A motion calling on the Netherlands to join the first Meeting of States Parties of the UN Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons was defeated in parliament last week, but several parties changed their votes from earlier motions demonstrating there is a new momentum reflecting the majority of public opinion.
In March 2022, the first meeting of of the UN Nuclear Ban treaty will take place in Vienna. Norway was the first NATO member to indicate that it would attend, and last week, the new German coalition government also indicated it will observe. In Parliament a motion to commit the Dutch to join was narrowly defeated. Most parties support the idea. The Socialist Party (SP), Green Left, Labour (PvDA), Democratic party (D66), Christian Union (CU), BIJ 1, DENK, Party for the Animals (PvdD), and Volt all supported the motion. This list includes two of the four parties involved in the negotiations for the new government, and 9 of the 16 parties in the chamber.
This is the second time the Socialist Party has put forward a motion to parliament about attending the meeting of states parties. The first time, the motion did not get support from D66 and Christian Union (CU), despite earlier support for the ban treaty in their party programmes. Some had suggested they were waiting to see what the new government would say before committing one way or another. However, despite the collapse of the government nearly a year ago, and elections in March 2021, there is still no conclusion to coalition negotiations and these parties (and possibly others next time?) are asserting their positions in line with what their membership decided.