Abolition 2000 – Global Network to Eliminate Nuclear Weapons
Opening session of the UN General Assembly, January 1946 in London

Opening session of the UN General Assembly, January 1946 in London

On January 24, 1946, the United Nations General Assembly adopted by consensus its very first resolution, Resolution 1 (I): which established a commission of the UN Security Council to ensure the ‘elimination from national armaments of atomic weapons and all other major weapons adaptable to mass destruction.’

UNFOLD ZERO highlights the upcoming 70th anniversary of UNGA Res 1 (1) as a time to take action to implement the resolution.

UN General Assembly – Open Ended Working Group opens in January

The UN General Assembly has re-established an Open Ended Working Group to take forward multilateral nuclear disarmament negotiations, the first session of which will be on January 28, just a few days after the 70th anniversary of UNGA Res 1 (1). UNFOLD ZERO calls on all UN member countries to participate in the OEWG and deliberate in good faith to pave the way for the adoption of legal measures to achieve a nuclear-weapon-free world. UNFOLD ZERO and other civil society networks will also participate in the OEWG.

 Action: On the 70th anniversary of UNGA res 1 (1) please call on your government to participate in the opening session of the OEWG.

UN Security Council

UNGA Res 1 (1) placed a primary responsibility on the Security Council in order to facilitate the elimination from national armaments of atomic weapons and all other major weapons adaptable to mass destruction. The Security Council has failed to implement this obligation. UNFOLD ZERO calls on the members of the UN Security Council to take action to support the goal of a nuclear-weapon-free world. This could include a special session on nuclear disarmament hosted by one of the non-permanent members of the Security Council, or an interim measure on non-use of nuclear weapons taken by a Security Council resolution.

See Will the United Nations ban nuclear targeting of populated areas?

International Court of Justice – Nuclear Zero cases

The Marshall Islands has lodged cases in the International Court of Justice (ICJ) against the nine nuclear armed States on what is required to implement their nuclear disarmament obligation. The cases are proceeding against India, Pakistan and the United Kingdom – the three nuclear armed States that accept the compulsory jurisdiction of the ICJ. The hearings begin in March 2016. The ICJ has advised all states parties to the NPT that they have a right to intervene in the case against the UK as it relates to implementation of Article VI of the NPT.

Action: On the 70th anniversary of UNGA res 1 (1) please call on your government to intervene in the Nuclear Zero court case in support of the Marshall Islands.

For more information contact UNFOLD ZERO, [email protected]

UNODA – Nuclear abolition poster contest

In commemoration of the 70th anniversary of the United Nations, the UN Office of Disarmament Affairs (UNODA) is sponsoring a Disarmament Poster Contest. The contest is open to all ages. There are three prizes: 1st prize = $3000, 2nd prize = $2000, 3rd prize = $1000. Submissions of art for the contest need to be sent to UNODA by 24 January 2016. The winners will be announced on 5 March 2016.

Other commemoration events/actions:

  •  Special screening of ‘The man who Saved the World’

The University of Ilmenau commemorated UN Res 1 (1) with a special screening event of ‘The Man who saved the World.’ The film recreates the tense minutes on September 26, 1983 when Stanislav Petrov, commander at a Soviet nuclear command and control centre, probably prevented a war by over-riding faulty information about an incoming U.S. nuclear attack.. And it chronicles his spectacular journey to the United States three decades later, where he was finally acknowledged for his historic deed and where he reflects on the current state of nuclear tensions as he visits a US nuclear missile silo. See Flyer Movie. Contact [email protected]

  • Transform Now Plowshares speaking tour of Europe

On October 28, 2015, the Transform Now Plowshares group (Megan Rice – 82 years old, Michael R. Walli – 63 years old and Gregory I. Boertje-Obed – 57 years old) received the Nuclear Free Future Award at a prestigious ceremony on Capitol Hill (Washington) hosted by Senator Ed Markey (Co-President of Parliamentarians for Nuclear Non-proliferation and Disarmament), and House Reps Barbara Lee and Jim McGovern. The group received the award for their courageous non-violent action at the Y-12 National Security Complex, a United States nuclear weapons supply facility, and for their subsequent legal action against nuclear weapons which they won on appeal after spending over a year in prison.

This month, to coincide with the 70th anniversary of UNGA Res 1 (1), Transform Now Plowshares is touring Europe – speaking primarily in countries where nuclear weapons are deployed. They are speaking on the ethical imperative for nuclear abolition – something highlighted for the first time by the United Nations General Assembly in a resolution ‘Ethical imperatives for a nuclear-weapon-free world’ adopted on December 7, 2015.

The Transform Now Plowshares three are endorsers of the Joint Statement of Legislators and Religious Leaders for a Nuclear Weapon Free World, which was released on the 70th anniversary of the nuclear bombing of Hiroshima, and which UNFOLD ZERO presented to the UNGA in September, 2015, in order to build support for nuclear disarmament resolutions.

‘We reject nuclear weapons, which threaten our humanity, contravene our moral principles, violate international law and thwart the safety and well-being of current and future generations.”
Joint Statement of Legislators and Religious Leaders for a Nuclear Weapon Free World

For further information on the Transform Now Plowshares speaking tour, contact Paul Mango, Tour Manager, [email protected] Phone +1 202-321-6650

Video interview with UNGA President Mogens Lykketoft

In September, UNFOLD ZERO and Light Cone Pictures (producers of ‘The Man who saved the World’) interviewed Mogens Lykketoft, President of the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA). Lykketoft speaks about the role of the UNGA in addressing core issues for humanity – climate change, sustainable development goals and disarmament. Lykketoft, who was born in 1946, the same year as the UNGA first session, speaks mostly about nuclear disarmament, and the importance of civil society working with the UN to achieve the goal of a nuclear-weapon-free world.