Exciting times at the Prepcom. Young people issued a progressive Youth Appeal to delegates at the NPT PrepCom and shared their views at our side event, Panel Discussion on the nexus between the Ban Treaty and Article VI of the NPT.
On Wednesday morning, Ms. Myrna Nakhla of PEAC and Ms. Fieke van der Bas of PAX delivered the youth appeal.
Representatives from Abolition 2000 Youth Network, Amplify, INESAP, International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons (ICAN) Nagasaki Youth Delegation, PAX, and PEAC Institute co-drafted and endorsed the statement. The youth appeal called for states to acknowledge:
Once and for all, that nuclear weapons are a risk to humanity itself. How many more near misses, accidents, political miscalculations and technical missteps can we afford? In a time in which hate speech and fake news increasingly influence and distort our perceptions, we cannot rely on the judgement of a small number of countries to decide the future--or the end--of our planet. It is thus imperative that leaders come together to create solid regulatory mechanisms, which effectively commit states to “the elimination of all nuclear materials and technology.” This is exactly what the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons can achieve; and this is why it is of the utmost importance for states to promptly sign and ratify the Treaty.
They concluded the youth appeal with a powerful message to states:
We do not want to sit in your seat ten years from now, realising that nothing has changed. We need you, distinguished diplomats, to not only talk about visions of a world without nuclear weapons, but to actually achieve it. We are looking forward to being your partners in our shared mission of immediately achieving a world free of nuclear weapons.
It is high time for states to act and sign and ratify the Ban Treaty. We must all work together to get eliminate nuclear weapons NOW; and not sometime in the future.
Youth MESSAGE: Disarm now, we look forward to working with you.
PEAC/PAX/Amplify/NAPF Side event: Panel Discussion on the nexus between the Ban Treaty and Article VI
At our packed side event, the speakers covered an array of subjects, including the normative framework of Article VI, how the Ban Treaty fulfills Article VI, an assessment of the Ban Treaty, and the roles of young people in both promoting nuclear disarmament and the ban treaty. Significantly, Selma van Oostward of PAX/Amplify explained "the youth should challenge the current way of thinking about nuclear weapons.”
This event was very timely as there has been an ongoing discussions amongst states on the relationship between the Ban Treaty and Article VI. Progressive states recognize that the Ban Treaty unequivocally provides a means for states to prohibit, stigmatize, and eliminate nuclear weapons.