ICAN International Steering Group Meeting Notes

The ICAN international structure consists of Partner Organisations, an International Steering Group (ISG), a Swiss Registered non-profit association, and an International Staff Team (IST). The ISG is responsible for the governance of the campaign. Its responsibilities include strategic planning, financial oversight, fundraising, and policy formulation, as well as regular consultation with Partner Organisations, seeking to incorporate widely held views. For a full description of the ISG's composition and purview, please read ICAN's International Structure Document. You can find the full list of ISG member organisations and their representatives here

Meeting summaries:

A summary of the topics discussed as well as any formal decisions taken for each meeting of the ISG is listed below.

March 2024 in person meeting / adopted in April 2024 meeting

A two-day retreat took place in Geneva. All but two organisations joined and all staff in Geneva was present the first day. ICAN’s new strategy for 2024-2026 was discussed on the first day. There was also a presentation on a new upcoming project and a discussion on how to develop the campaign.

On the second day there was a fundraising workshop, fundraising is a crucial part of the campaign. The most part of the day was aimed on a discussion on renewing the ISG and update the structure of ISG. A new committee was formed to develop guidelines for a call for new ISG members. It was also decided that AC should update the ToR for the Admin Chair to create some clarity and structure for the role and update ICAN’s International Structure to align more with new decisions and to keep accurate.

January 2024 regular meeting / adopted in April 2024 meeting

On the first ISG meeting of 2024 ISG discussed the upcoming retreat in Geneva that is taking place on March 5-6 in Geneva. Finance committee was instructed to create a new policy for funding travels for ISG members. It was also decided to create a process for ISG members leaving and the AC was instructed to create some guidelines for this. ISG also approved new partnership applications.

December 2023 regular meeting / adopted in January 2024 meeting

2MSP was a great success; it was an incredible week filled with campaigners meeting a number of side events, meetings inside and outside of the UN, parliamentary forum and meetings with states parties and observers, as well as 2MSP itself. IST received a lot of praise from ISG and campaigners at the 2MSP for their tremendous efforts coordinating and organising to make the week a success.
ISG retreat taking place 5-6 March, follow-up from 2MSP and way forward to be discussed. ED to appoint new consultant to take over the VA/ER research, and ISG to discuss how to ensure how to further improve processes for this work in the future.

November 2023 in person meeting / adopted in December meeting

In person meeting in New York before the second meeting of state parties for the TPNW. ISG met with the new ED in person for the first time. ED shared her vision and priorities for ICAN the coming year. We had a briefing of the upcoming week with events and happenings in New York. There was also a discussion on budget and fundraising and a discussion on communication between the ISG and IST.

September 2023 regular meeting / adopted in October meeting

The ISG had a significant session with the newly appointed Executive Director, marking the inaugural interaction since her appointment. The ISG received updates from staff on TPNW universalization, 2MSP, finance and fundraising, and human resources, as well as insights from the ISG Finance and HR Committees.

ISG approved the proposed updated budget, ISG Finance Committee TORs, and the ICAN Financial Policy. IST and ISG deliberated and reached consensus on proposed timelines for the development of the 2024-2026 ICAN strategic plan. It was agreed for the AC and IST to develop a plan for the upcoming 2024 ISG retreat, that will be presented in the next ISG meeting.

July 2023 regular meeting / adopted in September meeting

The ISG heard reports from the staff team on TPNW universalization, implementation, and nuclear weapon stigmatization and divestment, among other things. ISG and IST also discussed plans for the upcoming NPT Preparatory Committee and the TPNW Second Meeting of States Parties. IST and the Selection Committee outlined plans for announcing the appointment of the new ICAN Executive Director. The ISG agreed to hold a separate meeting to consult on appointing a new Administrative Chair and other ISG matters.

May 2023 regular meeting / adopted in June meeting

The ISG received and discussed the ED report from IST on recent and projected work including the Hiroshima G7 events for Youth, Parliamentarians, Civil Society, concerns about Russian nuclear threats and missile tests in Kazakhstan, and logistical preparations around the 2MSP to the TPNW. The ISG also considered reports from its Financial Committee and the Selection Committee and extraordinary ISG meetings convened to take forward the recruitment process for ICAN’s new ED.

March 2023 ISG regular meeting / adopted in May meeting

The March 2023 ISG meeting discussed recent developments including progress in the TPNW’s intersessional work and the launching of a new ICAN webpage on this; the ICAN Act On It forum in Oslo; and recent media work around the Russia’s announcement regarding stationing nuclear weapons in Belarus. The ISG also heard an update from the Selection Committee on the search for a new Executive Director, and adopted ICAN’s 2022 audited accounts on the recommendation of the Finance Committee. The ISG also discussed upcoming events including the Hiroshima G7 summit, the 2MSP, and plans for universalisation activities.

February 2023 regular meeting / adopted in March meeting

The February 2023 ISG meeting covered many topics, focusing mostly on details from the ED’s report on universalization activities, especially the regional meeting in Pretoria in January, and activities and actions in the coming year. Following discussion of reports from the ED Selection and HR Committees, and staff members, relevant documents were adopted. ISG and staff members engaged in discussions on current and future challenges and work, including planning for the Oslo conference (March), Hiroshima G7 Summit (May), 2MSP (November), and other upcoming events.

January 2023 ISG regular meeting / adopted in February meeting

Upon approval of the previous minutes and declarations of potential conflicts of interest, the meeting delved into discussions on a number of items, including the main events for 2023, the Oslo Conference in March, G7/C7 planning for May in Hiroshima and a strategic plan for the 2 nd MSP in November. ISG agreed the Recruitment Committee’s proposals for moving forward the recruitment process for the new Executive Director, including hiring the recruitment agency Perrett Laver and establishing a Selection Committee comprising representatives of ISG and IST to work with them. The ISG scheduled an informal meeting in January to further develop strategies, plans and key objectives MSP2.

December 2022 regular meeting / adopted in January meeting

The December 2022 ISG meeting covered many topics, with priority on establishing a fair and effective process to recruit the next ED. Following discussion on reporting from the Recruitment, Finance and HR Committees and staff members, relevant documents were adopted. ISG and staff members engaged in discussions on current and future challenges and work, including planning for the Hiroshima G7 Summit (May), 2MSP (November), and other upcoming events.

November 2022 regular meeting / adopted in December meeting

The ISG meeting of 1 November discussed further diversifying ISG membership, holding a retreat in Scotland next year, engaging with the ‘Friends of the TPNW academic network’ and developments in Sweden, Brazil and Spain. Preliminary discussions were initiated on engaging young people and survivors and C7 civil society attending the G7 meeting in Hiroshima in May 2023, and key objectives, planning and budget considerations for 2MSP in NY.

November 2022 extraordinary meeting on ED departure 

Following the ED’s notice of resignation, ISG held discussions on 8th and 11th November and took decisions on 15 November to accept the ED’s decision to stand down on 31 January 2023, and to appoint an Acting ED to lead the staff team and work from 1 Feb until a new ED is recruited and installed. Decisions were also taken to establish a Recruitment Committee to research and recommend a recruitment agency and recommend steps to take forward an open and fair recruitment process with the aim of having a new ED in place by May 2023.

September 2022 regular meeting / adopted in November meeting

ISG reviewed the updates from Human Resource Committee, Finance Committee as well as members working on improvement of the application of policies, discussed and shared ideas on the action plans towards 2023, including G7, 2MSP of TPNW, some potential funding sources, etc. The reporting of potential conflict of interest is added to the meeting agenda, in order to prevent any conflict of interest in the future. The future member of ISG and nominee is also discussed and to be continued in the next meeting.

August 2022 regular meeting / adopted in September meeting

The ISG looked back at a successful 1MSP & related events in Vienna, and discussed updates on efforts to promote universality and divestment, as well as upcoming events around the Sept 20-21 Signing anniversary and International Day of Peace (21 Sept) and Int’l Day for the Elimination of Nuclear Weapons (26 Sept). The ISG also adopted a newly proposed calendar for ISG meetings to end 2023, set the date for a separate strategy meeting, discussed the need to revive HR and Finance Committees, and exchanged some initial thoughts about the organization of an ISG retreat.

July 2022 regular meeting / adopted in August meeting

The ISG thanked staff for their wonderful work during 1MSP week in June, discussed the events and outcomes, and welcomed AIDD who will take over Administrative Chair from August. Strategies and messaging on the Ukraine war and the NPT Review Conference were discussed, including on the complementarity of NPT and TPNW commitments to eliminate nuclear arsenals, and that ICAN’s NPT statement would be read by a young activist from Ukraine, and focus on the humanitarian impacts of nuclear weapons threats, possession and use. Also discussion about relating TPNW positive obligatiions on nuclear-affected communities and environmental remediation (Articles 6 and 7) with positive obligations and preamble of the NPT.

June 2022 face-to-face meeting

The ISG convened in Vienna on the 17th as an in-camera session with no public notes. The meeting on the 24th was canceled due to COVID-19 protection measures. 

May 2022 regular meeting / adopted in July meeting

The focus was the planning and preparations for the 1MSP and Civil Society Forum, as well as the situation in Ukraine. The Executive Director announced an extra grant to work on the Ukraine crisis and media efforts.

May 2022 extraordinary meeting / adopted in July meeting

The ISG discussed the series of events in Vienna during the 1MSP, especially the Civil Society Forum, the COVID measures during ICAN activities, The list of sponsored participants, the ISG face-to-face meeting, and the update on the policy issues of the 1MSP.

April 2022 regular meeting / adopted in May meeting

The meeting focused on the planning and preparations for the 1MSP and Civil Society Forum in Vienna, as well as the current situation in Ukraine. The program for the Civil Society Forum was open for ISG inputs on speakers and topics. Acronym Institute has been accepted as the next Admin Chair starting in August 2022 for one year. It was also agreed that ISG will convene a face-to-face meeting in connection with the 1MSP in Vienna (17th and 24th). 

March 2022 regular meeting / adopted in April meeting

The ISG discussed updates on the 1MSP and its consultations, including the dates proposed for June 2022. It also discussed the preparations for the ICAN events in Vienna. The ICAN partnership application list was approved with the suggestions by the IST. Updates from members on messaging and the different efforts regarding the war in Ukraine, especially the joint Nobel Statement initiated by IPPNW. It also presented the internal consultations on the next administrative chair.

February 2022 regular meeting / adopted in March meeting

The ISG discussed updates regarding the rescheduling of the 1MSP (no concrete dates yet), as well as ICAN’s meeting with Sviatlana Tsikhanouskaya in Vilnius about the possible deployment of nuclear weapons in Belarus. The ISG also discussed the proposed and updated internal policies regarding the roles and responsibilities of the administrative chair, and the Terms of Reference for the HR Committee, as well as some general aspects on the organizing of a face-to-face ISG meeting.

February 2022 extraordinary meeting on the Ukrainian crisis / adopted in March meeting

During the meeting, the ISG had a general discussion on the lines of messaging, agreeing to focus on the nuclear dimension and nuclear weapons considering the broader context, including nuclear deterrence and guidelines. The messaging guidelines are: 1) an immediate cease-fire and the withdrawal of all Russian military forces from Ukraine; 2) Russia and NATO explicitly renounce the use of nuclear weapons in this conflict.

January 2022 regular meeting / adopted in February meeting

The ISG discussed the possible postponement of the 1MSP (currently still scheduled for March), and the need to keep active and generate positive momentum in our preparations for the conference in the context of ongoing uncertainty about the date with the pandemic. The ISG also discussed updates to the Partnership Pledge to reflect the current status of the TPNW, and updated internal policies regarding roles and responsibilities within the ISG. The ISG welcomed expansions to the ICAN staff team.

December's 2021 regular meeting / adopted in January's 2022 meeting

The ISG discussed the possible postponement of the 1st MSP scheduled to be held in Austria, Vienna in March 2022. The Executive Director presented the financial report to the ISG members who approved it prior to adoption in the General Assembly. The Human Resources Committee presented its’ report with recommendations to the ISG members on the Finance staff position.

November 2021 regular meeting / adopted in December's meeting

The ISG discussed civil society arrangements for the NPT Review Conference and how to engage governments in support of the TPNW and nuclear disarmament during that month. It also discussed plans for TPNW 1MSP policy papers and how to encourage more ratifications in 2022 and, considered developments in Japan being a possible observer to 1MSP.

October 2021 regular meeting / adopted in November’s meeting

The ISG discussed the follow-on and updates on the preparation work for the First Meeting of States Parties, scheduled to take place in Vienna in March 2021 including vaccination issues. It was also discussed a new project in Pacific Region.

September 2021 extraordinary meeting on racism / adopted in October’s meeting

This extraordinary meeting was organized to address the criticism of the ICAN paper on racism via Twitter by an individual from an organisation. ISG members discussed how to give the importance to deserve through different actions and proposals, acknowledging that criticism on papers happens all the time, particularly in this kind of issue.  

September 2021 regular meeting / adopted in October’s meeting

The ISG discussed preparation work for the First Meeting of States Parties, scheduled to take place in Vienna in March 2021, including projects related to Articles 6 & 7 of the TPNW, victim assistance, and environmental remediation. Steering group members briefly discussed the recent Norwegian election and upcoming German election as the two relate to the TPNW.

August 2021 regular meeting / adopted in September’s meeting

This was the first meeting with SEHLAC as Administrative Chair and with Cristian as chair of the meeting. This meeting discussed the need for sending meeting summaries to the ICAN Campaigners List and welcomed the youth for TPNW Network initiative.

July 2021 regular meeting / adopted in August’s Meeting

The ISG welcomed Vanessa from PANG, thanked Molly and Chuck from IPPNW for completing their role as a chair for the last 12 months, and congratulated Cristian and Maria from SEHLAC to take over from the next meeting. A new ISG member. The meeting touched on many subjects with a discussion and decision to support the World Nuclear Survivors Forum later this year and a general discussion of ICAN’s role and potential activities as the civil society coordinator leading up to the 1MSP. The ISG approved staff recommendations for new ICAN partner organisations.