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The Hague, May 4, 2016

Dutch Medical Appeal against NWs handed over to Parliament influenced the debate

NVMP: Dutch Medical Appeal against NWs handed over to Parliament influenced the debate

On the 19th  of April a NVMP-delegation handed over the Dutch Medical Appeal (and the BMJ-article) to the Committee of Foreign Affairs, with all the main spokesmen of our Parliament re NWs, with afterwards time for bilateral talks. It was remarkable how serious our medical arguments were taken – the strength of IPPNW! In collaboration with PAX we had waited with this handing over till it was clear when the parliamentary debate on a ban on NWs, forced by the 45.000 signatures collected by PAX, was planned: 10 days later.

During that Parliamentary debate, the 28th  of April, introduced by former MP Krista van Velzen (PAX), with a crowded public tribune, mainly mobilized by PAX, the main motion – “The Dutch government should actively commit itself to help starting negotiations on a international ban on nuclear weapons (!PB)” -  was introduced by MP Servaes mentioning our Medical Appeal and our strong pledge to the parliament to do the right thing (Servaes is from the social democrat party, in government together with our (right wing) liberal party, voting against this and the following motions...)

This motion was directly adopted by our MoFA Bert Koenders, and  got a majority at the voting, 3 weeks later, just like three other quite revolutionary ones, saying in short that the Dutch government should:

  • Publish the secret agreements with the USA about the nuclear weapens on Dutch soil
  • Use the unwanted modernisation of NWs  in Europe to give an impetus to worldwide nuclear disarmament
  • Stepwise skip the Dutch NW task, in consultation with the USA


Quite remarkable and hopeful events for a nuclear umbrella state, and as we hope inspiring for other ones! Now of course we have to do what we can to keep the pressure on the government to act on these motions, and to especially support our MoFA Bert Koenders  (also social democrat and as an former MP very much in favour of total nuclear disarmament!) See also point 4.

For further information on the site of our Parliament click here

 

 

Here is a letter from Peter Buijs, co-chair of Dutch IPPNW

 

Dear friends,  here a joyful update from Holland:
 
1.      On the 19th  of April a NVMP-delegation handed over the Dutch Medical Appeal (and the BMJ-article) to the Committee of Foreign Affairs, with all the main spokesmen of our Parliament re NWs, with afterwards time for bilateral talks. It was remarkable how serious our medical arguments were taken – the strength of IPPNW! In collaboration with PAX we had waited with this handing over till it was clear when the parliamentary debate on a ban on NWs, forced by the 45.000 signatures collected by PAX, was planned: 10 days later. 

2.      During that Parliamentary debate, the 28th  of April, introduced by former MP Krista van Velzen (PAX), with a crowded public tribune, mainly mobilized by PAX, the main motion – “The Dutch government should actively commit itself to help starting negotiations on a international ban on nuclear weapons (!PB)” -  was introduced by MP Servaes mentioning our Medical Appeal and our strong pledge to the parliament to do the right thing (Servaes is from the social democrat party, in government together with our (right wing) liberal party, voting against this and the following motions...)

This motion was directly adopted by our MoFA Bert Koenders, and  got a majority at the voting, 3 weeks later, just like three other quite revolutionary ones, saying in short that the Dutch government should:

  • Publish the secret agreements with the USA about the nuclear weapens on Dutch soil
  • Use the unwanted modernisation of NWs  in Europe to give an impetus to worldwide nuclear disarmament
  • Stepwise skip the Dutch NW task, in consultation with the USA


Quite remarkable and hopeful events for a nuclear umbrella state, and as we hope inspiring for other ones! Now of course we have to do what we can to keep the pressure on the government to act on these motions, and to especially support our MoFA Bert Koenders  (also social democrat and as an former MP very much in favour of total nuclear disarmament!) See also point 4.

For further information on the site of our Parliament click here
 

3.      Stimulated by our Ministry of Foreign Affairs (!) I attended the OEWG in Geneva – and the stimulating ICAN-weekend before – to present the Medical Appeal (attached) there during the plenary on the 4th of May, in the session with Ira Helfand as expert speaker.

 

4.      Now we are preparing again, like last year, a manifestation in De Balie in Amsterdam, on 1-10-16, on the eve of the negotiations in New York in the UN First Committee on the OEWG proposals, to empower/support/press our Minister Bert Koenders to do all he can with the four parliamentary motions to get real steps taken towards a world without NWs. Ira Helfand had already said to be glad to come over to speak in Amsterdam (Ira, for the end of the month we know if we can afford your offer financially)
 

Much more is to say about this of course, but so far so good. We never had thought that our Medical Appeal would bring us this far, when we presented it last year on the 26th of September – the UN International Day of Total Abolition of NWs. So we hope this will inspire other IPPNW affiliates to try something like this!

All the best to all of you!            Peter Buijs, co-chair Dutch IPPNW

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