Strasbourg, April 24, 2009 – Today the European Parliament approved with a majority of 177 votes against 130 an amendment introducing the “Model Nuclear Weapons Convention” and the “Hiroshima-Nagasaki Protocol” (attached) as concrete tools to achieve a nuclear weapons free world by 2020. The amendment was introduced by the Ana Gomes for the PES and Angelika Beer for the Greens/EFA. The amendment received cross-party support (1) during the Plenary vote here in Strasbourg today. Especially Frieda Brepoels for the EPP-DE and Annemie Neyts and Juul Maaten for the ALDE called to support the vision of a nuclear weapon free world by 2020. The approval of the amendment (2) demonstrates that the EP is increasing pressure to make nuclear disarmament by 2020 a top-priority for the EU member states. Here the EP demonstrates leadership and an intention to become a visible actor following President Obama’s statements for a NWFW in Prague.
The amendment is part of the overall “Report Beer” (3), a recommendation to the EU Council on non-proliferation and the future of the Treaty on Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (doc. A6-0234/09). The overall report was approved by 271 +, 38 – and 29 abstenstions. On May 4th 2009 all state parties of the NPT will be meeting at the UN headquarters in New York for the 3rd NPT PrepCom in New York.
The amendment introducing the “model Nuclear Weapons Convention” and the “Hiroshima-Nagasaki Protocol” is actively promoted by Mayors for Peace, a global network of 2,817 cities from 134 countries and regions, presided by Dr. Tadatoshi Akiba, the Mayor of Hiroshima.
The amendment was supported by the Parliamentarians for Non-proliferation and Nuclear Disarmament (PNND), and Abolition 2000 Europe, a global network counting over 2000 NGO’s.
Pol DHuyvetter, an Executive Advisor for the Hiroshima Peace Culture Foundation, declared from the EP in Strasbourg: “The support of the European Parliament for the Hiroshima-Nagasaki Protocol is very significant, even historic. It demonstrates that the EP is adding a concrete time-line to the recent proposals by President Obama. Members of the EP are gearing up to make a nuclear weapon free world possible in the life-time of President Obama. Furthermore the adoption of the amendment gives a clear signal to Mr. Solana and all EU member states to make nuclear disarmament a top-priority so we can free the world of all remaining 25,000 nuclear warheads before 2020. Cities can no longer be kept hostage of nuclear policies”.
The EU counts two out of the five official nuclear weapons states, with France and the UK holding on to, and modernizing, their national nuclear arsenals. Most EU member states are also part of NATO’s Nuclear Planning Group, a group holding on to the nuclear deterrent as an essential part of transatlantic security policies. Here there are also clear indications of US nuclear weapon deployments in Belgium, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands and Turkey. For the previous decades NATO holds on to a “nor confirm nor deny” secretive policy concerning US deployments in Europe.
The Hiroshima-Nagasaki Protocol is complementary to the NPT and receives growing support from cities, governments and civil society around the world. As of April 23rd, 2009, there are 642 signatories <http://www.2020visioncampaign.org/pages/462/>to the “Cities Appeal in support of the H-N Protocol” from 45 countries. They range from the Mayors of London, Luxembourg, Rome and Stockholm in Europe, Sapporo (Japan) in the East to San Francisco (USA) in the West, Rio de Janeiro and Sao Paulo (Brazil) and Cape Town (South Africa) in the South and to the North Toronto (Canada). Also note that on June 23, 2008, the US Conference of Mayors, at its 76th annual meeting in Miami, Florida, unanimously adopted a far-reaching resolution supporting the Hiroshima-Nagasaki Protocol, entitled “Support for the Elimination of All Nuclear Weapons by the Year 2020.
(2) Approved amendment F:
F. encouraged by new disarmament proposals such as those called for by Henry Kissinger, George P. Shultz, William J. Perry and Sam Nunn in January 2007 and January 2008/*, the Model Nuclear Weapons Convention and the Hiroshima-Nagasaki protocol, promoted globally by civic organisations and political leaders, */and campaigns such as “Global Zero”, which argue that one crucial way of ensuring the prevention of nuclear proliferation and the achievement of global security is to move towards the elimination of nuclear weapons,
(3) Soon the final approved version of the Report Beer click here <http://www.europarl.europa.eu/sides/getDoc.do?type=REPORT&reference=A6-2009-0234&language=EN&mode=XML>