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24 May: Roundtable briefing on the UN Open Ended Working Group on Nuclear Disarmament

The all Party Parliamentary Group on Weapons and Protection of Civilians invites you to attend:

A roundtable briefing on the UN Open Ended Working Group on Nuclear Disarmament 

3-4 pm, Tuesday 24th May 2016

Room O, Portcullis House



Nia Griffith MP, Chair of the All Party Group on Weapons and Protection of Civilians

Beyza Unal, Chatham House International Security Department

Thomas Nash, Article 36

Rebecca Sharkey, International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons (ICAN UK)


This month, talks have been taking place at the UN in Geneva on taking forward multilateral nuclear disarmament, at an ‘Open Ended Working Group’ (OEWG) mandated by the General Assembly. These important multilateral talks follow three international conferences on the humanitarian impact of nuclear weapons, which resulted in the ‘Humanitarian Pledge’ for the prohibition and elimination of nuclear weapons, now endorsed by 127 states.

Despite the OEWG being open to all states, the UK is not attending. This briefing will look at why these disarmament talks are happening now and what progress has been made at the UN this month. We will also discuss the UK government’s refusal to participate in these new UN-mandated nuclear disarmament talks, given its stated position as a global leader in multilateral disarmament.

It is clear from statements and proposals made by states to the Open Ended Working Group that the majority of the world’s governments are ready to negotiate a new treaty that would prohibit nuclear weapons. Such a treaty, which could be negotiated in the near future even without the participation of nuclear-armed states such as the UK, could have a profound effect on UK policy and practice on nuclear weapons, which the panel will discuss.

This roundtable will provide background on the current international Humanitarian Initiative on nuclear weapons, including expert information on the risks and consequences inherent in nuclear deterrence policy.

All members of both Houses and their staff are welcome to attend.

For further information and queries please contact Laura Boillot at laura@article36.org