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)

 

Resolving the nuclear dilemma: the role of 3rd party leadership

By Rachel Day. Research Officer, Parliamentarians for Nuclear Non-proliferation and Disarmament.
A food-for-thought paper for the International Conference ‘Building a Nuclear-Weapon-Free World’.
Cover photo: UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon hosts a meeting between US President Obama and Russian President Putin
 

Over the past few years, tensions between nuclear-armed blocs have re-surfaced, increasing the risk of a nuclear assault by accident or miscalculation, and hindering the prospects for multi-lateral nuclear disarmament. These include the conflicts between Russia and the West (especially over the Ukraine), and between China and the U.S. alliance in East Asia (especially over disputed islands and territorial waters in the South China Sea).

In looking at past conflicts between nuclear states, it is clear that countries such as Kazakhstan, and international organizations such as the United Nations and the European Union, have played a key role in enabling successful diplomacy and achieving significant agreements. This includes the agreements to eliminate nuclear weapons in former Soviet countries, negotiation of the Central Asian Nuclear Weapon Free Zone, and most recently the Iran deal.

The International Conference ‘Building a Nuclear-Weapon-Free World’ in Astana on August 29th will bring together experts in diplomacy who will explore, among other things, the role that 3rd party leadership can play to facilitate conflict resolution, nuclear risk-reduction and disarmament between the nuclear armed blocs. 

Nuclear disarmament diplomacy – the example of Kazakhstan

After the collapse of the Soviet Union, Kazakhstan inherited what was, at the time, the 4th largest arsenal of nuclear weapons in the world.

In one of the most significant steps of disarmament the world has ever seen, Kazakhstan, followed by Ukraine and Belarus, decided to renounce the nuclear weapons entirely and join the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT).  However, this measure required cooperation between Russia and the USA. 


Russian and Ukraine defense ministers and U.S. Defense Secretary William J. Perry plant sunflowers on site of dismantled missile silo in Pervomaysk, Ukraine, June 1996.

 

President Nazarbayev, in particular, outlined conditions to renounce the weapons, including progress by Russia and USA on START 1 reductions, security assurances from the nuclear weapon States that they would not target a nuclear-weapons-free Kazakhstan, and assistance from US and Russia in destroying the nuclear weapons.

To implement this decision in accordance with the conditions, the Nunn-Lugar Cooperative Threat Reduction Program was established. This program facilitated cooperation between the US and Russia to dismantle the weapons, destroy the delivery systems, repatriate the warheads to Russia and secure all remaining fissile materials.

The program paved the way for additional cooperation between the USA and Russia on nuclear security issues, including the safe destruction of Russian chemical weapons, and measures to prevent proliferation of weapons of mass destruction. This program is still active, although some aspects of cooperation in sensitive areas have been cancelled in the wake of the new conflicts and increased tensions between USA and Russia.  

Central Asia Nuclear Weapon Free Zone – the role of the United Nations

In 1993 the government of Uzbekistan proposed the establishment of a Central Asian Nuclear Weapon Free Zone (CANWFZ), which would include Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan. In the beginning the proposal did not make much headway due to a mix of complex regional security issues, one of which being the intersecting relationships with Russia and the US. 

In 1997, the Foreign Ministers of each the five Central Asian States requested that the United Nations pull together a group of experts to guide the states through the creation and implementation of an agreement on the establishment of a CANWFZ. The UN Under-Secretary General for Disarmament Affairs and the UN Department of Disarmament Affairs established such a group. Together they played a leading role in mediation and guidance throughout the 10 years of negotiation, adoption and implementation of the CANWFZ treaty, which was signed on September 8, 2006 in Semipalatinsk.

The UN also helped promote ratification of the protocols by the nuclear weapon states. The result is a great achievement of multilateral diplomacy using the assistance of third parties, in particular the United Nations.

Iran nuclear deal – the role of the European Union

The Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), adopted in Vienna on 14 July 2015 and commonly known as the ‘Iran Deal’ is a shining example of the important contribution of 3rd parties to resolving critical nuclear conflicts.

Suspicion over Iran’s nuclear program, and continued lapses by Iran in fully implementing IAEA and Security Council measures, were giving rise to threats of military attacks against Iran which could have been disastrous for security in the region as well as globally. The principal protagonists – Iran and the USA – have a long history of conflict and suffered from a lack of diplomatic relations. In the wings was Israel, which was also considering military attack against their long-time enemy.  If they were left to themselves, the conflict could have easily escalated into war.

A number of 3rd parties assisted in bringing the protagonists together, most notably of which was the European Union (EU). In 2003 the EU began initial involvement in the Iran nuclear conflict. It successfully played the role of a mediator between Iran and the international community. Through the talks, the role of the EU grew from a mediator and into an active policy maker and enforcer. The EU took a strong position that military action against Iran should not be taken, and achieving this outcome is proof of the powerful position the EU is capable of holding in international conflict.

When finally on July 14th, 2015, Iran and the 6 world powers came to an agreement the European Union’s High Commissioner for Foreign Affairs, Federica Mogherini announced, “What we have achieved is the result of the strong political will of all parties, and the combined commitment of many. But it is mainly thanks to the extraordinary work of an extraordinary team, the European one, that we made it.”


Chief Iranian nuclear negotiator Saeed Jalili, left, shakes hands with Kazakhstan's President Nursultan Nazarbayev in Almaty, Kazakhstan

Other 3rd parties also played an important role in the Iran deal, including Kazakhstan. In 2014 foreign minister Erlan Idrissov explained that it was Kazakhstan’s good relations with the involved states that had enabled them to host critical talks between Iran and the international community in 2013. The talks paved the way for progress to be made through negotiations.    

Six Nation Initiative

In 1983 relations between the Soviet Union and the USA experienced their worse deteriorations since the Cuban Missile Crisis. Nuclear war was narrowly averted on at least two occasions during this period of high conflict.

In order to help re-instate dialogue and reduce tensions between them, the leaders of Argentina, Greece, India, Mexico, Tanzania and Sweden established the Six Nation Initiative. Over the next few years, the leaders held joint meetings with the presidents of the Soviet Union and USA and discussed proposals for a nuclear test ban, nuclear weapons freeze, risk reduction measures and nuclear disarmament.

President Gorbachev has credited the Six Nation Initiative with playing a vital role in reducing tensions between the two power blocs, and in paving the way for the historic Reykjavík meeting between himself and President Reagan.

A similar leaders’ initiative now of non-nuclear States has been proposed to the UN Open Ended Working Group on Nuclear Disarmament. If initiated, it could again help restore dialogue and pave the way for the adoption of nuclear risk reduction and disarmament measures by the nuclear-armed States.

Conclusion

Time and time again we have witnessed agreements made peacefully through the involvement of 3rd party countries or organizations, such as Kazakhstan, the Six-Nation Initiative, the United Nations, or the European Union.

These examples illustrate the fundamental value that 3rd party involvement can play in facilitating dialogue and negotiations between antagonist governments, and to support the adoption of nuclear disarmament agreements, including between Russia and the US. Not only does the involvement of a suitable 3rd party help promote peaceful diplomacy and ease tensions- but it also strengthens global nuclear non-proliferation and disarmament.


Federica Mogherini, High Representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, with Foreign Ministers of Iran and the Group of Six after concluding the Iran deal.

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