ABOLITION 2000 EUROPE
Part of a
global network to abolish nuclear weapons early in the new century
BRIEFING 1: INTRODUCING ABOLITION 2000 EUROPE
Abolition 2000 Europe is a coalition of European NGOs committed
to the global abolition of nuclear weapons. We believe that there is a
special role for Europe in nuclear
disarmament based on values shared by politicians, peace activists and
officials. It lies in an identifiable
attitude towards global security.
Because of Europe's fraught 20th century history it has come to
realise that true security can only be found in a common approach founded on
a respect for international law, global structures and some pooling of
sovereignty. The EU itself is a strong
expression of this.
The Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of
Nuclear Weapons (NPT) is the only binding commitment in a multilateral
treaty to the goal of disarmament by the nuclear-weapon States. Article VI of
the Treaty obliges its signatories "to
pursue negotiations in good faith on effective measures relating to cessation
of the nuclear arms race at an early date and to nuclear disarmament. and on
a treaty on general and complete disarmament under strict and effective
signature in 1968, the Treaty entered into force in 1970. On 11 May 1995, the Treaty
was extended indefinitely. 188
states have joined the Treaty,
including the five nuclear-weapon States. More countries have ratified the
NPT than any other arms limitation and disarmament agreement, a testament to
the Treaty's significance.
At the sixth
NPT Review Conference held in 2000, the Final
Document, agreed to by all NPT states contained an "unequivocal undertaking by the nuclear weapon States to
accomplish the total elimination of their nuclear arsenals leading to nuclear
disarmament ..." plus a 13-step Programme
of Action for the next five years to implement this. The 13 point action plan for disarmament
is at the heart of the successful but hard won consensus. It is
the path carved out by 187 governments towards the total elimination
of the suicidal, genocidal and ecocidal nuclear weapon.
It is now
three years since the last Review Conference and there are few signs that the
Nuclear Weapon States are treating the realisation of the Programme of Action
as a matter of urgency. Their defence
planning presupposes a continuing role for nuclear weapons into the
indefinite future whilst denying them
to other states.
2000 Europe aims to enlist the help of MEPs
to consider what could be done on a European level to further the full
implementation of the NPT and to enhance the results of the next Review
Conference due in New York
in 2005. In particular, the European
Parliament could influence the position taken by the EU in its contribution
to the Review Conference.
specific steps the Parliament recommends
should be seen as part of
progress towards a nuclear weapons-free world. There should be deadlines to meet and each
measures should be subject to international control and verification.. This
is because steps advertised by the
Nuclear Weapon States as progress towards achieving NPT obligations are
frequently no more than measures of
convenience. An example is the decommissioning of obsolete nuclear weapons
and their reduction in numbers. We must recommend the right things for the
right reasons, rather than the right things for the wrong reasons.
the purposes of Abolition 2000 Europe is the need to raise awareness of the
issue of nuclear weapons among the peoples of Europe
and their leaders, and to emphasise the vital importance of maintaining and
developing the NPT process. Promises
have been made and obligations undertaken.
These have not yet been fulfilled.
information contact George Farebrother, Abolition 2000 UK, 67 Summerheath Rd, Hailsham,
844 269, firstname.lastname@example.org