Analysis

Published on November 20th, 2013 | by Krista van Velzen

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Netherlands now on an unstoppable path towards denuclearization

A motion proposed by member of parliament Van Dijk (SP) was adopted in which the Parliament agreed that the successor to the F-16 fighter jet may not have a nuclear task.

Krista van Velzen, nuclear disarmament campaigner at IKV Pax Christi said: “Now the Joint Strike Fighter may not be used to carry and deploy nuclear weapons. This means that within the next 10 years, when the last F-16 has been replaced, the Netherlands will have no alternative to bid farewell to the American weapons of mass destruction now stationed at Volkel”. Jan Gruiters, general director at IKV Pax Christi said “This is an historical development of which the Netherlands can be proud. Of course, Foreign Minister Timmermans doesn’t have to wait another decade to denuclearize the Netherlands. He can decide now to negotiate the return of these nuclear weapons directly with the US”.

In December 2012, the Parliament passed a motion rejecting the modernisation of the B61 bombs. Van Velzen said “No nuclear weapons and no planes to carry them means a final farewell to the Netherlands nuclear task in NATO.”

In February 2014, more than 100 countries are expected to meet in Mexico to continue discussions about the humanitarian consequences of the use of nuclear weapons. The Netherlands is expected to participate as well. IKV Pax Christi hopes that the resolution adopted today also provides space for the Dutch government to advocate for negotiations on an international treaty banning nuclear weapons and to participate constructively in that process.

On 19 November 2013, the No Nukes team from IKV Pax Christi was in The Hague to encourage Dutch MPs to vote against the nuclear task of the JSF. Click here to see the photos of our action. 

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About the Author

Krista van Velzen is a former Dutch MP and is currently working as nuclear disarmament campaigner with PAX in The Netherlands. She is running a citizens initiative in the Netherlands in order to get national legislation banning nuclear weapons. Van Velzen has been working on disarmament issues since the early nineties. As spokesperson on defence and foreign affairs she has convinced the Dutch government to ban and eliminate clustermunitions and and to prohibite investments as well. She has worked in Central and Eastern Europe creating a network of campaigners on the nuclear issue. She organised a Walk for Nuclear Disarmament from Brussels to Moscow. Her attempts to disarm a British Trident submarine gave her truly interesting experiences inside a Scottish jail. Disagreeing with president Obama, she believes a world without nuclear weapons is achievable in this lifetime.



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