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IPPNW Press Release, 26. Oktober 2009

Important milestone reached in the campaign "our future – nuclear weapon-free"

Coalition agreement between the CDU/CSU FDP parties in Germany

The new conservative-liberal government in Germany declared yesterday in their newly published coalition agreement that they would advocate the withdrawal of the remaining nuclear weapons in Germany. This means that the national campaign "our future – nuclear weapon-free" has reached an important milestone. The german section of IPPNW is one of a coalition of 50 German peace organisations and groups running this campaign.

„We had set ourselves the goal of persuading the government, within three years, to advocate the withdrawal of these remaining nuclear weapons“ Xanthe Hall, nuclear disarmament expert for IPPNW, said. “What some people in the media are calling a ‘marginal issue” is in fact a very important contribution towards a nuclear weapon-free world.” IPPNW believes that a step like this can help negotiations with Iran or North Korea. “Only if we disarm can we demonstrate to others that nuclear weapons are not necessary for our security and persuade other countries to renounce them” Hall said.

The campaign has been putting pressure on parliamentarians since 2007 to position themselves in regard to disarmament. The work to convince them was intensified during the recent election. The FDP (Liberal party), Bündnis 90/Die Grünen (the Green Party) and Die Linke (the Left Party) have all taken strong positions in recent years on the question of the withdrawal of the 20 nuclear weapons based in the Eifel region, and have repeatedly tabled motions in the Parliament. However, the grand coalition has always voted these down. Even though the SPD (Social Democratic Party) committed itself to working for a withdrawal of nuclear weapons from Germany in its work programme, they could not vote for it because of their coalition agreement with the Conservative union.

“It was clear from the start that the coalition agreement would be our greatest obstacle” continued Hall. “That’s why we asked candidates already during the election to commit themselves to saying they would stand up for withdrawal of nuclear weapons during the coalition negotiations.” After the election, the campaign council wrote again to all of the negotiators. 10 Conservative “Mayors for Peace” wrote to Chancellor Merkel and asked her to make the issue of disarmament “Chefsache” (top priority) and end nuclear sharing. The German affiliate of Mayors for Peace supports the campaign “our future – nuclear weapon-free”.

For further information in German you can visit these websites:
www.atomwaffenfrei.de
www.mayorsforpeace.de
www.atomwaffenA-Z.info

Contact:
International Physicians for the Prevention of Nuclear War (IPPNW), Körtestr. 10, 10967 Berlin, www.ippnw.de,
Xanthe Hall, mobil:   0171-435 8404, Email: xanthe[at]ippnw.de
Angelika Wilmen:  030-698074-15, Email: wilmen[at]ippnw.de

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