Launch and workshop at the Inter-Parliamentary Union Assembly in Québec City, Canada
Nearly 1000 parliamentarians from 150 parliaments (including most of those from nuclear weapons-possessing countries) will gather in Quebec City for the 127th Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU) Assembly from October 21-26th 2012. PNND and IPU will use the occasion to launch a Parliamentary Handbook on Supporting Nuclear Nonproliferation and Disarmament. The Handbook has been prepared to assist parliaments and parliamentarians to implement the recommendations from a ground-breaking resolution adopted by the IPU in 2009 by consensus.
The core role of parliaments in ratifying treaties and adopting implementing legislation gives them tremendous potential to extend the rule of law even more deeply into the domain of disarmament. Yet disarmament and nonproliferation can also appear to legislators as remote from daily concerns. This is where this Handbook has most to offer. It brings disarmament down to earth, offering specific guidance on why it matters and how to achieve it. – UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, Message for the launch of the IPU/PNND Handbook
The Handbook contains background on a wide range range of non-proliferation and disarmament issues, along with examples of exemplary parliamentary practices – including in nuclear-weapon-possessing States, allies of nuclear-weapon-states and non-nuclear States – and recommendations for further action by parliaments and parliamentarians. Its 150 pages will be launched in French and English versions. There are also plans for Arabic and Spanish versions.
The Handbook was written by Rob van Riet (World Future Council) and Alyn Ware (PNND Global Coordinator), in close consultation with an Advisory Group consisting of prominent parliamentarians, experts, and institutions, including the United Nations, Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty Organisation (CTBTO) and the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC). Production of the Handbook was made possible thanks to a generous contribution from the Swiss Federal Department of Foreign Affairs.
The launch will include:
- Screening of a video message from parliamentarians from around the world;
- Plenary event featuring presentations from Saber Chowdhury MP (Bangladesh, President of the IPU’s First Standing Committee on Peace and International Security), Tibor Tóth (Executive Secretary, CTBTO), Randy Rydell (Senior Political Affairs Officer, UN Office for Disarmament Affairs), Hélène Laverdière MP (Member, Co-Chair PNND Canada) and Rob van Riet (World Future Council, co-author of the Handbook);
- Workshop on new and innovative tools to promote nuclear disarmament run by PNND and CTBTO. The workshop will highlight nuclear disarmament tools for parliamentarians including the Handbook, CTBTO E-Tutorials, World Future Council Exemplary Policy databases, CTBT I-Tunes University, PNND online information and the Capacity Development Initiative E-learning platform.
For more information see:
Jonathan Granoff is the President of the Global Security Institute, a representative to United Nations of the World Summits of Nobel Peace Laureates, a former Adjunct Professor of International Law at Widener University School of Law, and Senior Advisor to the Committee on National Security American Bar Association International Law Section.