ICAN side event at the UN on possible elements for a treaty banning nuclear weapons

October 14, 2016

On 14 October, ICAN, together with the permanent missions of Brazil and Guatemala to the UN, held a side event at UN headquarters in New York on the possible elements for a treaty prohibiting nuclear weapons. It also evaluated the potential impact of such a treaty on different states, from those that are nuclear-free to those that possess nuclear weapons or include them in their security doctrines.

Ambassador Luiz Filipe de Macedo Soares, of the Agency for the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons in Latin America and the Caribbean, said that lessons could be learned from the development of regional nuclear-weapon-free zone treaties. He expressed confidence that around two-thirds of the UN membership would vote “yes” to the upcoming UN resolution to begin negotiations in 2017 on a global treaty banning nuclear weapons.

Ambassador Carlos Duarte of Brazil and Soledad Urruela Arenales of Guatemala said that their respective governments are fully supportive of the humanitarian-based movement to outlaw nuclear weapons. The proposed new treaty, they said, would help stigmatize nuclear weapons and advance the goal of eliminating them completely, but is not an end in itself.

Australian senator Lisa Singh, speaking in her personal capacity, not as a member of the Australian delegation to the UN General Assembly, said that her party, the Australian Labor Party, “firmly supports the negotiation of a global treaty banning such weapons and welcomes the growing global movement of nations that is supporting this objective”.

“We will do everything we can – from the opposition benches of parliament – to support this process as it moves forward,” she said. “I’m confident that a future Labor government in Australia would sign and ratify a treaty banning nuclear weapons, as per our national policy platform.”



  • aiweiwei

    “Let’s act up! Ban nuclear weapons completely and unconditionally.”

    Ai Weiwei Artist and activist

  • sheen

    “If Gandhi and Martin Luther King Jr were alive today, they would be part of ICAN.”

    Martin Sheen Actor and activist

  • bankimoon

    “I salute ICAN for working with such commitment and creativity.”

    Ban Ki-moon Former UN chief

  • yokoono

    “We can do it together. With your help, our voice will be made still stronger. Imagine peace.”

    Yoko Ono Artist

  • jodywilliams

    “Governments say a nuclear weapons ban is unlikely. Don’t believe it. They said the same about a mine ban treaty.”

    Jody Williams Nobel laureate

  • desmondtutu

    “With your support, we can take ICAN its full distance – all the way to zero nuclear weapons.”

    Desmond Tutu Nobel laureate

  • herbiehancock

    “Because I cannot tolerate these appalling weapons, I whole-heartedly support ICAN.”

    Herbie Hancock Jazz musician

  • dalailama

    “I can imagine a world without nuclear weapons, and I support ICAN.”

    Dalai Lama Nobel laureate