The COVID-19 pandemic continues to devastate countries and populations showing the complete uselessness of nuclear weapons when it comes to dealing with global security threats. On January 27, 2021, The Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists kept their Doomsday Clock at 100 seconds to midnight, the closest we’ve ever been to global oblivion. In their remarks this year they said: “By our estimation, the potential for the world to stumble into nuclear war—an ever-present danger over the last 75 years—increased in 2020. An extremely dangerous global failure to address existential threats—what we called “the new abnormal” in 2019—tightened its grip in the nuclear realm in the past year, increasing the likelihood of catastrophe.”
In this context, the Coordination Committee of the Abolition 2000 Global Network to Abolish Nuclear Weapons invites all those concerned by nuclear weapons, nuclear energy and the nexus of these issues with issues such as: Climate Change, Human Rights, Pandemic Recovery, Women’s rights, Poverty, Racial Justice and Youth, to join us in our Annual General Meeting (AGM), this year framed within the question:
How do we move from a dysfunctional world to a world free of nuclear weapons?
This year, as last year, the AGM will be held as an international online video conference and once more it will be held independently of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty Review Conference given that there is no certainty, at the time of planning, that the NPT RevCon will take place as proposed in August 2021.
The meeting will be held in two sessions of 90 minutes each:
Session 1: Campaign updates and reports. Strategy discussion on challenges and opportunities to advance nuclear abolition. Introduction of proposals.
Session 2: Discussion of proposals. Abolition 2000 Secretariat report. Fundraising. Affirmation of the Abolition 2000 Coordinating Committee and Global Council. Calendar of upcoming events.
In order to enable participation by organisations and activists around the world, Session 1 will be held twice:
Session 1 (a) is timed to suit participation by those from Asia/Pacific.
Session 1 (b) is timed to suit participation by those from the Americas and Europe. Some people (including some meeting facilitators) will attend both. (See below for the Session times).
Preparation for the online AGM
Holding the AGM as an online video conference provides some opportunities and also some restrictions compared to a physical meeting. A positive point is that more people will be able to participate as there is no need to travel and find accommodation which are both time consuming and expensive. The main restriction is the amount of time we can meet. Our usual AGMs are 1-2 days in length. For the online meeting we have to compress this into 2-3 sessions of 90 minutes each. As such, we ask everyone to spend some time in preparation for the AGM in order to ensure we can run it smoothly;
- Strategy discussion session: In our previous AGMs we started the discussion with some analytic presentations. There will not be time for this during the video conference. Instead we will pre-record the opening presentations. We will ask all participants to view the videos before the conference so we can launch straight into discussion. A link to the videos will be sent later to all people registering for the AGM.
- Working group and campaign reports: There will be very little time during the conference for presentations. We therefore ask all working group coordinators and campaign coordinators to submit written reports (up to 700 words) at least one week prior to the annual meeting in order that these can be circulated to all participants. Please indicate in the registration form if you will be submitting a working group or campaign report.
- Proposals. We will consider proposals in session 1 (a) and 1 (b), with final agreement on proposals in session 2. Please indicate in the registration form if you have a proposal.
- Funding the meeting (and Abolition 2000 secretariat): There is a cost to run a large online video conference. There are also costs for maintaining the secretariat. We ask that participants consider what they would have had to spend for travel and accommodation for an actual meeting, and consider donating 10% of this amount to Abolition 2000.
Session 1: Campaigns and strategy
(a): To suit participants from Asia/Pacific (and early risers in Europe/Middle East). 2 hours starting at:
Manila/Kuala Lumpur: 2pm
Honolulu: Friday 8pm
(b): To suit participants from Americas/Europe/Africa/Middle East. 90 mins starting at:
San Francisco/Vancouver: 9am
Mexico City: 11am
Santiago/New York/Ottawa: 12 noon
Halifax/Sao Paulo: 1pm
Session 2: Proposals, funding and organization.
90 mins starting at:
San Francisco/Vancouver: 12noon
Mexico City: 2pm
Santiago/New York/Ottawa: 3pm
Halifax/Sao Paulo: 4pm
Sydney: 5am (June 20)
Auckland/Nandi: 7am (June 20)
Honolulu: 9am (June 20)