Nuclear disarmament - A treaty to prevent the weaponisation of space

Get Disarmament Moving! Jump-Start Disarmament!

The UN General Assembly is currently discussing how to get real progress on nuclear disarmament. Many countries are moving to prevent any one countrys ability to block all negotiations, and letting the world's desire to abolish nuclear weapons move forward. This discussion is taking the shape of a resolution currently being put forward in the First Committee of the UN General Assembly. (Draft text of the resolution at the end of this email)

The resolution, announced on October 6th, will establish four ad-hoc committees under the General Assembly and provide an opportunity for governments to address nuclear disarmament, preventing an arms race in outer space, a treaty that would ban the production of fissile material for nuclear weapons production, and negative security assurances.

Please write, phone, and fax your heads of states, foreign ministers, and UN missions in NYC and ask them to support the resolution that will be voted on in the First Committee at the end of October and forwarded to the General Assembly.

A letter from Abolition-2000 to all UN missions, and from Australian NGOs to Australian foreign minister Alexander Downer are below, followed by draft text of the resolution itself.

For your governmentâs contact information, visit:


Some fax numbers that might be useful (Foreign ministries and UN missions) are:

Australia - foreign minister Alexander Downer - 61-2-6273-4112 or 61-2-8370-8166 Australia - UN Mission 1-212-351-6610 New Zealand Foreign Ministry - 64-4-472-9596 UN Mission 1-212-758-0827 Japan UN Mission 1-212-751-1966 Germany - Foreign Ministry - 49-30-1888-17-3402 UN Mission -1-212-940-0402 Norway - foreign ministry - 47-2224-9580 UN mission 1-212-688-0554 South Africa Foreign Ministry - 27-12-351-0253 UN Mission 1-212-692-2498 United States - President Bush 202-456-2461 UN Mission 1-212-415-4443 Russia - foreign ministry - (095)244- 4112 President Putin7-095-205-4219 Russia- UNmission 1-212-628-0252 UK- Tony Blair - 44-207-925-0918 UN Mission 1-212-745-9316 China (UN mission) 1-212-634-7626 France Foreign Ministry - 011-33-147-42-2465 UN Mission 1-212-421-6889 India Foreign Ministry - 011-91-11-301-6857 UNmission 490-9656 Pakistan (UN mission) 744-7348 Israel Foreign Ministry 011-972-266-4838 UN mission 1-212-499-5515 Iran UN mission 867-7086

They need to hear from us to help them stick to their intentions to make this 60th anniversary year of living with the bomb, the year the world got serious about eliminating the nuclear scourge.

They will be under tremendous pressure from the US and its allies--so please act now to let your government know that the other superpower--the people of the world--want governments to do the right thing and ban the bomb.

To build support for nuclear disarmament in your own community, urge your mayor, parliamentarians or congress members to endorse the Joint Mayors and Parliamentariansâ Statement on Nuclear Disarmament - www.pnnd.org -that will be presented at the United Nations on UN Day, October 24th to support the draft UN resolution.

For more information, visit http://www.abolitionnow.org

This letter from Australian NGOs was faxed yesterday to foreign minister Downer. It is followed by a letter from Abolition2000 to all UN missions.


Alexander Downer, Foreign Minister,
6273-4112, 08-8237-7950 6261-2151 Australian UN Mission 1-212-351-6610 Foreign Minister, Norway 47-2224-9580 Norway UN Mission 1-212-688-0554 Foreign Minister South Africa 27-12-351-0253 RSA UN Mission 1-212-692-2498 UN Mission Chile, 1-212-832-8714 UN Mission Romania 1-212-682-9746 UN Mission Indonesia 1-212-972-9780 UN Mission UK 1-212-745-9316

RE: UNGA FIRST COMMITTEE PROPOSAL 'Initiating Work on Priority Disarmament and Non-Proliferation Issues'

Dear Foreign Minister Downer, and representatives of the Seven Nation Initiative,

We are writing to urgently request Australia's and the Seven Nation Initiatives support for the proposal to be submitted by Canada, Mexico and Malaysia on Oct 6 in UNGA First Committee, "Initiating work on priority disarmament and non-proliferation issues" intended to break the paralysing deadlock in nuclear disarmament and nonproliferation negotiations that has prevailed over the past few years.

That resolution, would address the following vital issues: - Nuclear disarmament - A treaty to prevent the weaponisation of space - The Fissile Material Cut-off Treaty - Negative security assurances.

As you will be well aware, the recent NPT Review ended with no final agreement because a very small group of nations, and often only one nation, held up consensus.

You will also be well aware that nuclear disarmament and nonproliferation did not even figure on the agenda of the M+5 Summit in spite of pleas by Secretary - General Kofi Annan for progress to be made on it, in large part because of the actions of US ambassador to the UN John Boltons actions. Kofi Annans reaction to its exclusion from the M+5 agenda was that this was 'inexcusable'.

The Seven - Nation initiative was welcomed by Kofi Annan as a ray of hope against that dark background. It would therefore be highly appropriate and helpful for it to lend its support to other initiatives such as the Canada/Mexico/Malaysia one, designed to cut through the current nuclear disarmament deadlock. A process that does not allow this deadlock to happen but that accurately reflects the will of the overwhelming majority of peoples and governments is essential. A small number of governments - often only one government - that thwarts the overwhelming wish of the world as a whole to move toward the elimination of nuclear weapons is intolerable.

I trust and hope that both specific members of the Seven Nation initiative and the Initiative as a whole may find it possible to give their full support to the proposal emanating from Canada, Mexico, and Malaysia.

I draw your attention also to the letter on the same subject that UN Missions will have received from Abolition2000, with which we would wish to be fully identified.

John Hallam Nuclear Weapons Campaigner, Friends of the Earth Australia Tilman Ruff, Medical Association for the Prevention of War (MAPW) Jo Vallentine, People for Nuclear Disarmament W.A., Cameron Schraner, People for Nuclear Disarmament NSW

October 7, 2005

Dear Ambassador,

We are writing to you as representative members of the Abolition 2000 Global Network to Eliminate Nuclear Weapons - a network of over 2,000 organizations and municipalities in more than 90 countries, working for a treaty to eliminate nuclear weapons. As you well know, the 2005 Non-Proliferation Treaty Review Conference ended with no final document and no agreement on how to implement the hard won promises made by nuclear weapon states in 1995 and 2000, including the unequivocal undertaking for the total elimination of nuclear weapons. Nor were the nations, bound by rules of consensus, able to address the increasing danger of nuclear proliferation, since only one or two countries were able to block any meaningful commitments for further measures to secure nuclear materials and deal with other issues of nuclear proliferation. Additionally, the Conference on Disarmament ended its ninth consecutive year without agreement on a program of work - another demonstrable failure of the current multilateral disarmament machinery caused by a lack of political will on the part of the few.

Once again, at the Millennium +5 Summit, leaders of governments were unable to deal with the critical issues of nuclear disarmament and non-proliferation. Every single reference to those matters was removed from the final document by a group of governments powerfully led by a few, thwarting the democratic will of the majority of the world’s people to make our world more secure by eliminating the nuclear scourge.

For these reasons, we urge your support for a resolution that is being put forward in the First Committee of the General Assembly to move these critical issues forward. This resolution, announced on October 6, will establish four ad-hoc committees under the General Assembly - a truly multilateral body, not bound by consensus. These committees, operating in Geneva, would begin work on the following issues:

- Negative security assurances. - Prevention of an Arms Race in Outer Space - Fissile Material Cut-off Treaty - Nuclear disarmament

The failure of the CD to act on these issues is largely attributed to the misinterpreted consensus rule of procedure, and the stubborn blockage by one member state. This resolution is not attempting to modify the mandate of the CD, nor is it opening a Pandora’s box of reform issues. Instead, it will provide ALL member states of the UN with an opportunity to contribute substantively to these important issues, affording an opportunity to move forward with discussions and deliberations that can set the legal, technical and political framework for substantive action on these items by the CD once it agrees to do so. However, if the CD fails to agree to a program of work, discussions will not be forced to end. This resolution provides an opportunity for negotiations to begin, and for those who deliberately boycott or sabotage those negotiations to pay a political price - and no longer be able to hide behind the consensus rules of the CD. On issues as critical as the collective security of our planet we cannot allow any chance of progress to be blocked by the obstinate refusal of a handful of states to the detriment of the great majority of nations.

We urge you to demonstrate your concern for the preservation of global security and support for the will of the world’s majority by supporting this resolution in the First Committee.


Abolition Global Council Monika Szymurska Abolition 2000 Coordinator

215 Lexington Avenue, Suite 1001 New York, NY 10016

e-mail: monika@abolitionnow.org phone: (212) 726-9161 fax: (212) 726-9160

NON-PAPER Draft Elements of an UNGA60 First Committee Resolution "Initiating work on priority disarmament and non-proliferation issues"

The General Assembly,

1. Recognizing the importance of resuming substantive work on priority disarmament and non-proliferation issues,

2. Concerned with the protracted impasse in the Conference on Disarmament which has prevented it to date from adopting a Programme of Work,

3. Mindful of the need to ensure complementarity and avoid duplication between the work of the General Assembly and the Conference on Disarmament,

1. Decides, pending agreement on a Conference of Disarmament Programme of Work, to establish open-ended Ad Hoc Committees on the four priority issues as enumerated in paragraphs a-d below.

a) The first Ad Hoc Committee shall negotiate, with a view to
reaching agreement on effective international arrangements to assure non-nuclear-weapon States against the use or threat of use of nuclear weapons. These arrangements could take the form of an internationally binding instrument.

b) The second Ad Hoc Committee shall deal with nuclear disarmament. The Ad Hoc Committee shall exchange information and views on practical steps for progressive and systematic efforts to attain this objective and, in doing so, shall examine approaches towards potential future work of a multilateral character. In discharging its functions, the Ad Hoc Committee will take into account current efforts and existing proposals and views, as well as proposals that may emerge from the study and discussion.

c) The third Ad Hoc Committee shall negotiate, on the basis of the report of the CD's Special Coordinator (CD/1299) and the mandate contained therein, a non-discriminatory, multilateral and internationally and effectively verifiable treaty banning the production of fissile material for nuclear weapons or other nuclear explosive devices.

d) The fourth Ad Hoc Committee shall deal with the prevention of an arms race in outer space. The Ad Hoc Committee shall identify and examine, without limitation, any specific topics or proposals, which could include confidence-building or transparency measures, general principles, treaty commitments and the elaboration of a regime capable of preventing an arms race in outer space, including the possibility of negotiating relevant international legal instruments. In doing so, the Ad Hoc Committee shall take appropriate account of the need to contribute actively to the objective of the peaceful use of outer space and the prevention of an arms race there, while also promoting international stability and respecting the principle of undiminished security for all.

2. Decides that upon adoption of a Programme of Work in the Conference of Disarmament, the work of the relevant Ad Hoc Committees will cease and the results obtained shall be transmitted to the President of the Conference on Disarmament.

3. Decides to appoint _________ as the Chair of the first Ad Hoc Committee; ________as the Chair of the second Ad Hoc Committee; _________as the Chair of the third Ad Hoc Committee and ___________ as the chair of the fourth Ad Hoc Committee. Each Chair will report to the 61st session of the General Assembly.

4. Decides that the work of the Ad Hoc Committees will take place in Geneva and convene for up to six one-week meetings of five sessions each.

5. Decides that, in 2006, the Ad Hoc Committee under 1 a) shall meet as follows: 23 January -27 January; 20 February - 24 February; 20 March - 24 March; 29 May - 2 June; 26 June - 30 June; and 21 August - 25 August.

6. Decides that, in 2006, the Ad Hoc Committee under 1 b) shall meet as follows: 30 January - 3 February; 27 February - 3 March; 21 March - 31 March; 5 June -9 June; 31 July - 4 August; 28 August - 1 September.

7. Decides that, in 2006, the Ad Hoc Committee under 1 c) shall meet as follows: 6 February - 10 February; 6 March - 10 March; 15 May - 19 May; 12 June - 16 June; 7 August - 11 August; 4 September - 8 September.

8. Decides that, in 2006, the Ad hoc Committee under 1 d) shall meet as follows: 13 February - 17 February; 13 March - 17 March; 22 May -26 May; 19 June - 23 June; 14 August - 18 August; 11 September - 15 September.

9. Decides that the above schedule could be subject to modification pursuant to agreement by the Chairmen concerned

10. Requests the Secretary-General to provide within existing resources the necessary support to convene the work of the four aforementioned Ad Hoc Committees.


From FoE Sydney - Nuclear Campaign


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Oktober 2005

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