EGP Resolution adopted at the 30th EGP Council in Tampere, 8-10 November 2019
The International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons (ICAN) collectively works with partners to achieve support for the UN Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons (TPNW). To further the longstanding support for the Treaty, we call on European Green Party to campaign for all governments to sign & ratify the TPNW by increasing the pressure on states by campaigning locally for municipal and regional governments to align to the Treaty.
Until the Treaty was negotiated, nuclear were the only weapons of mass destruction not subject to a comprehensive ban, despite their catastrophic, widespread and persistent humanitarian and environmental consequences. The negotiating conferences included representation from non-nuclear weapons UN Member States, and heard presentations from scientists and medical experts, as well as people who had been directly affected by weapons or tests, and other UN accredited civil society organisations.
When it enters into force it will be binding on its member states.
The Treaty prohibits:
- developing, testing, producing, manufacturing, transferring, possessing, stockpiling, using or threatening to use nuclear weapons;
- allowing nuclear weapons to be stationed on member states’ territory;
- assisting, encouraging or inducing anyone to engage in any of these activities.
Positive obligations include:
- providing assistance to all victims of the use and testing of nuclear weapons;
- taking measures for the remediation of contaminated environments.
It is also the first nuclear weapons treaty to recognise the disproportionate nuclear weapons impact on women, girls and indigenous people.
States which hold nuclear weapons will be eligible to join if they agree to destroy them in accordance with a legally binding, time-bound plan.
States that are not members and civil society, along with relevant entities of the United Nations system, and relevant non-governmental organizations, shall be invited to attend the meetings of States Parties and the review conferences as observers.
The treaty will enter into legal force once 50 countries have signed and ratified it. There are currently 79 signatories and 33 states parties.
At this point, nuclear armed states (4.6% of UN member states) and states who endorse their position (15.2%) are unwilling to engage with the TPNW. Currently, of all EU Member-States, only Austria has signed and ratified the TPNW, whereas Ireland has signed, but not yet ratified. All other Member-States have not even signed the Treaty.
In line with our longstanding support for the UN 2017 Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons (TPNW) expressed through the Global Greens since 2016, even before its adoption, European Greens resolve to work together to encourage all governments to sign and ratify the Treaty. In those member states that have a nuclear weapons policy, we will especially work to urge their Governments to commit to attending any first meeting of TPNW signatories that follows entry into force of the TPNW in an observer capacity.
Formal alignment can provide hard evidence that Governments do not have the mandate they claim for their nuclear weapons policies.
Working transnationally and in partnership with other administrations can underscore the fact that nuclear weapons effects can never be contained by national boundaries.
Officials in states that are not supporters of the TPNW are often unaware of Article 8.5 which refers to the invitation of non-state parties to attend as observers, i.e. without compromising their position of not supporting the treaty. This could improve their understanding of the negotiations and at least ensure that the states party to the treaty were clearly heard by them.
Therefore, the European Green Party demands:
- That the European Green Party supports members to work locally with individuals, groups and legislative bodies to formally align with the requirements of the TPNW and that, where applicable, local authorities should divest from nuclear weapon manufacturers. That EGP asks members of parliament to sign the ICAN pledge.
- That European Green Party urges all Governments to join the TPNW at all levels of municipal and regional government as part of the ICAN Cities appeal and that regional governments call on federal or central governments to sign and ratify TPNW.
- That European Greens in states that declare opposition to signing the TPNW challenge their Governments to commit to at least attending as observers when the TPNW comes into force.
- The European Green Party urges the European Parliament to send a delegation to the next conference of the TPNW in May 2020