Disarmament and non-proliferation

Disarmament and non-proliferation

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The growing threat of global terrorism has only heightened the need for disarmament and non-proliferation. Photo: ©Jonathan McIntosh/CCBY

Our planet faces major threats from weapons of mass destruction (WMD). The growing threat of global terrorism has only heightened the need for disarmament and non-proliferation.

Whereas chemical and biological weapons have been banned, nuclear weapons continue to be produced and stockpiled. A nuclear incident with devastating consequences on people and planet is therefore a very real risk. In recent years, there has been a political momentum for achieving a nuclear-weapons-free world. We are at a turning point. Further proliferation and potential disaster are simply not acceptable. It is crucial to honour people’s wishes and ensure sustainable security for future generations.

We encourage, train and support parliaments and MPs in their important responsibility to act. Some have already taken practical steps, such as establishing nuclear-free zones, curbing military spending and reducing nuclear forces.

It is also vital that parliaments and MPs make sure that existing treaties and conventions are signed and honoured. It is of paramount importance that the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty enters into force. The Nuclear Proliferation Treaty regime must also be strengthened, and individual governments must be encouraged to reduce their nuclear capacities.

In 2014 we adopted a landmark resolution on parliaments’ role in achieving a nuclear-weapons-free world. We urged parliaments to work with their governments to eliminate the role of nuclear weapons in security doctrines, and to use all available tools to monitor the implementation of commitments to disarm. We also produced a handbook, Supporting Nuclear Non-Proliferation and Disarmament, to assist parliamentarians in advancing nuclear disarmament and non-proliferation.

Disarmament involves encouraging governments to give up weapons of mass destruction. But it is also about preventing WMD from falling into the hands of non-state actors, which is the subject of UN Security Council resolution 1540. That is why we are working to promote the implementation of the resolution. In December 2016, the UN Security Council passed resolution 2325 that recognizes the key role played by parliamentarians in implementing the resolution.

We work alongside groups including Parliamentarians for Nuclear Non-proliferation and Disarmament and the Parliamentary Forum on Small Arms and Light Weapons. In 2013 we joined forces with the United Nations Office for Disarmament Affairs and the World Future Council to award a prize celebrating the world's best disarmament policies.

Our commitment to disarmament is part of our overall work on peace and security and global governance.

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The growing threat of global terrorism has only heightened the need for disarmament and non-proliferation. Photo: ©Jonathan McIntosh/CCBY