Published on April 11th, 2013 | by Selma van Oostwaard


Newsletter April: Hope, student diplomacy, and recommendations to get rid of nuclear weapons

Do you want to know what IKV Pax Christi’s No Nukes Team has been doing lately? Read in our latest newsletter (see below) what we have been doing in Oslo and in the Netherlands and what will happen in Scotland and Geneva in the upcoming days. Do you want to stay up to date with our work? Go to the bottom of this page to subscribe to the No Nukes newsletter.

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A flurry of activity

A flurry of activity has taken place since the last update from the No Nukes team. In Oslo, more than 500 campaigners came together at a massive civil society forum to build the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear weapons (ICAN). Ideas like calling nuclear weapons Zombie Weapons, and recognising that nuclear weapons aren’t magic- they’re just a weapon were discussed, and a new momentum in nuclear disarmament was embraced.

The Civil Society Forum was immediately followed by a meeting of 127 governments, several UN agencies and members of the International Committee of the Red Cross and Red Crescent- to focus explicitly on the humanitarian consequences of any use of nuclear weapons. That meeting was informative, and empowering for many countries and Mexico announced that it would hold a follow-up meeting.

Now, a series of meetings talking about humanitarian consequences of nuclear weapons may not seem like a big deal- but lets remember- the discussion in Oslo was the first time that countries ever came together to address this problem. The first time. For many delegates, it was a powerful learning experience. While we all know that nuclear weapons are bad, this was a chance to begin discussing exactly how bad. To talk about the unspeakable horror and suffering that would be rained down on countless people, that would last for generations. This meeting, and the follow-up meeting in Mexico are changing the debate, and bringing us closer to a nuclear weapons free world. So it begins…

There is a lot on our website about these events in Dutch, for example:

Staten zetten eerste stap naar verbod op kernwapens

Oslo: er is hoop!

Nuclear Diplomacy Crash Course

For the second year, we have gathered a dynamic group of students for a Crash Course in Nuclear Diplomacy. These ten students will go through three workshops in the Netherlands, and then join our delegation to the NPT Preparatory Committee meeting in Geneva. The students started their crash course with a workshop at Institute Clingendael where they learned more about the motivations driving countries to acquire nuclear weapons (or not).

The second workshop talked about the NPT itself, and consequences of any use of nuclear weapons. It was a wide ranging discussion, filled with anecdotes that make the nuclear issue real, like the fact that the forests around Chernobyl catch fire.

The third workshop was a visit to the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs, where students talked more about transparency and Dutch nuclear weapons policy.

Also see more on these events in Dutch:
Een zonnige start

De menselijke kant van kernwapens

Recommendations for ministers and others
The No Nukes team has also published a series of policy briefs already this year. The first provided concrete and practical advice to Foreign Minister Timmermans. Around the same time, we provided a great handbook for Dutch Parliamentarians- How to get rid of the bomb in 5 steps. Also in Dutch.

Knowing that the Netherlands was hosting the next meeting of the Non Proliferation Disarmament Initiative (NPDI)- a group of 10 countries trying to help implement the 2010 NPT Agreed Action plan, we published a policy brief for NPDI Members- NPDI Matters. And you can see the impact of some of those recommendations in the NPDI Hague Statement.

Most recently, a set of recommendations to NPT Members was circulated. This policy brief covers all of the issues under consideration at the NPT meeting- from disarmament to non-proliferation, peaceful uses to the establishment of a zone free of weapons of mass destruction in the Middle East.

Many of us are scared about the heightened tension in the conflict on the Korean peninsula. A way to deal with that fear is to act. ICAN has just released a petition calling on the heads of states party to the Six-Nation-Initiative – the USA, North Korea, South Korea, China, Russia and Japan – to return to the negotiating table and prevent a nuclear catastrophe. Help us to get as many signatures as we can to show how much we care about this issue!

More to come

There is a lot coming up for the No Nukes team as well. To support efforts to make Scotland nuclear free, Krista will be joining SCRAP Trident events in Glasgow and at Faslane, which will be followed by the Annual General meeting of the Abolition 2000 network– in Edinburgh next week.

The team, as well as Crash Course participants, will also join the ICAN campaigners meeting in Geneva, and stay on for the NPT. At the NPT meeting, we will host at least two side events- one on the Moral and Ethical Imperatives for Nuclear Abolition, and another on the final day of NPT where we will present another policy brief that looks at the financial costs of nuclear disarmament and provides some creative financing solutions.

We always have lots of new information posted on the website, and our Facebook page.

With best wishes,

Krista, Selma, Susi and Wilbert

PS: Mensen gezocht om de strijd tegen kernwapens kracht bij te zetten

Beste ontvangers van de nieuwsbrief van het No Nukes team van Pax Christi,

Via onze nieuwsbrief hoor je regelmatig over de dingen die wij in Nederland en internationaal doen om kernwapens de wereld uit te krijgen.

Ook de komende tijd hebben we veel dingen op stapel staan.

Om een kernwapenvrije wereld een stap dichterbij te krijgen kunnen we veel hulp gebruiken!

Heb jij zin om mee te helpen?

Wat je zou kunnen doen:


Wij kunnen mensen gebruiken die brieven schrijven aan kranten, reagerend op actualiteiten, waarbij wij aan de bel trekken bij jou als er een goede gelegenheid lijkt te zijn.

  • Wij zoeken mensen die brieven aan politici willen sturen, als het juiste moment is aangebroken.
  • Wij zoeken mensen die mee willen doen aan (ludieke) akties die wij organiseren of die zelf mee willen helpen organiseren.
  • Zo willen we bijvoorbeeld een busreis organiseren om vanuit Nederland mee te doen aan het internationale aktiekamp in Büchel, de Duitse kernwapenbasis. Onderweg komen we ook langs Volkel, de Nederlandse luchtmachtbasis waar kernwapens gestationeerd liggen. Wil je mee? Wil je helpen organiseren? De reis is (onder voorbehoud) van 9 tot 12 augustus.
  • Wij zoeken mensen die onze blogs en facebook en twitterberichten actief verspreiden, liken, delen en retweeten..
  • Staat hier niet bij wat jij wel gehoopt had? Laat het ons weten! Goede voorstellen, creatieve ideeën, hersenspinsels die je wil delen: laat maar horen!! Laat het vooral horen als je iets zou willen doen om deze campagne kracht bij te zetten!

Alvast bedankt namens het hele No Nukes team!!

Krista van Velzen-

Do you want to stay updated on our work? Go to the right bottom of this page to subscribe to the No Nukes newsletter.

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About the Author

Selma supports all the disarmament work at PAX with a special emphasis on the No Nukes team. In 2014 she and other PAX disarmament campaigners launched a public campaign in the Netherlands to initiate the creation of national legislation to outlaw nuclear weapons: One of the result of this national campaign is that a vast majority of the House wants the Netherlands to start working internationally for a nuclear weapons ban.

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