Netherlands

Nuclear-weapon endorser: hosts nuclear weapons on its territory

20 U.S. nuclear weapons hosted

Participated in TPNW negotiations

Has not yet joined TPNW

The Netherlands is one of the five NATO states to host US nuclear weapons as part of NATO's nuclear sharing agreement. The Dutch air force is assigned approximately 20 B61 nuclear bombs, which are deployed at Volkel Air Base.

The Netherlands has not yet signed or ratified the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons. The Netherlands participated in the negotiation of the treaty at the United Nations in New York in 2017. It was also the only NATO member to participate and the only state to vote against the adoption of the treaty. 

A public opinion poll conducted by YouGov in April 2019 found that 62 per cent of Dutch people believe that their government should sign the treaty, with 18 per cent opposed to signing and 19 per cent undecided.

In explaining its ‘No’ vote at the 2017 negotiating conference of the TPNW, it said: “While we cannot support this treaty, we appreciate how it has placed nuclear disarmament in the limelight and created a broad momentum for disarmament.” It also said that it considers the treaty to be “incompatible with our commitments as a NATO state”.

In its opening statement to the negotiating conference, the Netherlands said that it could “support the concept of a legally binding instrument prohibiting nuclear weapons as an element of a nuclear-weapon-free world”.

However, in November 2018, the Dutch parliament called on the government to re-examine the treaty and to work to increase the support for the treaty among NATO members. The parliament also sought legal advice on the legislative requirements of becoming a state party.

In response to the parliament’s request, the Dutch foreign minister, Stef Blok, and defence minister, Ank Bijleveld, wrote in January 2019 that no changes would be needed to existing Dutch legislation if the Netherlands were to adhere to the treaty, but additional implementing legislation would be needed.

Pressure is mounting on the government to work for the removal of US nuclear weapons deployed in Dutch territory and to sign the treaty.

The Netherlands voted against a UN General Assembly resolution in 2019 that welcomed the adoption of the treaty and called upon “all states that have not yet done so to sign, ratify, accept, approve, or accede to the treaty at the earliest possible date”.

In 2016, the Netherlands abstained from voting on the UN General Assembly resolution that established the formal mandate for states to commence the negotiations in 2017 on “a legally binding instrument to prohibit nuclear weapons, leading towards their total elimination”. It was the only NATO member not to vote against the resolution.

In a “non-paper” sent to NATO members ahead of the vote, the United States “strongly encourage[d]” members, including the Netherlands, to vote against the resolution, “not to merely abstain”. In addition, it said that, if the treaty negotiations do commence, allies and partners should "refrain from joining them”.

Pressure from the Dutch parliament and the public appeared to have a significant bearing on the Dutch government’s decision to participate in the negotiating conference.

[PARTNERS]

Pax

website


Dutch Medical Association for Peace Research

website


Campagne Tegen Wapenhandel

website


Women's International League for Peace and Freedom (Netherlands)

website


NVMP 

Pugwash

website


Tribunaal voor de Vrede

website


Vrouwen voor Vrede

website


Burgemeesters voor Vrede 

website


Atheïstisch Verbond 

website

[LOCALSUPPORT]

Local support Get involved with ICAN in the Netherlands ›

ICAN Parliamentary Pledge

These are the elected representatives in this country that support and promote the TPNW:

Kathalijne Buitenweg
Sadet Karabulut
Lilianne Ploumen
Bram van Ojik
Liesbeth van Tongeren
Lisa Westerveld

Netherlands European Parliament
Dennis de Jong ME
Bas Eickhout MEP

ICAN Cities Appeal

These are the cities and towns in this country speaking out in support of the TPNW:

Nijmegen

Find a local ICAN partner to get active Become an ICAN Partner Organization ›

  • Pax

    website

  • Dutch Medical Association for Peace Research

    website

  • Campagne Tegen Wapenhandel

    website

  • Women's International League for Peace and Freedom (Netherlands)

    website

  • NVMP 
  • Pugwash

    website

  • Tribunaal voor de Vrede

    website

  • Vrouwen voor Vrede

    website

  • Burgemeesters voor Vrede 

    website

  • Atheïstisch Verbond 

    website

No events yet

Local support Get involved with ICAN in the Netherlands ›

ICAN Parliamentary Pledge

These are the elected representatives in this country that support and promote the TPNW:

Kathalijne Buitenweg
Sadet Karabulut
Lilianne Ploumen
Bram van Ojik
Liesbeth van Tongeren
Lisa Westerveld

Netherlands European Parliament
Dennis de Jong ME
Bas Eickhout MEP

ICAN Cities Appeal

These are the cities and towns in this country speaking out in support of the TPNW:

Nijmegen