To all Lawyers: Sign the letter on the abolition of nuclear weapons

The IALANA (International Association of Lawyers Against Nuclear Arms) wants to draw attention to the second round of the discussions on a nuclear weapons ban treaty in New York. The aim is to have a letter signed by lawyers that stresses the importance of such ban and urges states to participate and sign the treaty. The letter can be found and signed


Nuclear arms are the only weapons of mass effect and destruction not yet prohibited by an international convention, even though they are the most destructive and indiscriminate weapons ever created.

People are capable of good-faith, law-guided, problem solving at all levels of society: family, neighborhood, national, international. Cooperative global systems have been devised for the protection of human rights, protection of the environment and prevention of climate change, prohibition of specific weapons, and more. These skills must now be applied to the next obvious step: the prohibition and elimination of nuclear weapons.

As lawyers we underline that the abolition of nuclear arms is required by an international legal obligation set forth in Article VI of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty and embedded in United Nations practice going back to the very first General Assembly resolution, in 1946. The International Court of Justice unanimously concluded in 1996 that “there exists an obligation to pursue in good faith and bring to a conclusion negotiations leading to nuclear disarmament in all its aspects under strict and effective international control.” That obligation is unconditional and universal.

We also emphasize that the use of nuclear weapons is presently incompatible with international humanitarian law regulating the conduct of warfare. Above all, due to their uncontrollable blast, heat, fire, and radiation effects, nuclear weapons cannot meet the requirement of distinguishing between the civilian population and combatants and between civilian objects and military objectives. Indeed, the catastrophic consequences of use of nuclear weapons vastly exceed the ordinary boundaries of armed conflict and adversely impact populations in neutral states, the natural environment necessary to sustain human life, and future generations. The use of nuclear weapons accordingly also violates international human rights law, most centrally the right to life. If a use of force is illegal under the UN Charter or humanitarian law, the threat to use such force is also illegal. However, the nuclear-armed states refuse to acknowledge these patent legal truths; hence the need to codify the illegality of use and threatened use of nuclear arms in a global prohibition.

The Emergency Committee of Atomic Scientists, including Albert Einstein, warned in 1947: “Through the release of atomic energy, our generation has brought into the world the most revolutionary force since prehistoric man’s discovery of fire. This basic power of the universe cannot be fitted into the outmoded concept of narrow nationalisms.” Yet today we face this incendiary combination once again.

Faced with the ongoing and intensifying planetary danger and no longer willing to accept a two-tier world, this year about 130 countries have joined together at the United Nations to negotiate a treaty to prohibit nuclear weapons, leading to their elimination. The nuclear-armed states and their closest allies have refused to participate. Nonetheless, the nuclear ban treaty effort constitutes an important affirmation of the norms against nuclear weapons.

We call on all nations to participate in the negotiations and to join the treaty once adopted. It will be a major step towards negotiation of a comprehensive agreement on the achievement and permanent maintenance of a world free of nuclear arms.


Further Impressions from the Ban Treaty Negotiations

Read the impressions from Alimzhan Akhmetov (Director of the Center for International Security and Policy, Kazakhstan) of the second negotiation round on a nuclear weapons ban treaty.

Red Flag from Nuclear Powers

We should give nuclear powers their due. They conducted a targeted work to reduce the number of States participating in the second session of the Conference to prohibit nuclear weapons, which started on June 15 in New York and will last three weeks, until July 7. […] Read the whole article here.

Positive obligations

June 20 this year in New York a major discussion of the States parties to the Conference on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons, like the close attention of civil society, was brought about by Article 6 of the draft Convention. […] Read the whole article here.

Dance around the “transit

During the negotiations on the draft Convention on the prohibition of nuclear weapons, an interesting discussion of the States unfolded around the provision prohibiting the transit of nuclear weapons. […] Read the whole article here.

The Shining Star

A month passed, as the President of the Conference to negotiate a legally binding instrument to prohibit nuclear weapons, leading towards their total elimination, the Costa Rican Ambassador Elaine White presented the draft Convention on the prohibition of nuclear weapons […] Read the whole article here.

1st Report – 2nd Negotiations Round on a Nulcear Weapons Ban Treaty

After the successful session in March 2017 and the publication of the draft of the Convention to prohibit nuclear weapons by the Chair Ambassador Elayne Whyte from Costa Rica, the Second round of negotiations on a Convention started on June 15th.

The sprit of the 125+ participating countries is productive and dynamic and no major disagreements have been stopping the hard works of the participants from going forward. Nuclear weapons States possessors and their allies, the countries who rely on nuclear weapons in their security doctrines, have chosen to boycott the process, except the Netherlands.

Indeed, the Dutch parliament voted in favour of the participation of the government after a strong campaign, which brought thousands of petitions to the Parliament. Any lessons to take out of this?

Civil society is also well represented with delegates from all over the world, coordinated by RCW and ICAN.  The Red Cross, and other humanitarian organisations are also contributing to the debates. This is something new in a UN process, especially when it comes to nuclear weapons: an interactive debate with contributions from civil society at all times.

Several member organisations from IPB are present and 2 delegates are covering the debates and organising the side events.

So far delegations supports and build off of each other’s suggestions, or engage in debate about the merits of particular proposals. The 2 first days addressed the preamble and the moving contributions from women, indigenous people and survivors pushed for a stronger language, as for example Karina Lester did –

The revised preamble just issued today, is much better in this regard with a more clear language on human and environmental rights, and a critic on the slow pace of disarmament. The nuclear weapon ban treaty preamble also delegitimise nuclear weapons as an object and nuclear deterrence as a concept. The recognition and reflection of the horrific, discriminate, disproportionate impacts of these weapons on women and indigenous peoples will help achieve this objective. It is for humanity, and for our shared planet, that we ban nuclear weapons.

Saturday June 17th was the date of the Women’s March to ban the Bomb with events in many cities and countries and despite the rain, the New York March inaugurated a broad alliance of women from many backgrounds, social rights, environment, human rights etc… which is called to last.

On Sunday, Peace and Planet network organised an International Forum “No Nukes, No Wars, No Walls, No Warming: One Struggle, Many Fronts” was truly exceptional. Each panel opened new and enlightening ground to stand on and look at future common mobilization toward a world free of nuclear weapons.

Thanks to Joe Friendly for the videos and to Joseph Gerson and the New York Team for this great event and inspiring talks that you can find here:

Survivors Resist: Humanitarian Consequences

Nuclear Arms: Causes, Effects,

Nuclear Disarmament: Youth in the Lead

UN Ban Treaty and Beyond:

More on:

A great inspiring side event took place on Tuesday June 20th with Members of Parliaments from the UK, Nederlands and Germany, co-orgazied by IPB, PAX and Acronym Institute, with the support of the Rosa Luxembourg Foundation.

Members of parliaments MPs Jan van Aken, DIE LINKE (Germany), Caroline Lucas, Green Party of England and Wales (UK) and Sadet Karabulut, Socialistische Partij (Netherlands) – considered how to strengthen the work between parliaments and civil society toward the elimination of nuclear weapons. The Ban Treaty will be a major tool to break the “ideological addiction” to nukes, and beware the domino effect! Jan van Aken bets that in 3 to 7 years European countries will have ratified the Ban!

Download this article here

To the Partners of the Making Peace Exhibition

Dear Sir/Madam,
dear colleagues,

IPB has managed to show the exhibition “Making Peace” throughout the world with great success.

You helped us in various ways to make this possible and we are deeply grateful for your assistance.

However, today we need to inform you that IPB has discontinued its partnership with Ashley Woods, since the conditions in our partnership agreement have not been fully respected. IPB is no longer connected to the Making Peace exhibition.

As you are a partner of this project, it is important to us to inform you of this sad, but inevitable, step we have had to take. It has not been easy for us to take this decision.

If you need more information, do not hesitate to contact us (by email or phone).

With Best Regards,

Reiner Braun, IPB Co-President
Lisa Clark, IPB Co-President
Lohes Rajeswaran, IPB Treasurer

Letter to Partners of Making Peace

Activity Report 2017

The year 2016 was an important one for IPB, for three reasons. It saw the sudden rise of new and dangerous forms of populism around the world; it was the year in which we held the Berlin Congress and elected a new leadership at the Triennial Assembly; and it marked the beginning of the transition towards a new, more decentralised IPB. As ever, the staff, elected officials and members were extremely busy promoting our peace agenda. In the Activity Report 2016 you can read some of the details and gain an insight into the workings of the organisation.

Statement by the Republic of Kazakhstan on the occasion of 2017 Global Day of Action on Military Spending

The world has entered a new and troubling era. Tensions and conflicts are increasing as are suspicions and competition between major powers. This, in turn, is leading to a new arms race and a greater use of force to defend national interests and expand spheres of influence.

Read the whole article at: