International Day Against Nuclear Tests commemorative event

Nuclear Weapons & Climate Change

An intergenerational dialogue on nuclear weapons and climate change - two existential threats to humanity.

The event included students and youth leaders in dialogue with legislators (parliamentarians), policy/academic experts, members of the diplomatic community, representatives of civil society organizations and others.

It was a hybrid event with some speakers and invited guests participating in person at the event hub, while others participated online.  The event hub was in the historic Central Hall Westminster in London, which was the venue for the very first United Nations General Assembly meeting.

Thursday, September 9, 2021 | Central Hall Westminster, UK and Online

Nuclear Weapons & Climate Change: Intergenerational dialogue on nuclear-climate impacts & avenues for action

An international hybrid event that took place on Thursday September 9, 2021 in commemoration of the International Day Against Nuclear Tests

See below for the presentations and video messages from the speakers, and the video recordings of the event. Click here for photo gallery of the event.

Time: 2-4pm London.
(9-11am Eastern Time USA; 3-5pm Central Europe, 7-9pm Nursultan, Kazakhstan;)

Co-hosted by the Kazakh Embassy in London, Nursultan Nazarbayev Foundation, Parliamentarians for Nuclear Non-Proliferation and Disarmament, and Youth Fusion.

Event outline

This event focused on two of our time’s most pressing global challenges: climate change and the threat of nuclear war, as well as the links between these.

Both challenges pose existential threats to the survival and wellbeing of humanity. Neither issue can be resolved solely at national levels, but require international cooperation and the building of common security. Both climate change and nuclear weapons have trans-generational impact. The use of nuclear weapons in wartime could create catastrophic climatic consequences far beyond current climate change. And the human and financial resources currently devoted to nuclear weapons could instead be invested to assist carbon emission reduction and climate stabilisation.  

The event was structured as an intergenerational dialogue of youth leaders with legislators, experts, officials and other participants. For more information see the event booklet.


Opening Session:

  • Moderator: Professor Dan Plesch, Director, Centre for International Studies and Diplomacy at SOAS University. Founder and Director, Strategic Concept for the Removal of Arms Proliferation - SCRAP (in-person)
  • Welcome message: Mukhtar Tileuberdi, Deputy Prime Minister - Minister of Foreign Affairs of Kazakhstan (video)
  • Introductory comments: Alkey Margulanuly, Deputy Executive Director, Nursultan Nazarbayev Foundation (video)
  • Opening presentation: Lord Hannay of Chiswick, Co-Chair of the UK All Party Parliamentary Group on Global Security and Non-proliferation  (in person)

Panel Sessions:

Moderator: Vanda Proskova, Co-convenor, Youth Fusion. Vice-Chair, PragueVision Institute for Sustainable Security (online)

Panel 1: Short and Long Term Environmental Impacts of Nuclear Weapons Testing & Use

  • Olzhas Omaruly Suleimenov, Poet. C0-founder, Nevada-Semipalatinsk Movement. Kazakhstan Ambassador to UNESCO. (video)
  • Moetai Brotherson MP. Member of the National Assembly of France. Member of the French Polynesian Assembly (in person)
  • Aigerim Seitenova, Head of Programmes, 'Wings of Liberty' Public Foundation. Mmember of OSCE Core Group of Youth Experts (in person)

Panel 2: Nuclear War and Climate Change: Nuclear Winter, Famine, Darkness

  • Professor Andreas Nidecker MD, Radiologist. Board Member, Physicians for Social Responsibility IPPNW Switzerland. President, Basel Peace Office (online)
  • Marie Claire GrafVice-President, Swiss Youth for Climate. Global North Focal Point for YOUNGO, the Children and Youth constituency to United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (online)

Video message: Dr Robert Floyd, Executive Secretary of the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty Organization

Panel 3: Move the Nuclear Weapons Money:     

  • Dr Philip Webber, Chair, Scientists for Global Responsibility (online)
  • Kehkashan BasuFounder and CEO, The Green Hope Foundation. Member, World Future Council. Winner, 2016 Children's International Peace Prize. Winner,  Inaugural Voices Youth Gorbachev-Shultz Legacy Award for Nuclear Disarmament (online)

Panel 4: The Nuclear-Climate Nexus, International Law and Civil Society Action

  • Rob van Riet, Lawyer, Senior advisor to PNND and the World Future Council (in person)
  • Nicole Ann Ponce, Young lawyer. Member, World's Youth for Climate Action. Co-Founder and Coordinator, I am Climate Justice movement. Research Fellow, Normandy Chair for Peace (online)

Open discussion:
Moderator: Professor Dan Plesch, Director, Centre for International Studies and Diplomacy at SOAS University. Founder and Director, Strategic Concept for the Removal of Arms Proliferation - SCRAP (in-person)

Closing remarks:

  • Alyn Ware, Member, World Future Council. Global Coordinator, Parliamentarians for Nuclear Non-proliferation and Disarmament. International Representative, Aotearoa Lawyers for Peace
  • HE Mr Erlan Idrissov, Kazakhstan Ambassador to the UK (in person)

For more information about the speakers see the event booklet.


About the International Day Against Nuclear Tests

The International Day against Nuclear Tests (IDANT)was established in 2009 by a unanimous resolution of the United Nations General Assembly. The resolution was introduced by Kazakhstan, and the date chosen to commemorate the day is 29 August, the anniversary of the closure in 1991 of the Soviet Nuclear Test site in Semipalatinsk, Kazakhstan.

The objective ot the IDANT is to increase awareness and education “about the effects of nuclear weapon test explosions or any other nuclear explosions and the need for their cessation as one of the means of achieving the goal of a nuclear-weapon-free world.

Youth were encouraged to commemorate the day by participating in the #StepUp4Disarmament Youth Campaign on August 29, 2021.

Everyone was encouraged to commemorate the day by observing one minute silence at 11:05 in your own time-zone on August 29.

Statements and presentations:

Event video recordings