Susi Snyder with ICAN distributed “Some highlights from” day 2 of the first Meeting of States Parties (MSP) of the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons in Vienna, Austria:
The general debate concluded with about 70 statements delivered in total. Member states focused on the increased need for this treaty as a response to threats to use nuclear weapons, and to highlight their appreciation of the new states parties to the TPNW.
Some of the observing states also took the floor. European observer states that are members of NATO reinforced their condemnation of Russia’s threat to use nuclear weapons, from earlier this year. It’s always good to see states (especially those with nuclear weapons in their own security policies or on their own territory) talking about the irresponsibility and danger the world is in when a country threatens to use nuclear weapons. Overwhelmingly, observer states have engaged constructively in discussions so far, looking for ways to support the humanitarian principles in the treaty including victim assistance and environmental remediation and suggesting that these themes should carry over to the NPT as well.
The order of business continued, with a discussion on ways and means to get others to come on board the treaty- the path towards universalisation. Indonesia and Costa Rica referenced the working paper put forward to this conference. Far reaching and inclusive, multipronged efforts to get full global ratification of the Treaty were called for by states like Malaysia, who stand ready to work with the ICRC, UN Regional Centres for Disarmament, and others and will be holding a regional roundtable on universalition later this year.
Later in the afternoon, Articles 6 & 7 of the treaty – on environmental remediation and victim assistance – took place looking at the long-term plan for these issues. Interventions from Léna Normand and Hinemouera Cross from Association 193 (French Polynesia) caused the room to erupt in thunderous applause, and the chair to thank them not only for their intervention, but for bearing witness to the horrific long-term impacts of nuclear weapons on their homeland and their health.
To illustrate these testing impacts as well as the communities of resistance around the globe, ICAN has launched a nuclear testing map to help people learn about the nuclear testing, impacted communities and activism for justice.
The session concluded a few minutes early, and tomorrow the draft declaration will be circulated for discussions and (fingers crossed) adoption! When it’s in place, we’ll circulate some talking points to use for local press outreach.
We’re excited to see how this all comes together, so stay tuned.
Featured image from NuclearTestImpacts, copyrighted 2022 ICAN.