Events

 Thursday December 7.
Basel University, Hörsaal 001
18:00 - 20:00

Premier screening of the award-winning movie 'Where the Wind Blew' about the impact of nuclear tests in Nevada and Kazakhstan. Screenign is followed by discussion with representatives of Kazakhstan.

Basel University, September 14 - September 17

An international conference on the human impact of nuclear weapons and power, legal cases on behalf of victims, and protection of future generations.

Monday Jan 16. 16:30-18:30. Sydney Room, Floor 2, Messe Center, Messeplatz 21, Basel.

Europe could be caught in nuclear cross-fire between Russia and the United States. Join us for a discussion with Swiss and international speakers on new threats from nuclear weapons and what can be done about it.

Kazakh Room (Cinema XIV), Palais des Nations, Geneva.
September 27, 2016. 15:00 - 17:00.

Special event featuring
* Ela Gandhi (grand-daughter of Mahatma Gandhi and Co-President of Religions for Peace);
* Chain Reaction 2016 video, a series of nuclear disarmament actions and events around the world;

* Presentation of the Astana Vision declaration to the United Nations.

Please register at info@unfoldzero.org by September 22

Issues and proposals for taking forward nuclear disarmament
Framwork Forum roundtable for invited governments
April 18, 2016
Hosted by the Permanent Mission of Canada to the UN, Geneva
Co-sponsored by the Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung

From the NPT to the UN General Assembly: Filling the legal gap to prohibit and eliminate nuclear weapons

Geneva, 1 September 2015, 13:15-18:00

Restaurant Layalina 121 rue de Lausanne, and Auditorium Jacques Freymond, rue de Lausanne 132       

Sponsored by Parliamentarians for Nuclear Non-proliferation and Disarmament, Middle Powers Initiative, Basel Peace Office and Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung, Geneva
Supported by the Right Livelihood Award Foundation and World Future Council

Screenings in various locations in Switzerland during the week September 21-26

Directed by Peter Anthony
Featuring: Stanislav Petrov, Kevin Costner, Sergey Shnrynov, Matt Damon, Natalia Vdovina & Robert de Niro

On the night of September 26, 1983, Stanislav Petrov disobeyed military protocol and probably prevented a nuclear holocaust. He says that he is not a hero. 'I was just in the right place at the right time.' You decide!

 

Wave goodbye to nukes! 24 hours of actions in capitals and other cities around the world April 26-27, 2015

Framework Forum roundtable
Monday September 8, 2014, 13:00 – 18:00
Geneva Academy of International Humanitarian Law and Human Rights
Auditoire Jaques Freymond, rue de Lausanne 132 , Geneva

By invitation only
Contact info@baselpeaceoffice.org

Kazakh Room (Cinema Room XIV),
Palais des Nations, United Nations, Geneva
September 25, 16:00 - 17:30
followed by refreshments

Organised by UNFOLD ZERO and the Basel Peace Office
Hosted by the United Nations Office of Disarmament Affairs

A UN pass is required to attend. Contact info@unfoldzero.org

18 August to 15 October 2014
Oberer Rheinweg, Basel, Between Mittlere Brücke (Middle Bridge) and Wettstein Bridge

Late October until early December 2014
Theatrestrasse, Basel. From Elizabethenkirche to Barfusserplatz

www.makingpeace.org

Sunday August 17, 6pm – 9pm
Im Fluss stage on the Rhine
Oberer Rheinweg, Basel

Free

PLAYforRIGHTS presents a Youth Music Performance to commemorate World Humanitarian Day

A range of live music featuring ERROR 404 brass band ensemble from Musik Akademie Basel

July 4 - 5
Basel, Switzerland

Hosted by Guy Morin, President of the Basel-Stadt Canton
Organised by the Basel Peace Office

Mayors, parliamentarians and civil society!
Join us in Basel to share initiatives, network with others and advance the cooperative security framework for peace, prosperity and nuclear disarmament.

Chernobyl exhibition and the Rhine
Kleinbasel, Basel
Sunday April 13, afternoon

With Basel Peace Office and Environmental Award laureates participating in the 3rd International Convention of Environmental Laureates.

13:00: Photo exhibition of Chernobyl nuclear disaster
by Alexander Hofmann
Basel Art Center, Riehentorstrasse 33, Basel
Discounted group rate 15 CHF (normal entry is 22 CHF)

13:50 Lunch
Merian Spitz Cafe, Rheingasse 2

15:30. Rhine Promenade, water-powered ferry, Munster

RSVP to alyn@pnnd.org or +41 788 912 156

International Day of Sport for Peace and Development
Sunday April 6, 2014

Carton Blanc photo event and short peace run/cycle in Basel
Followed by an informal talk on peace and sport – peace bike rides

3pm: Run/cycle along the Rhine from Oberer Rheinweg (under Wettstein Bridge) to the Three Countries Corner
4pm: Carton Blanc photo event at Three Countries Corner, Dreiländereck
5pm: Light meal and talk at Restaurant Schiff

Contact info@baselpeaceoffice.org

Act now to encourage your country to engage in the OEWG. Organize a public event with motive of “opening the door to a nuclear weapons free world”!

Tuesday 21 May, 2013
13:15 – 14:45
Room XI, Building A, UN Geneva

Side-event of Open Ended Working
Group on Nuclear Disarmament

Launch of the 2nd edition of the Nuclear Abolition Forum
Tuesday, 9 April 2013
12:30 – 14:00
Geneva Centre for Security Policy
WMO/OMM Building Avenue de la Paix 7bis, Geneva

Featuring:
Ambassador Urs Schmid (Switzerland)
Ambassador Nobuyasu Abe (Japan)
Jean-Marie Collin (PNND, France)
Marc Finaud (Program Adviser, GCSP)
Alyn Ware (Founder, Nuclear Abolition Forum, New Zealand)
Teresa Bergman (Researcher, Basel Peace Office)

6pm, Friday May 24
University of Basel, Lecture Hall 001
Petersgraben, Basel

Featuring:
Wilson Kipketer, runner. Current world record holder for the 800 and 1000 meters (indoors).
Spokesperson for L’organisation pour la Paix par le Sport (Peace and Sport)
Paol Hansen, Special Adviser UN Office on Sport for Development and Peace
Carola Szemerey, Youth Future Project
Henk Van Nieuwenhove, Flanders Peace Field project  (the 1914 Soccer Truce)

 

Framework Forum brings governments and experts together in Geneva to ‘walk through the door’ to a nuclear weapons free world

UN representatives and parliamentarians from 17 countries* met with disarmament experts on Saturday 24 August for a Framework Forum roundtable to discuss the exciting new United Nations process for multilateral disarmament – the Open Ended Working Group on Taking Forward Multilateral Nuclear Disarmament Negotiations (OEWG), which has been meeting at the Palais de Nations in Geneva in May, June and August before reporting back to the United Nations General Assembly this October.

Xanthe Hall, Felix Kirchmeier, Uta Zapf, Manuel Dengo, Ronald Sturm and Alyn Ware

The Framework Forum event, co-hosted by Parliamentarians for Nuclear Nonproliferation and Disarmament (PNND), Middle Powers Initiative (MPI) and the Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung (FES), focused on how to ensure the OEWG is effective in overcoming the 17-years of paralysis in multilateral nuclear disarmament negotiations, and on how to elevate the nuclear disarmament issue up the political ladder.

Participants were welcomed with an instructive and illuminating video message from Tadatoshi Akiba, Chair of the Middle Powers Initiative and former President of Mayors for Peace.

Speaking from the Atomic Bomb Dome in Hiroshima, Mr Akiba remarked that the use of a nuclear weapon against Hiroshima ‘is an important reminder of the catastrophic impact of their use and the imperative to achieve nuclear abolition.’

Mr Akiba outlined the purpose of the Framework Forum to assist governments ‘establish the necessary framework to achieve and maintain a world without nuclear weapons’ as agreed by all States Parties to the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty (NPT) at the 2010 NPT Review Conference.

Mr Akiba called for ‘increased action by governments – both non-nuclear and nuclear-armed’ to implement this agreement, including through ‘ preparatory work on a range of the elements or building blocks for a nuclear weapons free world, and the commencement of multilateral nuclear disarmament negotiations leading to a nuclear weapons convention or package of agreements.’ 

The Open Ended Working Group has opened the door to deliberations, cooperative action, preparatory work and negotiations.  Civil society actors including parliamentarians, mayors, policy analysts and campaigners – if adequately resourced - are able to assist you [governments] walk through this door and to bring other key States – including the nuclear Weapon States – with you.’

Mr Akiba's welcome was followed by superb presentations from Manuel Dengo (Chair of the OEWG), Xanthe Hall (IPPNW/PNND/MPI), Ronald Sturm (Head of Nuclear Security, Disarmament and Non-proliferation Unit, Austrian Federal Ministry for European and International Affairs), Jarmo Sareva (Deputy Secretary-General of the Conference on Disarmament ), Jonathan Granoff (President of the Global Security Institute), Marc Finaud (Geneva Centre for Security Policy and UNIDIR),  Tarja Cronberg MEP (Chair of PNND European Parliament Section) and Uta Zapf (PNND Co-President).

Tarja Cronberg MEP

Ambassador Dengo, who also features in the Open the door video shown at the start of the second session(see below), reflected on the positive climate of the OEWG meetings where different perspectives and proposals have been discussed in a cordial manner with genuine good faith efforts to reach common ground.

Ronald Sturm gave a personal reflection of how humanitarian disasters – no matter where they occur – can impact on people everywhere. As a young Red Cross volunteer in Austria in the 1980s, for example, Mr Sturm was faced with the tragic results of chemical weapons use in the Iraq/Iran war as some of the victims were flown to Austria for treatment. Sturm noted that people today are complacent about the possibility of nuclear weapons use and their humanitarian consequences including long-term effects like a nuclear famine – perhaps because they feel it could not happen in their country – but that this complacency is truly misplaced, because the effects would be global.

Xanthe Hall introduced the concept of change management as an approach that could assist the blocked multilateral process. In particular, change management would address institutional as well as policy blocks to progress and consider the changing political environment - as the 21st century security environment is very different to the 20th Century environment which gave rise to nuclear deterrence policies. In addition, a change management approach would help identify ways to overcome ‘change-related fear’, such as the psychological fear of countries moving from reliance on nuclear deterrence to one of cooperative security.

Ms Hall cited analysis presented by Nancy Gallagher to the February 2013 Framework Forum in Berlin on the concept of Strategic Stability. ‘The Strategic Stability doctrine arose in a bi-polar world where some balance of power between two opposing sides could theoretically be possible. Such a concept is nonsense in a multi-polar world. Yet it continues to frame - and limit - disarmament negotiations between the nuclear weapon States. From a strategic stability framework, insecurity arises as numbers of nuclear weapons come down and ‘balance of power’ is less achievable. Thus, getting to zero is all but precluded.’

Uta Zapf, Chair of the Bundestag (German Parliament) Subcommittee on Disarmament and Arms Control

Uta Zapf picked up on this theme, and called for a greater shift from military security and it’s elusive search for balance of power, towards common and cooperative security which relies more on common legal and political mechanisms to resolve conflicts and address security issues. She noted that this has been the approach of the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe - which was successful decades ago in achieving the Treaty on Conventional Forces in Europe, but needs reinvigorating to enhance the cooperative security framework.

Marc Finaud, also addressed the cooperative security framework, noting that shifting nuclear weapons-possessing States - and those under extended nuclear deterrence arrangements - away from their reliance on nuclear weapons will require a range of approaches, as the reasons for relying on nuclear weapons differ. In some cases nuclear deterrence is related to unresolved regional conflicts - in other cases, to more global issues. Mr Finaud indicated that engagement of the OEWG with both the governments and key civil society actors of the countries relying on nuclear weapons will be important to address their security concerns in order to enable them to abandon nuclear deterrence and join a nuclear-weapons-free regime.

Jarmo Sareva dubbed the OEWG as ‘diplomats for disarmament’, indicating the possibilities, but also the responsibilities, of the OEWG participating countries to ensure they use the forum to make progress. Mr Sareva highlighted the importance of building political will – as without it no forum can succeed. However, he also noted that insufficient political will is no excuse for inaction – that the current blocks to multilateral nuclear disarmament are not created by God but by human choice. Sareva suggested that governments participating in the UN High Level Meeting in New York on 26 September refrain from political slogans criticising others, but instead use the opportunity to focus on the common aspiration for a nuclear weapons free world, and support the concrete proposals arising through the OEWG for progress on both initial measures and a comprehensive framework or roadmap for a nuclear weapons free world.

Tarja Cronberg MEP, who serves as the Chair of the European Parliament Contact Group with Iran, noted that there are various reasons for States to seek, acquire or hold onto nuclear weapons including the prestige, status or political power that they can confer. These reasons need to be considered when developing approaches to prevent proliferation or to move nuclear-armed States towards nuclear disarmament. In the case of Iran, for example, the current approach of the P5 and Germany (five nuclear weapon States and one nuclear-weapons hosting State) leading the negotiations provides a framework which could reinforce the status and political power of nuclear weapons rather than reducing it. A better approach may be to elevate the political status of being non-nuclear by giving a more leading role to non-nuclear weapons States in the negotiations. The successful Brazil-Turkey negotiations with Iran in 2010 (unfortunately scuttled by the P5) and the promising mediating role of Kazakhstan in the latest round of talks indicates the potential of such an approach.

Jonathan Granoff, by video message from the United States, called on the governments to elevate the issue up the political ladder – especially at the UN High Level Meeting in September – perhaps by stating strongly at the meeting that ‘There is no national boundary to the fall out of a nuclear blast.  My citizens and all citizens have a right to a nuclear weapons free world.'

Mr Granoff also called on governments, academics and civil society to advance the ‘realism’ of the 21st Century. ‘Realism requires commitment to address the entire set of existential threats to the survival of civilization such as protecting the climate, the health of the oceans and rainforests as living systems, and a security system that does not generate the uses of science and technology to develop and deploy instruments of indiscriminate horrific destruction.  Such realism means cooperation in achieving public common goods of the highest value, made more difficult to be obtained in a nuclear apartheid world.’

Alyn Ware

Alyn Ware, PNND Global Coordinator, presented a statement from Jaroslaw Walesa (Deputy-Chair of PNND European Parliament Section) who had hoped to attend the forum. Mr Walesa recently worked with Tarja Cronberg, Global Zero and PNND to secure the signatures of over 380 members of the European Parliament for a Written Declaration supporting the Global Zero plan for the elimination of nuclear weapons. He noted that parliamentarians have a unique opportunity to engage with parliamentary colleagues from both non-nuclear and nuclear weapon States and then use this to input into practical policy steps to achieve a nuclear weapons free world.

The discussion from the participants at the forum was lively and productive focusing on a range of process and substantive issues. Some key comments included:

  • The OEWG final report should have specific recommendations, or provide an indication of strength of support for specific proposals, rather than merely being a compendium of proposals. If consensus is not possible on this, it might be necessary for the report to be submitted by the Chair without seeking adoption by the OEWG;
  • Most countries have already rejected nuclear deterrence for their security. Non-NWS can encourage NWS (and allies under extended nuclear deterrence) to make the decision necessary to phase out or abandon reliance on nuclear weapons;
  •  OEWG has opened the door to deliberations leading to negotiations for a nuclear weapons free world. Prior to the OEWG, only civil society actors were discussing the details on how to achieve a nuclear weapons free world. Now governments are discussing this in the OEWG which is a huge step forward;
  • The OEWG is receiving considerable support from civil society – and especially from parliamentarians through the Inter Parliamentary Union (which has chosen to focus on the issue of achieving a nuclear weapons free world), PNND and regional parliamentary bodies such as the Parliamentary Assembly of the Organisation for Cooperation and Security in Europe (which has adopted a resolution supporting the OEWG).

The participants were also treated to an inspiring Open the door compilation video produced by the Basel Peace Office from approximately 40 video clips sent in from policy-makers, parliamentarians, mayors, disarmament experts, children and youth from around the world opening doors to a nuclear weapons free world and walking through. See www.openthedoor2013.org for the individual video clips.

The Basel Peace Office thanks the Geneva branch of the Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung for its logistical and financial support to enable us to organise the Framework Forum roundtable in Geneva.

* Delegates from the following countries participated in the Framework Forum roundtable meeting - Algeria, Austria, Belgium, Costa Rica, Czech Republic, Egypt, Germany, India, Ireland, Japan, Slovakia, Sweden, Switzerland and Turkey, along with parliamentarians from Finland, Germany and Scotland and a number of disarmament experts and NGO representatives.

Written presentations:

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