Nuclear risks extreme says UNSG to NPT Review Conference. PNND calls for renewed leadership!

The 10th Review Conference of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) opens at the UN and will continue until August 26.

UN Secretary-General António Guterres warns the delegates about increased nuclear risks and the need to take action. PNND calls on the States parties to undertake specific nuclear risk-reduction and disarmament steps.

The 10th Review Conference of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) opened on Monday August 1 with a stark warning from UN Secretary-General António Guterres.

"From the Middle East and the Korean Peninsula. To Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.The clouds that parted following the end of the Cold War are gathering once more", he told national leaders/ambassadors of nuclear-armed, allied and non-nuclear countries, along with legislators, disarmament experts and civil society representatives gathered at the United Nations for this 4-week long event. 

"We have been extraordinarily lucky so far. But luck is not a strategy," said Mr Guterres. "Nor is it a shield from geopolitical tensions boiling over into nuclear conflict. Today, humanity is just one misunderstanding, one miscalculation away from nuclear annihilation."

Mr Guterres called on the States Parties to use the opportunity of the NPT Review conference to reinforce the norm against any use of nuclear weapons, adopt practical measures to reduce the risk of nuclear war, strengthen all avenues of dialogue and transparency, and return to the path of nuclear disarmament.

PNND Co-President Bill Kidd MSP presented a statement to the plenary of the NPT Review Conference today, making a strong plea to the States Parties to address nuclear risks, threats to peace and the climate crisis.

PNND presents to the NPT Review Conference

"Parliaments, governments and civil society must rise to the challenge of these three perils that transcend borders, threaten current and future generations, and require cooperation and common security to resolve – not a further descent into nationalism, confrontation, competition and war," said Mr Kidd.

"This NPT Review and Extension Conference provides an opportunity for us all to shift the predominant security paradigm from one of reliance on nuclear deterrence and the threat or use of force – a paradigm which is unsustainable and which compounds the real human security issues of today – to one relying more on diplomacy, disarmament, conflict resolution, climate protection, sustainable development and the law," said Mr Kidd.

Mr Kidd highlighted the specific policy calls/proposals made in Fulfil the NPT: From nuclear threats to human security a civil society Open Letter presented to the NPT plenary session today by John Hallam, PNND Coordinator for Australia.

The Open Letter has been endorsed by over 1400 influential figures from around the world including former Foreign/Defence Ministers, military leaders and ambassadors from nuclear reliant countries, Nobel Laureates, religious leaders, legislators, scientists/academics, leaders of civil society organizations and others. It calls on NPT States Parties to:

  • End the nuclear arms race by stopping the production of nuclear weapons;
  • Phase out the role of nuclear weapons in security policies starting with no-first-use policies;
  • Commit to the global elimination of nuclear weapons, no later than 2045, (which would be the 75th anniversary of the NPT);

Shift budgets and public investments from the nuclear weapons industry to instead support peace, public health, climate stabilization and sustainable development.


Legislators’ actions for nuclear risk reduction and disarmament

Mr Kidd reported on some of the actions taken by legislators (parliamentarians and mayors) to promote nuclear risk reduction and disarmament measures relating to the NPT, such as those called for in the Open letter. These include:

August 8 side-event:

Next Monday August 8, PNND will be holding a side-event at the NPT Review conference on Legislators’ actions for nuclear risk reduction and disarmament, where Mr Kidd and other PNND representatives will speak in more depth about the actions and essential roles of legislators - working in cooperation with governments and civil society - to advance effective nuclear risk-reduction, non-proliferation, disarmament and common security policies.

Other speakers on August 8 include Senator Ed Markey, Co-Chair of the US Congress Nuclear Weapons and Arms Control Working Group (by video message); Jackie Cabasso, North American coordinator of Mayors for Peace; Saber Chowdhury MP, Honorary President, Inter-Parliamentary Union; and Michaela Sørensen, Coordinator of the PNND Gender, Peace and Security program.