.DISARMAMENT & SECURITY.
On December 3, 2016, the UN General Assembly adopted ground-breaking Resolution 71/71, supported by over 140 countries, calling for the start of negotiations on an international treaty to prohibit and eliminate nuclear weapons, and affirming its earlier decision to hold a High Level Conference on Nuclear Disarmament no later than 2018 to review progress on such a treaty.
The UN has previously held high level meetings on nuclear disarmament, but these were not much more than talk-shops.
In contrast, the 2018 event will be the first time the UN General Assembly has held a high level conference on nuclear disarmament. Such an event carries with it the expectation of deliberations to reach an agreement or agreements on concrete nuclear disarmament measures.
The 2018 UN Conference, and its preparatory process, provide a unique opportunity for civil society and like-minded governments to elevate the issue of nuclear disarmament globally and build political pressure on the nuclear-reliant States to agree to specific nuclear disarmament proposals at the conference.
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Similar UN high level conferences on other difficult global issues – such as sustainable development, climate change and refugees – have had considerable success engaging all relevant States and civil society to achieve concrete results.
The UN conference on nuclear disarmament could, for example, aim for:
• Non-nuclear States (and maybe others) to announce at the conference their ratification of the nuclear prohibition treaty which will most likely be negotiated by 2018 (see UN agrees to nuclear prohibition negotiations);
• Agreement by the nuclear armed and allied States that their sole purpose for nuclear weapons is to deter other nuclear weapons and that they would never use nuclear weapons first;
• A decision to convene a conference for the establishment of a Middle East Zone free from nuclear weapons and other WMD;
• A framework agreement (or political declaration) to achieve the prohibition of any use of nuclear weapons and the phased elimination of nuclear weapons.
UNFOLD ZERO is organising a number of private meetings on the UN High Level Conference with governments, as well as open consultation meetings with non-governmental organisations in Geneva, London, New York, Vienna, Washington and other locations in early 2017.
At these meetings we will discuss strategy and campaign activities to build success for the UN High Level Conference.
For more information see UN to hold High Level Conference on nuclear disarmament.