Legislators and experts discuss nuclear disarmament and human security

Short report of the January 19 online parliamentary event Nuclear disarmament and human security.

This was the third global event in follow-up to the publication of Assuring our Common Future: a guide to parliamentary action in support of disarmament for security and sustainable development

On January 19, PNND and the Inter-Parliamentary Union hosted a global online parliamentary event Nuclear disarmament and human security, co-sponsored by Geneva Centre for Security Policy and the World Future Council. This was the third of a series of global events following on from the release in November 2020 of the online resource  Assuring our Common Future: a parliamentary handbook on disarmament for security and sustainable development.

The event, which drew in particular from the handbook chapter on nuclear weapons, focused on parliamentary action for nuclear risk-reduction and disarmament in the emerging political environment. It included consideration of approaches to phase out the role of nuclear weapons in security doctrines by strengthening the reliance on common security and human security instead of nuclear threat postures.

Common security includes the use of diplomacy, negotiation,  mediation, arbitration and international law to address conflicts rather than the threat or use of force. Human security includes consideration of key human needs in security planning, such as implementation of the sustainable development goals, rather than a singular focus on defence of national borders.

The event was held in two sessions, the first of which was timed to suit participants in Asia/Pacific. It was chaired by Saber Chowdhury (Bangladesh), PNND Co-President and Honorary President of the Inter-Parliamentary Union, and included expert/parliamentary speakers from South Asia (India/Pakistan) and North East Asia (Japan/South Korea) and Australia. The session considered nuclear risk reduction and disarmament in regional settings and discussed initiatives such as a North East Asia nuclear-weapon-free zone. It also considered global measures such as adoption of no-first-use policies.  Click here for the video recording.

The second session was timed for the Americas/Europe/Africa/Middle East. It was chaired by Brigitte Brenner (Austria), IPU Permanent Observer to the UN and International Organizations in Vienna, and included expert/parliamentary speakers from the United Nations, USA, Russia and the UK. The session considered the current tensions and lack of arms control measures between Russia and the USA - and ways to make progress on these. It also looked at measures other nuclear weapon states could take to advance nuclear risk reduction and disarmament, and it considered progress toward a Middle East zone free from nuclear weapons and other weapons of mass destruction.  Click here for the video recording.  

Also available is the written version of the opening remarks in Session 2 by UN High Representative Ms Izumi Nakamitsu.

The event included an introduction to participants of Fulfil the NPT: From nuclear threats to human security, an Open Letter to the Nuclear Weapon States and other States Parties to the Non-Proliferation Treaty. The open letter, endorsed by many of the event participants, was sent to the States Parties on January 24 (see Open Letter – Fulfil the NPT – sent to nuclear weapon States).