Support grows for “Nuclear Taboo from Norm to Law”

(Reposted from: NoFirstUse Global newsletter)

22,000 new endorsers from Japan

Nuclear Taboo from Norm to Law, a Declaration of Public Conscience (DPC) launched by NoFirstUse Global earlier this year, has received a boost of 22,000 additional endorsers from Japan following launch of the appeal in Japanese on July 21.

The DPC welcomes the statement made by the G20 Leaders in their Bali Summit Declaration that ‘the threat or use of nuclear weapons is inadmissible’ and ‘calls on the United Nations, through decisions of its Security Council and General Assembly, to enshrine the inadmissibility of the threat or use of nuclear weapons as a Dictate of International Law, and to require all member states to comply fully, by ensuring their security policies and practices rule-out the initiation of nuclear war, including any first-use of nuclear weapons.’

The Declaration of Public Conscience calls on the United Nations…to enshrine the inadmissibility of the threat or use of nuclear weapons as a Dictate of International Law.

“We are seeing increased risks of nuclear war arising from the Russian invasion of Ukraine, North Korean nuclear weapons program, conflicts between nuclear-armed and allied States in the South China Sea and other nuclear flash-points,” says Yosuke Watanabe, NoFirstUse Global Steering Committee Member and Research Director for Peace Depot (Japan) which launched the appeal in Japanese.

Follow-up by the United Nations to consolidate the Bali Summit statement on the inadmissibility of nuclear weapons threat and use is vital to ensure that a nuclear war is not initiated by crisis escalation, miscalculation or accident,” says Mr Watanabe.

Nuclear Taboo declaration presented to the NPT Prep Com

Nuclear Taboo from Norm to Law was presented to a plenary meeting of the NPT Prep Com in Vienna on August 2, by John Hallam, NoFirstUse Global Steering Committee Member and Director of People for Nuclear Disarmament (Australia),

“The G20 statement indicates a breakthrough in consolidating a general practice against nuclear weapons use and elevating this to a norm now accepted, at least on paper, by the nuclear weapon states,” said Mr Hallam. “It is vital that this breakthrough be reaffirmed in as many forums as possible – here at the 2023 NPT Preparatory Committee, at the UNGA First Committee, and at succeeding G20 meetings, such as the upcoming one in Delhi.”

In presenting Nuclear Taboo From Norm to Law to the NPT Prep Com, Mr Hallam also highlighted the working paper which NoFirstUse Global submitted to the 2022 NPT Review Conference, No-First Use of Nuclear Weapons: An Exploration of Unilateral, Bilateral and Plurilateral Approaches and their Security, Risk-reduction and Disarmament Implications, which provides practical approaches for taking forward such policies.

Adoption of no-first-use policies – a key call in the Nuclear Taboo declaration – was picked up and advanced further in the NPT Prep Com by China, the New Agenda Coalition and another like-minded group of 11 countries (Austria, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Ecuador, Kiribati, Liechtenstein, Malta, Mexico, San Marino and Thailand). See NPT States parties call for No-First-Use policies.

Nuclear Taboo declaration to BRICS, G20 and UNGA

Nuclear Taboo from Norm to Law has been submitted to the leaders of Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa in advance of the BRICS Summit which will take place in South Africa, August 22-24.

The Declaration was accompanied by a letter welcoming the facts that China and India already have unilaterally declared no-first-use policies and that China and Russia have a mutual no-first-use agreement, and calling on BRICS leaders “not to miss the opportunity in Cape Town in August to explicitly reaffirm the Bali stance and point the way to the wider adoption of no-first-use policies, as called for in Hiroshima by the UN Secretary General.” (See NoFirstUse Global, President Putin and the BRICS Summit).

Nuclear Taboo from Norm to Law will also be submitted to the G20 leaders in advance of the G20 Summit taking place in Delhi September 9-10, 2023. And it will be presented to the UN General Assembly in New York during Disarmament Week (Oct 24-30).

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