Ban nuclear weapons: the Netherlands isn’t joining in

Image: Demonstranten roepen op tot een verbod op kernwapens. Foto ©

June 3, 2015

More than a hundred member states of the United Nations have stated they want to work to stigmatise, prohibit and eliminate nuclear weapons by supporting the ‘Humanitarian pledge’. Striking in this is the absence of the Netherlands.

This became painfully clear during the review conference of the Non Proliferation Treaty (NPT), that took place from the 27th of April until the 22nd of May in New York. Peace organisation PAX finds it embarrassing that the Netherlands is lagging behind the majority on this issue.

PAX is pleased that so many countries support the ‘humanitarian pledge’. The pledge is a commitment to work together with all relevant parties to stigmatise, prohibit and eliminate nuclear weapons. PAX expects these countries to soon begin negotiations on a treaty banning nuclear weapons.

PAX has started a citizens initiative Teken tegen Kernwapens to get a national ban on the Dutch political agenda. “The Dutch government has stated several times that they want a nuclear weapons free world and that they want to be a frontrunner” says Wilbert van der Zeijden, senior researcher at PAX. “At the NPT review conference the Netherlands was not very supportive of working towards a ban. It is time the Netherlands clearly states it position- whether nuclear weapons are legitimate or not.”

No joint final document
Disagreement between nuclear states and non-nuclear states prevented a final joint document of the conference. Van der Zeijden: “The conference made it clear that more is needed than the NPT to ban and eliminate nuclear weapons. Fortunately 107 countries agree. In the Netherlands there is a still a lot of work to be done.”

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