This speech was delivered by NAPF Geneva Representative Christian N. Ciobanu at a meeting of the Open-Ended Working Group on May 17, 2013.
I would like to thank the Chair, H.E. Ambassador Dengo and the states for attending this important forum. I represent the Nuclear Age Peace Foundation and I am a coordinator of Ban All Nukes Generation. The Nuclear Age Peace Foundation is a non-profit, non-partisan international education and advocacy organization. The Ban All Nukes Generation is the international youth network for nuclear disarmament.
The Nuclear Age Peace Foundation and Ban All Nukes Generation welcome the constructive discussions and the genuine effort by the states present to search for new ways to break the deadlock in nuclear disarmament. We hope that this spirit of collaboration will find its way into other disarmament fora, as well as the recognition given to civil society here, for which we are grateful.
It seems that we are now moving beyond the false dichotomy between a so-called “step by step” approach vs. a "comprehensive" approach, which has held up discussions for a long time.
As multiple states have outlined yesterday, we can synthesize these two proposals in a "holistic" approach: a framework with mutually reinforcing building blocks, which are not necessarily sequential in nature.
We also believe that parallel initiatives are an effective way forward. One initiative does not exclude the other.
If we wait for countless preconditions to be fulfilled before we act, the risk of a nuclear explosion increases.
A ban on nuclear weapons is therefore possible while simultaneously pursuing new and existing efforts to take disarmament forward. The Nuclear Age Peace Foundation and Ban All Nukes Generation call upon the members of the Opened-Ended Working Group to define such building blocks.
Mr. Chair and Distinguished Delegates,
In the upcoming week, my colleagues and I will underscore the significance of disarmament education for the current generation of young people.
Some of our peers perceive nuclear weapons almost as abstract, intangible weapons, which are removed from their realities. Others may feel powerless because they believe that they cannot make an immediate contribution to alter the perception of nuclear weapons amongst selected states. As a result, it is vital to provide the necessary resources to educate and empower the youth, so they can play an active role in constructing a world in which nuclear weapons cease to threaten the safety of humanity.
This statement was co-authored by the Nuclear Age Peace Foundation and Ban All Nukes Generation.