Abolition 2000 – Global Network to Eliminate Nuclear Weapons

In 2013, the United Nations opened the door to a nuclear weapons free world through the Open Ended Working Group on Taking Forward Multilateral Nuclear Disarmament Negotiations. Now we have the chance to keep the door open.

Until June 1, 2014, states can submit their views to the UN Secretary General on the OEWG. Encourage your country to call for the renewal of sessions and a strengthened mandate for the OEWG). It’s time to move from rhetoric to action for nuclear abolition. 

OEWG meets in Geneva

The United Nations Open Ended Working Group (OEWG)was established by the UN General Assembly in November 2012 following widespread frustration at the lack of progress in other forums – including the Conference on Disarmament which has not been able to negotiate any disarmament agreements since the Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty in 1996.Open to all UN member States as well as to international organisations and civil society groups, the OEWG met over 15 days in May, June and August of 2013. The OEWG ‘opened the door’ to multilateral negotiations by bridging long-standing differences, floating new ideas and finding common ground between non-nuclear States, allies of nuclear weapon States and those nuclear-armed States that participated.

The process of the OEWG was a breath of fresh air compared to other official forums. Governments discussed issues in a non-confrontational, exploratory way. Civil society were able to participate fully in the deliberations.

Panel on the OEWG at the Inter Parliamentary Union

The OEWG was strongly supported by civil society – see Open the Door – and by parliaments – through consensus resolutions of the OSCE Parliamentary Assembly and the Inter Parliamentary Union.The OEWG adopted a consensus report which the UN Secretary-General has been requested to present to other multilateral forums during 2014, and which governments and civil society have been asked to consider, in order to take forward nuclear disarmament negotiations. The UN General Assembly will review progress in October 2014, and decide whether to resume working sessions of the OEWG. The United Nations has invited governments to submit their views on ‘Taking forward multilateral negotiations for nuclear disarmament’ in preparation for a decision in October on the resumption of OEWG sessions.

Rudd Lubbers, former Netherlands Prime Minister, opens the door to a nuclear weapon free world

Take action – Governments:

  • Support the resumption of sessions of the OEWG in 2015
  • Suggest specific work for the OEWG, in particular to,
    • examine current security roles provided by nuclear weapons and how these roles could be fulfilled by non-nuclear means;
    • explore further the framework for establishing and maintaining a nuclear-weapons-free world, paying attention to the elements outlined in the Model Nuclear Weapons Convention, the building blocks approach and the proposal for a framework agreement;

Take action – Parliamentarians and civil society:

  • Call on your government to submit their views on nuclear disarmament negotiations to the UN Office of Disarmament Affairs by June 1, 2014;
  • Call on your government to support the resumption of sessions of the OEWG in 2015.

Mikhael Gorbachev opens the door to a nuclear weapon free world