World body of parliaments to consider nuclear disarmament resolution: Parliaments called to take action

The Inter Parliamentary Union, a global organisation of over 160 parliaments, will meet in Geneva in March 2014 at which it will consider a ground-breaking draft resolution Towards a Nuclear-Weapon-Free World: The Contribution of Parliaments.

Co-rapporteur Blaine Calkins MP (Canada) Co-rapporteur Blaine Calkins MP (Canada)
The resolution has been drafted by co-Rapporteurs Blaine Calkins (a member of parliament from Canada) and Yolande Ferrer Gómez (a member of parliament from Cuba) following nearly a year of discussion sessions and informal consultations on the topic.

Approximately 1000 parliamentarians from the IPU member parliaments, meeting at the 128th IPU Assembly in Quito, Ecuador from Mar 22-27, 2013, agreed to choose nuclear disarmament as the principal issue for the IPU Standing Committee on Peace and International Security to address for the year until March 2014.

Special session of the IPU Standing Committee on International Peace and Security, October 2013 Special session of the IPU Standing Committee on International Peace and Security, October 2013

Co-rapporteur Yolande Ferrer Gómez MP (Cuba) Co-rapporteur Yolande Ferrer Gómez MP (Cuba)
A special session of the Standing Committee at the 129th IPU Assembly in October 2013 heard from disarmament experts and from over 40 parliaments with suggestions and comments for the resolution.

The resulting draft resolution:

Saber Chowdhury, PNND Co-President and Chair of the IPU Standing Commission on Peace and International Security Saber Chowdhury, PNND Co-President and Chair of the IPU Standing Commission on Peace and International Security
It then calls on parliaments to take action to strengthen existing nuclear non-proliferation and disarmament agreements (including the NPT, CTBT and the Convention on the Suppression of Acts of Nuclear Terrorism), and to commence negotiations on additional agreements including a ban on fissile materials and a nuclear weapons convention or package of agreements to achieve a nuclear-weapon-free world, as outlined in the United Nations Secretary-General’s five point proposal and noted in the 2010 NPT Review Conference Action Plan.

The IPU membership includes parliaments of non-nuclear States, nuclear-armed States and States under nuclear deterrence doctrines, making the IPU a virtual ‘United Nations’ of parliaments, and a very effective forum for building practical, feasible cooperative approaches to resolving this important issue for humanity.

‘Parliamentarians have a vital role to support multilateral initiatives, such as the UN Secretary-General’s Five Point Plan for Nuclear Disarmament, and to take action in their own parliaments to prohibit nuclear weapons, and re-allocate the vast sums of money on nuclear weapons and other weapons towards environmental protection, and meeting UN Millennium Development Goals,’ says Saber Chowdhury, President of the IPU Standing Commission on Peace and International Security.

IPU/PNND Handbook to support nuclear non-proliferation and disarmament IPU/PNND Handbook to support nuclear non-proliferation and disarmament
IPU recently released a Handbook for Parliamentarians on Supporting Nuclear Non-proliferation and Disarmament, co-edited by PNND, which includes a range of examples of legislative measures that have been taken in the parliaments of non-nuclear States, nuclear-weapon-States and allied States to reduce or prohibit nuclear weapons and pave the way for a nuclear weapon free world.

PNND will also be promoting the draft IPU resolution at its Assembly in Washington D.C. Feb 25-27, and will be hosting an event at the IPU Assembly in Geneva, following the adoption of the resolution, to assist parliamentarians and parliaments in its implementation.