On Thursday May 7, UNFold Zero, a new platform for United Nations (UN) focused initiatives and actions for the achievement of a nuclear weapons free world, was launched at the United Nations in New York by the Basel Peace Office, PragueVision, Mayors for Peace 2020 Vision Campaign, Parliamentarians for Nuclear Non-proliferation and Disarmament(PNND) and Aotearoa Lawyers for Peace.
UNFOLD ZERO aims to unfold the path to zero nuclear weapons through effective steps and measures facilitated by the UN General Assembly, UN Security Council, UN Secretary-General and other UN bodies. (See About UNFold Zero)
The launch event at the United Nations was chaired by the NGO Committee on Disarmament and featured Virginia Gamba (Director of the United Nations Office for Disarmament Affairs), Mr Daniel Tumpal S. Simanjuntak, from the Indonesian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Alyn Ware (PNND and Basel Peace Office).
UN actions discussed at the event included:
- UN Secretary-General’s Five Point Proposal for Nuclear Disarmament, which calls for negotiations on a nuclear weapons convention (global treaty) or package of international agreements to prohibit and eliminate nuclear weapons;
- UN General Assembly decision to hold a high level conference (i.e. at Head of State or Foreign Minister level) on nuclear disarmament no later than 2018 to access and promote further progress on such negotiations (the proposal for this was put to the UN by Indonesia on behalf of the Non-Aligned Movement and agreed in December 2013);
- Establishment by the United Nations of September 26 as the International Day for the Total Elimination of Nuclear Weapons;
- Report on the positive progress made in the UN Open Ended Working Group on Taking Forward Multilateral Nuclear Disarmament Negotiations (OEWG), and an encouragement to States to resume sessions of the OEWG in 2015 to make further progress;
- Opportunities in the UN Security Council including the Global Zero appeal for action relating to all weapons of mass destruction;
- Further actions in the International Court of Justice including the Nuclear Zero Marshall Islands case against the nuclear armed States;
- Ideas to criminalise the threat or use of nuclear weapons nationally and internationally, based on the 1996 decision of the International Court of Justice and subsequent development of international law.
UNFOLD ZERO highlights key UN Days related to the achievement of a nuclear weapon free world. In 2014, UNFOLD ZERO will focus on September 26, the inaugural commemoration of the International Day for the Total Elimination of Nuclear Weapons. UNFOLD ZERO will provide a platform for governments, parliaments and civil society to post announcements, photos and reports of actions and events to commemorate this day. See September 26 actions.
UNFOLD ZERO will also promote other relevant UN days including:
- January 24. Anniversary of UN General Assembly Resolution 1 (I)
- April 22. World Earth Day
- August 29. International Day Against Nuclear Tests
- September 21. International Day for Peace
- October 24-30. UN Disarmament Week
- October 2. International Day of Nonviolence
- December 10. Human Rights Day
Click here for the speech of Ms Virginia Gamba.