Abolition 2000 UK
To Achieve for the New Century a Global Treaty to Eliminate Nuclear Weapons


New Agenda Coalition

 "We can no longer remain complacent at the reluctance of the nuclear weapon states and the three nuclear-weapons-capable states to take that fundamental and requisite step, namely a clear commitment to the speedy, final and total elimination of their nuclear weapons and nuclear weapons capability and we urge them to take that step now."

New Agenda Coalition: Joint Declaration by ministers for Foreign Affairs of Brazil, Egypt, Ireland, Mexico, New Zealand, Slovenia, South Africa and Sweden. Dublin June 1998.

UN Resolution L.4/Rev.1 on the New Agenda Coalition Resolution
"Towards a nuclear weapon free world: the need for a new agenda"

This resolution was sponsored and co-sponsored by the governments of Benin, Botswana, Brazil, Cameroon, Chile, Colombia, Congo, Costa Rica, Ecuador, Egypt, El Salvador, Fiji, Guatemala, Ireland, Kenya, Lesotho, Liberia, Malaysia, Mali, Mexico, New Zealand, Nigeria, Panama, Peru, Samoa, (Slovenia), Solomon Islands, South Africa, Swaziland, Sweden, Thailand, Togo, Uruguay, Venezuela and Zambia.

Amongst other things, the resolution:

1) Calls on the Nuclear Weapon States to demonstrate an unequivocal commitment to speedy and total elimination of their respective nuclear weapons; to pursue without delay and in good faith, and to bring to a conclusion, negotiations leading to the elimination of those weapons, thereby fulfilling their obligations under article VI of the Non Proliferation Treaty.

2) Calls on the US and Russia to bring START-II into force without delay and immediately commence negotiations leading to START-III

3) Calls on the Nuclear Weapon States to proceed to the 'de-alerting' of their nuclear weapons as an interim measure; to remove nuclear warheads from delivery vehicles.

4) Calls for an International Conference on Nuclear Disarmament and Non-proliferation.

5) Calls on nuclear weapons-capable states, that have not acceded to the Non Proliferation Treaty, to reverse their pursuit of nuclear weapons.

The new agenda coalition resolution was passed by the UN First Committee on Friday, November l3 1998 by 97 votes to l9, with 32 abstentions.

In the EU Austria joined Sweden and Ireland in support of the resolution.

The three NATO Nuclear Weapon States, the US, UK and France, that voted against were joined by Russia, India, Israel and Pakistan. Turkey was the only other NATO state to vote against. Apart from that, the opposition came almost entirely from former Eastern Block states wishing to join NATO but who felt too vulnerable to risk offending the NATO Nuclear Weapon States.

China abstained. Japan abstained. l2 NATO states also abstained despite heavy US-UK-French pressure to vote against. They were: Belgium , Canada, Denmark, Germany, Greece, Iceland, Italy, Luxembourg, Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, Spain. This unusual event will send a very strong signal to the USA, France and Russia that there is strong pressure from within the Alliance for serious moves towards the marginalisation of nuclear weapons. Canada and Germany's recent demand that NATO adopt a first-use policy cuts at the very heart of nuclear deterrence, is further evidence of this trend. A debate might well now be demanded to review NATO's nuclear strategy.

The NATO abstainers were joined unfortunately by Micronesia and Marshall Islands. Slovenia withdrew its sponsorship of the resolution and abstained on the vote (Slovenia wishes to join NATO eventually).

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