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Disarmament Diplomacy

Issue No. 50, September 2000

Uppsala Declaration on NWFZ

The Uppsala Declaration on Nuclear-Weapon-Free Zones, September 4, 2000; issued at the conclusion of a conference hosted by the Dag Hammarskjöld Foundation, Uppsala, Sweden, September 1-4, and inaugurated by Jayantha Dhanapala, UN Under-Secretary-General for Disarmament Affairs.

"A decade after the end of the Cold War, the world faces a stark choice: achieve the complete abolition of nuclear weapons, or face a second Nuclear Age with new generations of even more horrifying nuclear and other high-tech weapons.

We believe there is an urgent moral, political, legal and security imperative to abolish these weapons, and build a strong momentum towards complete global nuclear disarmament. This is a precondition for human and environmental security. ...

The dramatic threat of a new Nuclear Age highlights the urgent need for comprehensive nuclear disarmament and rapid destruction of the arsenals of all nuclear-weapons-states. It also calls for incremental measures towards these goals. These include a nuclear test ban, a missile flight test ban, separation of warheads from missiles, a ban on the production of fissile materials used for making nuclear weapons and appropriate disposal or safeguarding of the accumulated stockpiles of such material.

Crucial among these transitional measures are Nuclear-Weapon-Free Zones. These would ban the manufacture, deployment and transit of nuclear weapons in specific regions, and demand of nuclear armed states that the zones not be threatened or attacked with nuclear weapons. This would help make it possible to permanently fold the nuclear umbrella, the so-called nuclear protection that nuclear weapon states offer non-nuclear allies.

Such zones already exist in Latin America, the South Pacific, Africa, and Southeast Asia. They have prevented nuclear proliferation in those areas. A new zone is currently being negotiated in Central Asia. Several regions continue to face severe nuclear dangers, a challenge exacerbated by menacing attempts to build both National and Theatre Missile Defence systems. These regions include Northeast Asia, South Asia, the Middle East, and Central Europe. The creation of NWFZs here would not only limit proliferation, but support active nuclear disarmament with the dismantling of overt and clandestine nuclear weapons and fissile stocks and rolling back existing nuclear programmes. Such extension of NWFZs to the Northern hemisphere will enhance collective security and strengthen efforts to completely eliminate nuclear weapons.

An NWFZ treaty in Northeast Asia would effectively address security concerns in Japan and the Korean peninsula. A South Asian NWFZ would prevent India and Pakistan from making or deploying nuclear weapons in this volatile region, where the danger of a nuclear exchange is today the greatest anywhere in the world. In the Middle East, the establishment of a zone free of Israel's nuclear weapons, and all other weapons of mass destruction in the region, represents a key component of regional security. In Central and Eastern Europe an NWFZ would defend the post-Cold War peace gains now threatened by NATO expansion as well as facilitate withdrawal of remaining tactical nuclear weapons.

There are no technological obstacles to effective verification of NWFZ agreements. Establishing such zones requires political will, organisation and mobilisation.

We hereby commit ourselves to:

  • Creating a Nuclear Weapon-Free Zone Network to coordinate efforts in support of new and existing zones, including actively advocating the creation of NWFZs in Central Asia, Northeast Asia, South Asia, the Middle East and Central Europe.
  • Public education on the horrors of nuclear weapons, the urgency of nuclear disarmament and the value of NWFZs.
  • Supporting the Latin American proposal to the United Nations General Assembly for an international conference of all parties to the Nuclear-Weapon-Free Zones.
  • Strengthening the existing zones and demanding strict adherence to the treaty provisions by the nuclear-weapon states.
  • Engaging policy-makers and parliamentarians worldwide in support of NWFZs.
  • Supporting single-country nuclear weapon-free zones.
  • Supporting nuclear-free cities, provinces, and other areas governed by local authorities.
  • Opposing Theatre and National Missile Defence systems as an integral part of our opposition to nuclear weapons.
  • Working to defend nuclear whistle-blowers, such as Mordechai Vanunu, now entering his 15th year of imprisonment for having revealed Israel's nuclear arsenal; we demand his immediate release.
Peoples and governments everywhere, as well as the United Nations, have a contribution to make to the creation and expansion of nuclear weapon-free zones. We urge others to join us in mobilizing energies and resources towards achieving the noble goal of global nuclear disarmament.

[Note]: This document represents the broad consensus of the participants, although they or their organisations may not agree with every point in the analysis or recommendations.

Participants included: Karamat Ali (Pakistan Peace Coalition, Pakistan, Phyllis Bennis (Transnational Institute (TNI) and Institute for Policy Studies (IPS), USA), Praful Bidwai (TNI, India), John Burroughs (Lawyers Committee on Nuclear Policy, USA), Jackie Cabasso (Western State Legal Foundation, USA), Cheong Wooksik (Civil Network for a Peaceful Korea, South Korea), Merav Datan (International Physicians for Prevention of Nuclear War (IPPNW) and Physicians for Social Responsibility (PSR), USA), Fiona Dove (TNI, Netherlands), Fawzy Hussein Hammad (Atomic Energy Authority, Egypt), Michael Hamel-Green (Pacific Concerns Resource Centre (PCRC), Suva, Fiji and Victoria University, Australia), Niclas Hällström (Dag Hammarskjöld Foundation, Sweden), Masako Ikegami-Andersson (Stockholm University, Sweden), Thomas Johansson (The Swedish Pugwash group, Sweden), Rebecca Johnson (Acronym Institute, UK), Harsh Kapoor (South Asians Against Nukes, France), Akira Kawasaki (Peace Depot, Japan), David Knight (Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament (CND), UK), Lee Sam-sung (The Catholic University of Korea, South Korea), Issam Makhoul (Member of Knesset, Israel), Ron McCoy (IPPNW, Malaysia), Bahig Nassar (Arab NGO Co-ordinating Committee, Egypt), Otfried Nassauer (Berlin Information-Centre for Transatlantic Security (BITS), Germany), Abdul Nayyar (Pakistan Peace Coalition, Pakistan), Agneta Norberg (Swedish Peace Council, Sweden), Olle Nordberg (Dag Hammarskjöld Foundation, Sweden), Sara Olsson (Swedish Peace and Arbitration Society, Sweden), Sandeep Pandey (National Alliance of People's Movements (NAPM), India), Charles Parker (Uppsala University, Sweden), Scott Parrish (USA), Jan Prawitz (Swedish Institute for International Affairs, Sweden), Curt Riberdahl (Swedish Lawyers Against Nuclear Arms, Sweden), Enrique Román-Moray (The Agency for the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons in Latin America and the Carribean (OPANAL), Mexico), Virginia Rosa (USA), Satya Sivaraman (Journalist and environmental activist, Thailand), Alice Slater (Global Resource Action Center for the Environment (GRACE), USA), Gideon Spiro (Israel Committee for Mordechai Vanunu and for a Middle East Free of Atomic, Biological and Chemical Weaponry, Israel), Masa Takubo (Japan Congress Against A- and H-Bombs (Gensuikin), Japan), Hiro Umebayashi (Peace Depot and Pacific Campaign for Disarmament and Security (PCDS), Japan), Lars van Dassen (Uppsala University, Sweden), Achin Vanaik (TNI, India), Leonore Wide (Swedish Physicians Against Nuclear Arms, Sweden), Christer Åkesson (Church of Sweden Aid)."

© 2000 The Acronym Institute.