear weapons exist.
FemLINKPACIFIC acts at local, national and regional level in Fiji and the Pacific, giving voices to women across the region through a rural and regional media and policy network. FemLINKPACIFIC’s mission is to create enabling environments for rural women, young women and women with disabilities. We advocate for the implementation of UNSCR1325, communication rights and community media and women, peace and human security concerns. We operate a women-led community radio network “FemTALK 89FM” and promote change by developing appropriate media and communication materials, advocating for policy changes that reflect women’s reality at all levels and enhancing a community of practice and networks including as the Pacific Secretariat of GPPAC – Global Partnership for the Prevention of Armed Conflict.