Young Tunisians Take Action on the Nuclear Ban Treaty

Left to right - Mariem Oueslati, Jean-Marie Collin (ICAN France), MP Ms Meherzia Laabidi, Amel El Mejri, Sirine Barbirou. In the National assembly of Tunisia
Meeting in the National assembly of Tunisia with MP Ms Meherzia Laabidi.

Between June 23th to 27th, Tunisian students- Amel El Mejri, Mariem Oueslati, Lobna Bachta, Sirine Barbirou, Aziza hanafi, Nour El Imen Gharbi, Oumayma Jabnouni – met with parliamentarians, journalists and academicians in Tunis as a part of ICAN France’s new project “Nuclear Disarmament Competence Development in Francophone Regions” .

Where does Tunisia stand on Nuclear Ban Treaty? 

Tunisia was one of the 122 nations who voted in favour of adopting the Treaty of the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons, but has not yet adhered to the treaty. Although, there is no objection to signing and ratifying the treaty, it’s only a question of time and “noise”, as the Tunisian diplomat told the francophone delegation at the NPT Prepcom last year.

Action by Tunisian youth!

Getting Parliamentarians on Board :

Left to right : Jean-Marie Collin (ICAN France), Mariem Oueslati, MP Meherzia Laabidi  , Nour El Imen Gharbi in the National assembly of Tunisia

Mariem Oueslati & Nour El Imen Gharbhi (Tunisian students), Jean-Marie Collin of ICAN France with MP Meherzia Laabidi at the National assembly of Tunisia.

The Tunisian students who met with Parliamentarians, over a series of meetings, engaged with them on the process of achieving nuclear ban through the treaty. They also spoke about the grave humanitarian consequences, if a nuclear detonation takes place somewhere in the world.

In the meeting with Mrs Meherzia Laabidi, President of the Foreign Affairs Committee, told the Tunisian youth that despite the hectic period between national insecurity and national election, she will push for the signature process with the Minister of Foreign Affairs. Ms. Khansa Harrath and Mrs Meherzia Laabidi of the Defence Committee, also shared their support for Tunisia adhering to the nuclear ban treaty.

They also met with Mayor of Ariana, the association of Tunisian cities- L’Observatoire des communes- urging them to sign the ICAN cities appeal and speak up against the threat of nuclear weapons.

Left to right - Mariem Oueslati, MP Ms Khansa Harrath, Jean-Marie Collin (ICAN France), in the National assembly of Tunisia

At the National assembly of Tunisia with MP Ms. Khansa Harrath.

Conference coming soon : With the goal of encouraging more young people to be aware and take action on the humanitarian consequences of nuclear weapons, the nuclear ban movement and to push their government to ratify the TPNW, they planned on organizing an international conference in Tunis. The group met with  Ms. Neila Chaabane, the Dean of the Faculty of Political and Social Legal Sciences in Tunis, in this regard and got the confirmation for the conference to be held on 14th October this year.

Engagement with Media:

Left to right - Jean-Marie Collin (ICAN France), Ahlem Ghayeza (RTCI), Nour El Imen Gharbi, Sirine Barbirou.

Campaigners with Ahlem Ghayeza of RCTI Radio.

The group met with journalists of the national TV channels in Tunisia to tell them about the nuclear ban treaty and their campaign to get Tunisia on board to support it. They were  interviewed by Ahlem Ghayeza of the RTCI radio, who promised to set up a studio in the faculty to conduct interviews on the day of the upcoming conference in Tunis.

“For non-nuclear states, their only solution, their only weapon is to make sure this law (TPNW) is applied. It is the one, and the only way they can confront the threat that hangs over them constantly,” read the Op-Ed “The Denuclearization of the world? Tunisia also has a word to say” in Huffington post Tunisia written by these students.

Thank you, Heinrich-Böll-Stiftung for supporting this initiative.