OSCE Parliamentary Assembly supports ban treaty and advances peace, disarmament and sustainable development
The OSCE Parliamentary Assembly in Luxembourg.
LUXEMBOURG (July 8, 2019) — Parliamentarians from across North America, Europe and Central Asia met in Luxembourg from July 4-8, 2019 for the Annual Meeting of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE).
Following five days of dynamic discussions, the Assembly today (July 8, 2019) adopted a comprehensive Declaration on Advancing Sustainable Development to Promote Security (Luxembourg Declaration) along with a number of supplementary resolutions. Together the declaration and resolutions include reflections, recommendations and appeals to OSCE member governments on peace, human rights, environmental, economic, political and security issues. (See OSCE Parliamentary Assembly advances peace, disarmament and sustainable development).
The Luxembourg Declaration
Amongst other things, the Luxembourg Declaration calls for the following,
• The end of military hostilities in Eastern Ukraine and full withdrawal of high-caliber weapons by both sides, an immediate end to the use of landmines in the region and the full implementation of the Minsk Agreements;
• OSCE countries to reduce all forms of violence and the illicit flow of arms as part of implementing SDG 16;
• Implementation of UN Security Council resolution 1325 by ensuring participation of women in international conflict resolution and peace-building processes;
• OSCE countries to support negotiations to ban lethal autonomous weapons;
• Parliaments to pursue budgetary priorities to support non-proliferation and disarmament;
• Parliaments to advance nuclear threat reduction and disarmament as priorities in nuclear posture reviews and national policies;
• OSCE countries to sign the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons (TPNW);
The Luxembourg Declaration is not binding on member parliaments, but provides a guide and support for parliaments to take action on the issues addressed. It is also being presented to the OSCE Ministerial Meeting taking place in Slovakia tomorrow (July 9, 2019)
Civil Society at the OSCE Parliamentary Assembly
Civil society organisations are not generally invited to OSCE Parliamentary Assemblies. However, Alyn Ware and Elena Batani, representatives of PNND and the Basel Peace Office, were registered as ‘special guests’ by the Swiss parliamentary delegation, headed by PNND member Margareta Kiener Nellen.
Mr. Ware and Ms Batani used this opportunity to liaise with delegates and to circulate a backgrounder for delegates entitled Dialogue, détente and disarmament: The role of parliaments and the OSCE.
The backgrounder noted key developments of relevance to parliaments including the adoption of the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons, affirmation by the UN Human Rights Committee that nuclear weapons violate the Right to Life, withdrawal of the United States from the Iran nuclear non-proliferation agreement (JCPOA), collapse of the INF Treaty, and the Stepping Stones initiative of Sweden and 15 other countries (including some NATO members) on concrete nuclear risk-reduction and disarmament measures in support of the Non-Proliferation Treaty.
The Nuclear Ban Treaty and the NPT
The call for OSCE countries to sign the nuclear ban treaty (TPNW) surprised many delegates. In previous years the OSCE PA has overwhelmingly rejected proposals to support the treaty. Indeed, from the 57 member states of the OSCE, only 6 have signed the treaty (Austria, Holy See, Ireland, Kazakhstan, Lichtenstein and San Marino).
This year, delegates from USA and a number of NATO countries supported the text on the TPNW while at the same time opposing text to support the Non-Proliferation Treaty, prompting some observers to question whether the delegates were confused as to which text they were voting upon in the Committee on Political Affairs and Security where it was debated. The US delegation refused to comment when asked about this vote following the committee session.
Best wishes for peace
The Basel Peace Office team
Basel Peace Office, Seminar fur Soziologie, Petersgraben 27, Basel 4051, Switzerland