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Friday, 19. July 2024

Webinar on December the 13th 2021

The Dutch commitment to a nuclear-weapon-free world, the Non-Proliferation

Treaty Review Conference and the TPNW’

NVMP, the Dutch IPPNW affiliate NVMP Physicians for Peace together with organisation of the so called Balieberaad organised a webinar on December 13-th on the title ‘The Dutch commitment to a nuclear-weapon-free world, the Non-Proliferation Treaty Review Conference and the TPNW’.

Speakers were Ingeborg Denissen, Head of Disarmament, Non-proliferation and Nuclear Affairs Department. Kees Nieuwerth, vice-chair of the Dutch Council of Churches and Mayor Gregor Rensen, Dutch chair of Mayors for Peace.

Main, sometimes critical, notes by Ingeborg Denissen were:

- making the NPT a success is extremely important. A concrete action plan for the coming five years must be a result. Nuclear risk reduction will be supportive for reaching the goal of a nuclear weapon free world.

- Concerning the role of the TPNW: if TPNW countries were to leave the NPT: how would you deal with the weaker verification standards to which they would then be associated? The problem with the TPNW is that it does not bind the nuclear weapon states because they are not members. The TPNW is seen too much as an end goal, while it is primarily a means; how to achieve disarmament.

- Concerning ‘no first use’: If you say in advance that you will never use a nuclear weapon first, a potential opponent with conventional superiority can launch a major conventional attack because he knows he can get away with it. Countries on the eastern border of Europe, but also in Asia, which depend on protection by the US, are afraid that this protection will be questioned if the US makes a no first use statement.

Mayor Rensen made clear that it is important for the government, especially the ministry of foreign affairs to work together with the Mayors in the country. Mayors are responsible for the safety of their citizens in the cities and villages and they are the voice of the citizens. He asked for more cooperation from them for funding and setting up education programs for schools to inform and educate children about Nucleair weapons, climate change, power plants , how to build a safe society without nuclear weapons.