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Fight for nuclear disarmament the focus of GUE/NGL event

10/01/2018

Fight for nuclear disarmament the focus of GUE/NGL event

Nobel Peace Prize laureates, the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons (ICAN), will be among the participants today at a GUE/NGL event on the ‘The UN Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons’.

The conference coincides with overnight reports from the US that Donald Trump aims to loosen constraints on the use of nuclear weapons in future policies.

ICAN will speak alongside MEPs, the World Peace Council, the International Action for Liberation (INTAL) and Belgium’s Coordination Nationale d'Action pour la Paix et la Démocratie (CNAPD).

Ever since the Treaty of Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT) came into force in 1970, a total of 190 states including five countries that possess nuclear weapons are state parties of the NPT.

However, nine nuclear powers have boycotted the current UN treaty negotiations and the panel discussions will centre on the struggle for the signature and ratification of the UN Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons, and the necessary steps for building peace in the world.

Speaking ahead of the event, GUE/NGL President Gabi Zimmer says:

“Today, the nuclear arms race is even more dangerous than at the height of the Cold War. With heads of states like Trump and Kim trying to outdo each other with threats - including the use of nuclear weapons - we run the serious risk of ending up with a nuclear war.”

“Yet, the world’s nuclear powers refuse to consider or even negotiate disarmament today. This cannot continue and must be dealt with immediately!”

For Portuguese MEP João Pimenta Lopes, we must do more to apply pressure on their governments:

“Nuclear weapons pose the gravest threat to humanity. History shows the terrible and prolonged consequences of its criminal deployment - with the destruction of Hiroshima and Nagasaki in 1945 where more than 210,000 civilians were killed.”

“The size and potency of the existing nuclear arsenals and increasing tension on the international stage underscore the urgency of nuclear disarmament.”

“We therefore call for the mobilisation and struggle of all in defense of peace, and to exert pressure upon our governments to ratify this UN Treaty - and to stand against the strengthening of EU military policy as well as NATO,” he said.

Meanwhile, German MEP Sabine Lösing fears that time is running out:

"I think the so-called Doomsday Clock is now at two minutes to midnight. Two decades after the end of the Cold War, thousands of nuclear weapons still pose a real threat worldwide.”

“In my view, this threat can only be met by a firm desire for peace. We need to prohibit nuclear weapons and to consistently disarm existing ones. Unfortunately, however, nuclear armament is currently being further legitimised by mutual blame and increased tension."

 

Merja Kyllönen MEP, currently running for president in her native Finland, will be unable to attend. However, she has recorded this video statement for the event.

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