Danish social liberal party endorses a nuclear weapons ban

October 9, 2014

The movement to ban nuclear weapons is growing and gaining traction, and transforming civil society support into political action is a crucial step in this process.  The Social Liberal Party of Denmark, Radikale Venstre, recently passed a resolution affirming the urgent need for a ban treaty to eliminate nuclear weapons. The resolution was originally proposed by the Social Liberal Youth Party of Denmark (Radikal Ungdom), the youth branch of Radikale Venstre. In submitting this resolution, the youth party sought to push its Radikale Venstre to live up to its political mission and endorse a nuclear weapons ban.

The resolution highlighted the inherent inhumanity of nuclear weapons. Nuclear weapons are unable to discriminate between combatants and civilians, and the catastrophic effects of a nuclear detonation transcend generations and geopolitical borders. The resolution noted that the very existence of nuclear weapons continues to pose a grievous threat to the entire world. Given the catastrophic effects of a nuclear detonation, whether accidental or intentional, states cannot justify the continued existence of nuclear weapons and nuclear weapons ban must be pursued.

In addition to being a domestic political victory, the adoption of the resolution could also compel other political parties and governments to publicly voice their support for a nuclear weapons ban.While many non-nuclear armed states, including Denmark, continue to belong to military alliances with nuclear-armed states, these associations should not be perceived as a barrier to states publicly supporting a nuclear weapons ban. “The resolution shows that there is no inherent contradiction between being in a military alliance with a nuclear-armed state and supporting a treaty banning nuclear weapons,” said Magnus Løvold, Campaign and Advocacy Director at ICAN. The resolution represents an acknowledgment of this truth, and presents an opportunity for other states to do the same.

The resolution also marks an enormously important step in reaffirming the political party’s mission and reaffirming its commitment to social progress. “I am truly happy that Radikale Venstre passed the resolution put forward by us, Radikal Ungdom, because it compels the party to work actively to reach an international ban on nuclear weapons,” said International Spokesperson for Radikal Ungdom, Victor Boysen. “Now we have something to hold them accountable for. The efforts to eradicate the existence of nukes are as important as ever, and it’s very motivating to know that the majority of our mother party shares our vision of a world without nuclear weapons.” Løvold noted that there are also international implications for this resolution, given Denmark’s established position within disarmament discussions. ”Denmark has been an integral part of the humanitarian initiative since the first statement on the humanitarian impact of nuclear weapons was delivered at the NPT PrepCom in 2012, and we expect Denmark to continue to play a leading role all the way to a ban on nuclear weapons.”

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    Ai Weiwei Artist and activist

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