Ugandan roundtable restates the urgent need for a ban
October 21, 2014
This summer, the Uganda Landmine Survivors Association (USLA) held a roundtable meeting on the humanitarian impact of nuclear weapons in Kampala, Uganda. The meeting brought together members of parliament, representatives from the national armed forces, media, and a large number of civil society actors.
Discussions centred on the urgent need for a nuclear weapons ban treaty, given that the threat of nuclear devastation remains for as long as nuclear weapons continue to exist. Participants also noted that a nuclear weapons prohibition is a key step in promoting and attaining a peaceful world, and those interested in peace should support a ban.
As an African state, Uganda is poised to emerge as a leader in this process. USLA Director, Margaret Arach Orech, noted that civil society played a decisive role in the creation of the Mine Ban Treaty and the Cluster Munitions Convention, and that civil society should also be the way forward for a nuclear weapons ban. Orech also noted that African states in particular played a key role in these, and other disarmament initiatives, and should be prepared to take a leading role again. Orech stated that Uganda in particular should take a strong stance and be part of a united African movement calling for the urgent need for a ban. “States have an obligation to protect its own citizens, but we must also look beyond that”, said Orech. “The use of nuclear weapons is an immoral act against all of humanity, and these weapons it should be banned totally.”
The attendees drafted a series of action items in order to maintain momentum and support Uganda’s role in calling for the nuclear weapons ban. Members of parliament agreed to form a parliamentary forum to discuss the issue of nuclear weapons domestically, and to lobby other governments and intergovernmental organisations to start proceedings on a ban. Participants also agreed to create a working group with government and civil society actors, to coordinate international action and garner domestic support for the nuclear weapons ban.