UNFOLD ZERO is a new platform for United Nations (UN) focused initiatives and actions for the achievement of a nuclear weapons free world.
UNFOLD ZERO aims to unfold the path to zero nuclear weapons through effective steps and measures facilitated by the UN General Assembly, UN Security Council, UN Secretary-General and other UN bodies.
Zero nuclear weapons
The aim of zero nuclear weapons – the prohibition and complete elimination of nuclear weapons under strict and effective international control – was first affirmed by UN General Assembly resolution 1 (I) on January 24, 1946. A reliance on nuclear deterrence by some countries in response to regional and international tensions since then has thwarted the achievement of this goal. However, a number of recent developments bring this goal into sight. These include globalisation, the strengthening of international law, a growing public aversion to all weapons of mass destruction and the increasing effectiveness of the United Nations and other cooperative security mechanisms to address core security issues.
Why focus on the United Nations?
The UN provides the principal environment for the international community to implement the collective obligation and the global common good to achieve a nuclear weapons free world.
The UN brings together all the key players relevant to the achievement of a nuclear weapons free world. This includes the nuclear-armed countries, the countries under extended nuclear deterrence relationships, the non-nuclear countries that have demonstrated the possibility to achieve security without relying on nuclear weapons, and civil society actors engaged in nuclear disarmament.
The UN includes key organs through which nuclear disarmament agreements can be negotiated and their implementation monitored and enforced, including the UN General Assembly, UN Security Council, Conference on Disarmament, UN Office of Disarmament Affairs, and the International Court of Justice. In addition, the UN provides a cooperative security framework for addressing security challenges without recourse to the threat or use of nuclear weapons.
UNFOLDing ZERO at the United Nations
International Day for the Total Elimination of Nuclear Weapons - Sep 26
UNFOLD ZERO coordinated events and actions at the United Nations and around the world for the first event International Day for the Total Elimination of Nuclear Weapons on 26 September 26, 2014. These included:
- United Nations commemoration event;
- 'How many nukes' global video action;
- Video interview with Angela Kane, UN High Representative for Disarmament Affairs;
- Parliamentary statements, motions and resolutions;
- Support for the day from over 100 non-governmental organisations and networks engaged in peace, disarmament, human rights, environment, interfaith, democracy and sustainable development.
Relationship to other nuclear abolition networks and campaigns
Nuclear abolition will require action at all levels (public, city, national, regional and international) and in many forums not just the United Nations. UNFOLD ZERO aims to complement, enhance and empower existing nuclear abolition networks and initiatives, through action within the UN system. UNFOLD ZERO also links to platforms for the abolition of other inhumane weapons and weapons of mass destruction, and to platforms for general and complete disarmament.
UNFOLD ZERO is a project of PragueVision, PNND, Basel Peace Office, Mayors for Peace 2020 Vision Campaign, Aotearoa Lawyers for Peace and Global Security Institute.