Dimensions to Create a Nuclear-Weapon Free Northeast Asia
December 1, 2014
On November 26, the international conference, Dimensions to Create a Nuclear-Weapon Free Northeast Asia was held in Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia. The meeting, organised by Peace Boat, Blue Banner, and the Global Partnership for the Prevention of Armed Conflict (GPPAC) hosted over 60 participants, including members of civil society and scholars from around Asia, and representatives of the GPPAC Global Secretariat. Attendees discussed the general concerns around the existence of nuclear weapons, as well as challenges specific to Northeast Asia.
Participants agreed that the humanitarian initiative should continue to be highlighted and prioritized to draw attention to the catastrophic consequences of nuclear weapons. The two previous conferences on the Humanitarian Impact of Nuclear Weapons held in Oslo and Nayarit played a key role in opening up this dialogue, and the upcoming conference in Vienna will continue to highlight the necessity and urgency of a nuclear weapons ban.
Nuclear-Weapon Free Zones (NWFZ) were also mentioned as an important step in promoting global disarmament. Existing tensions in Northeast Asia continue to be cause for concern, and urgent action is needed to diffuse tensions and promote meaningful cooperation. Participants were optimistic that a NWFZ in Northeast Asia is possible and should be a priority for states in the region. Mongolia’s single-state NWFZ is a strong illustration of leadership in this area, and should serve as an example to other states wishing to take action against nuclear weapons and the dangers they pose.
Participants also discussed the vital role that civil society is playing in promoting a nuclear weapons ban. ICAN, among other important civil society partners, are playing a critical role in moving discussions forward, and Northeast Asian governments should pursue greater engagement with civil society. Participants noted that Civil Society Forum and the Conference on the Humanitarian Impact of Nuclear Weapons should be seen as the first steps in negotiating a nuclear weapons ban to completely eliminate these dangerous and inhumane weapons.
Read the full outcome document.