The International Peace Bureau (IPB), at their annual meeting in London today, protested against intimidation tactics used by the United States, United Kingdom and France in trying to kill a resolution at the United Nations which calls for a commitment to eliminate nuclear weapons, and to achieve practical steps towards that goal.

IPB, a Nobel Peace laureate, gave its full support for draft resolution A/C.1/53/L.48, which has been introduced by Brazil, Egypt, Ireland, Mexico, New Zealand, South Africa, Slovenia and Sweden and is expected to be voted upon in the Disarmament Committee of the United Nations on November 13.

Senator Douglas Roche of Canada, speaking to the IPB meeting, reported that the U.S., U.K., and France are sending representatives to the capitals of key countries in an attempt to persuade them to oppose the resolution. “They are using the same bullying tactics used three years ago when they tried unsuccessfully to stop the United Nations taking a case to the International Court of Justice on the legality of the threat or use of nuclear weapons,” said Senator Roche.

IPB called on its members around the world to urge their governments to support the draft resolution, whose purpose is to revitalise the disarmament agenda.

The draft resolution is considered by its sponsors to be a moderate but clear expression of international concern about the dangers to the world of the continued impasse on nuclear disarmament. “The continuing existence of thousands of nuclear weapons, many on high alert status, cannot be maintained without a risk of use by accident, miscalculation or design,” warned Maj Britt Theorin, President of IPB. “In addition, the refusal of the nuclear-weapon states to commit themselves to nuclear disarmament or to take practical steps towards this goal, in violation of their obligations under the Non-Proliferation Treaty, is threatening the treaty, and could lead to further proliferation of nuclear weapons.”

“The western nuclear-weapon states have tried to portray this resolution as anti-NATO,” said Ms Theorin. “This resolution is not anti-NATO. Rather it is anti-nuclear.”