Sergio Duarte, UN High Representative for Disarmament Affairs 2007-2011
Comments for the launch of the Nuclear Abolition Forum
The Nuclear Abolition Forum was established in 2011 to facilitate dialogue on the process to achieve and sustain a nuclear-weapons-free world.
The Forum contains a periodical and website for academics, governments, disarmament experts and NGOs on key issues regarding the prohibition and elimination of nuclear weapons under a Nuclear Weapons Convention or package of agreements, as well as the process to achieving this.
The Forum seeks to include a variety of perspectives rather than advocating any particular approach to achieving a world free of nuclear weapons. This could include contributions from those who do not yet believe that nuclear abolition is possible, or who favour a step-by-step approach, as well as contributions from those who support a more comprehensive approach. However, attention is given to examining and critiquing the framework for achieving a nuclear weapons-free world rather than focusing solely or primarily on the next immediate steps.
There are of course many challenges that need to be overcome and questions still to be addressed in order for governments to agree to the abolition and elimination of nuclear weapons. This independent forum aims to assist this process by exploring the legal, technical, institutional and political elements for achieving a nuclear weapons free world.
In addition to offering an extensive database of documents dealing with these elements, posted on the website under a variety of category headings, the Forum offers users a variety of interactive features, including the possibility to post articles and comment, initiate and partake in discussions.
The inaugural issue of the Nuclear Abolition Forum periodical, released in New York in October 2011, focuses on the application of International Humanitarian Law to nuclear weapons and comprises articles from a range of high-level experts.
The next issue of the periodical will be on Nuclear Deterrence, the subject of a roundtable hosted by the Nuclear Abolition Forum during the 2012 NPT Preparatory Committee meeting in Vienna.