At a time when the international community is facing unprecedented global challenges, parliamentarians can take on leading roles in ensuring sustainable global security, while reducing the diversion of precious resources from human needs. As parliaments set the fiscal priorities for their respective countries, they can determine how much to invest in the pursuit of peace and cooperative security.
United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon
Letter to every parliament, February 2010
Parliamentarians and mayors, as the elected representatives of civil society, play a key role in advancing the common interest of humanity for the peace and security of a nuclear-weapons-free world.
Mayors - as representatives of cities - have a particular role to highlight the inhumanity, illegality and absurdity of targetting or attacking human populations with nuclear weapons - whether this is done by terrorist groups or nuclear-armed governments.
Parliamentarians play a direct representative role - and are bridges - between civil society and government policy - whether they are members of the govenrment party that sets government policy or the opposition which challenges government policy.
The Basel Peace Office was opened - and is supported - by the Basel Canton, a member of Mayors for Peace, which brings together over 5000 cities in the common call for the global prohibition of nuclear weapons by 2020.
The Basel Peace Office serves as the Head Office of Parliamentarians for Nuclear Non-proliferation and Disarmament (PNND), a global network of over 800 parliamentarians from across the political spectrum collaborating on practical initiatives for nuclear non-proliferation and disarmament. PNND's members include current and former presidents, prime ministers, foreign ministers, presidents/speakers of parliaments and chairs of key parliamentary committees.
PNND and Mayors for Peace work closely with the United Nations Secretary-General and the UN Office of Disarmament Affairs to advance multilateral nuclear disarmament initiatives that have wide support at the United Nations, including the UNSG's Five-Point Nuclear Disarmament Plan, an end to nuclear testing, the establishment of nuclear-weapon-free zones, replacing nuclear deterrence with cooperative security mechanisms, and the abolition of nuclear weapons through a nuclear weapons convention (global treaty).
PNND and Mayors for Peace receive support from the Swiss Federal Department of Foreign Affairs for specific projects to inform and engage legislators, including on the Climate-Nuclear Nexus and for the PNND/IPU Handbook for Parliamentarians on Nuclear Non-proliferation and Disarmament.