SECOND MEETING OF STATES PARTIES TO THE TREATY ON THE PROHIBITION OF NUCLEAR WEAPONS

The Second Meeting of States Parties to the TPNW was held at the Trusteeship Council in United Nations Headquarters in New York.

The Second Meeting of States Parties to the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons (2MSP) was held from November 27 to December 1, 2023, at United Nations Headquarters in New York.

The Nuclear Age Peace Foundation organized and attended plenary sessions and numerous side events throughout the week. Team NAPF included our President Dr. Ivana Nikolić Hughes; Policy and Advocacy Coordinator, Christian Ciobanu; Communications Coordinator, Kenneth Chiu; and Board Member, Cynthia Lazaroff, alongside a large team of our interns and youth activists from our youth initiative, Reverse the Trend, Save our People, Save our Planet. Throughout the meeting, we collaborated closely with diplomats and colleagues from other civil society organizations. To explore event summaries, photos, recordings, and more, keep scrolling!

NAPF Statements at 2MSP

Anastasia Shakhidzanova, NAPF Youth Activist and Dr. Ivana Nikolić Hughes, NAPF President

Stella Rose, NAPF Intern and RTT Youth Activist

Brock Walker, NAPF Campaigner and RTT Youth Activist

“In the midst of so much darkness and division in our world, as well as decades of inaction on nuclear disarmament – an existential imperative for humanity – the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons and the Second Meeting of States Parties to the treaty are a shining light and a glimmer of hope that we can indeed create a better world for our children and grandchildren – one that is free of nuclear weapons.”

Dr. Ivana Nikolić Hughes
President, Nuclear Age Peace Foundation

NAPF Events at 2MSP

ICAN Campaigners Meeting

Elizabeth Minor, Seth Shelden, Ivana Nikolić Hughes, and Alicia Sanders-Zakre (photo by ICAN | Darren Ornitz)

Sunday, November 26: ICAN Campaigners Meeting

Prior to the start of the Second Meeting of States Parties, NAPF joined ICAN partners to prepare for the upcoming week. Our President, Dr. Ivana Nikolić Hughes, who is also a member of the Scientific Advisory Group (SAG) to the TPNW spoke in the opening panel of the event, focused on TPNW updates from the intersessional period. Dr. Hughes discussed the formation of SAG and its work so far, and shared some scientific information about the humanitarian and environmental consequences of nuclear testing. Other key themes covered during the meeting included efforts to implement the victim assistance and environmental remediation obligations of the treaty (Articles 6 & 7), progress in universalizing the TPNW, and the state of play regarding the groundbreaking 50-point action plan committed to by the first meeting of states parties in June 2022.

NAPF and ICAN Partners gather at the Brick Church in New York to prepare for 2MSP.

Christian Ciobanu, Ivana Nikolić Hughes, Rooj Ali, Sarah Rohleder and Kenneth Chiu

Campaigners rally in Central Park to raise awareness about the Nuclear Ban treaty.

Monday, November 27: International Youth Orientation

On the first day of the 2MSP, we organized an international youth orientation at the Permanent Mission of the Republic of Ireland to the United Nations. Co-hosted by the Mission, Marshallese Educational Initiative (MEI),  and our youth initiative Reverse the Trend (RTT), the youth orientation was an opportunity for the youngest participants of 2MSP to come together prior to the start of the meetings.

H.E. Fergal Mythen, the Permanent Representative of the Republic of Ireland to the United Nations, welcomed the youth delegates in a keynote address. On the discussion panel, NAPF and RTT were represented alongside organizations, including the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), the United Nations Office of Disarmament Affairs (UNODA), and the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons (ICAN).

At this meeting, representatives from each organization shared a comprehensive overview of the upcoming week and covered existing efforts in the nuclear disarmament arena. Youth participants were prepped on how to gain the most out of their experience at the conference and amplify their voices for nuclear abolition and in support of affected communities to their home communities.

Historically, Ireland has played a key role in educating and empowering young leaders in the field of disarmament. This year, Ireland serves on the Coordinating Committee and as a Co-Chair of the Complementarity Working Group for 2MSP. In 2022, we also hosted a youth orientation at the Permanent Mission of Ireland in Vienna, prior to the start of the 1MSP. Hence, we are proud to co-host this training and orientation for a second time.

International Youth Orientation

Ambassador Fergal Mythen, Permanent Representative of Ireland to the United Nations, delivers keynote address on the importance of disarmament.

Speakers from civil society gather to address the youth delegation at 2MSP.

Keita Takagaki and Benetick Maddison | Photo by Stephen Lovekin/Shutterstock

Ambassador Fergal Mythen, Christian Ciobanu, Benetick Maddison, Keita Takagaki, Veronique Christory, Seth Shelden, and Soohyun Kim | Photo by Stephen Lovekin/Shutterstock

Discussion of TPNW’s Positive Obligations

Panel | Photo by Stephen Lovekin/Shutterstock

Monday, November 27: Discussion of TPNW’s Positive Obligations

Sponsors : Kiribati, Kazakhstan, Prefecture of Hiroshima, Nuclear Age Peace Foundation, Reverse The Trend: Save Our People, Save Our Planet, Marshallese Educational Initiative, and Rotary Action Group for Peace: Nuclear Weapons Education Committee.

At this panel discussion, representatives from government and civil society discussed the importance of Articles 6 & 7 of the TPNW. Kiribati and Kazakhstan serve as the Co-Chairs of the Working Group on Victim Assistance, Environmental Remediation, International Cooperation and Assistance. High-Level representatives participated, including Arman Baissuanov, Director of the Department of International Security, MFA Kazakhstan, Governor Hidehiko Yuzaki of Hiroshima Prefecture; and Ambassador Teburoro Tito, Permanent Represenatative of the Republic of Kiribati to the United Nations. Other panelists included: Bonnie Docherty, Director of the Armed Conflict and Civilian Protection Initiative, Lecturer on Law at Harvard Law School’s International Human Rights Clinic; Benetick Kabua Maddison, Executive Director, Marshallese Educational Initiative; Dr. Ivana Nikolic Hughes, Member of the Scientific Advisory Group to the TPNW, President of the Nuclear Age Peace Foundation, and Senior Lecturer in the Discipline of Chemistry at Columbia University; and Veronique Christory, Senior Arms Adviser, ICRC Delegation to the UN.

Dr. Ivana Hughes stressed that the TPNW is a two-way road: helping affected victims and remediating contaminated environments, while ensuring by nuclear abolition that such victims and contamination are never created again. | Photo by Stephen Lovekin/Shutterstock

Delegates from civil society and government gather in the Trusteeship Council at the UN Headquarters to attend the panel. | Photo by Stephen Lovekin/Shutterstock

Benetick Maddison shares, “My ancestors are not alone. Throughout the decades, Marshallese voices and the voices of other nuclear affected peoples have continually raised the alarm for wrongs that need to be righted.”| Photo by Stephen Lovekin/Shutterstock

Arman Baissuanov and Christian Ciobanu | Photo by Stephen Lovekin/Shutterstock

Arman Baissuanov, Veronique Christory, Bonnie Docherty, Christian Ciobanu, Ivana Nikolić Hughes, Governor Hidehiko Yuzaki and Benetick Maddison | Photo by Stephen Lovekin/Shutterstock

Tuesday, November 28: Humanitarian Impacts of Nuclear Weapons — An Introduction

Signs of hope are found in 93 nations that have signed the new Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons (TPNW). This trajectory resulted from a commitment made at the UN in 2010 to consider the impact of production, testing and use of nuclear weapons from the perspective of emergency responders, public health and sustainable development. The Humanitarian initiative is rooted in the hearts and minds of many seeking a nuclear-weapons-free world dating back to 1945, in New Mexico, Hiroshima, and Nagasaki and so many other places.

Speakers included: Carlos Umaña, MD, Co-President, International Physicians for the Prevention of Nuclear War (IPPNW); Cathey Eisner Falvo, MD, MPH, Board Member, Physicians for Social Responsibility, New York; Mary Olson, Founder, Gender and Radiation Impact Project; Vic McKellips, RSF Social Finance; Frances Jeffries, PhD, Moderator, Rotary Action Group for Peace Nuclear Weapons Education Committee. Nuclear Age Peace Foundation was proud to co-sponsor this important event.

Humanitarian Impacts of Nuclear Weapons — An Introduction

In-person and virtual participants at the event

Slide from Mary Olson’s presentation on disproportionate impact of ionizing radiation on women

Dr. Cathey Falvo, PSR New York, speaks at the event

“Hope for a Better Tomorrow” Art Exhibit

Presentation of exhibit at UN Headquarters Vienna Cafe in New York.

Tuesday, November 28: “Hope for a Better Tomorrow” Art Exhibit

The poignant exhibit aims to center the difficult realities of many youth in affected communities as a result of global nuclear weapons testing throughout the 20th century. This exhibit draws attention to the intergenerational effects of nuclear testing on populations across the globe and art’s unique ability to empower young people and construct a deeper sense of international solidarity. All works of art are original creations by youth from countries including Canada, Kazakhstan, Kiribati, Marshall Islands, and Solomon Islands. This art exhibit was presented by the Nuclear Age Peace Foundation, our youth initiative Reverse the Trend: Save Our People, Save Our Planet, the Marshallese Educational Initiative, and The Prospect Hill Foundation.

Exhibit presented at Blue Gallery in New York.

Rooj Ali, in collaboration with Lovely Umayam, presents her short story on a reimagined nuclear future.

Sarah Rohleder, in collaboration with Lovely Umayam, presents her short story on a reimagined nuclear future.

Frankie Iannuzzi and Molly Hurley prepare the exhibit at the United Nations.

Tuesday, November 28: Nuclear-Free Future Awards & “Hope for a Better Tomorrow” Art Exhibit

Sponsors: Beyond Nuclear, IPPNW, Nuclear Age Peace Foundation, our youth initiative Reverse The Trend, Marshallese Educational Initiative, and The Prospect Hill Foundation

Inspired by the World Uranium Hearing in 1992, the Nuclear-Free Future Awards were first presented in 1998 in Salzburg, Austria and have traveled around the world for 25 years. The Nuclear-Free Future Awards honor individuals and initiatives worldwide that have made a significant contribution toward ridding the world of uranium mining, nuclear weapons, nuclear power and uranium munitions.

Hosted this year by Beyond Nuclear and International Physicians for the Prevention of Nuclear War, Germany (IPPNW-DE) in partnership with Nuclear Age Peace Foundation (NAPF) and its youth initiative Reverse the Trend (RTT), the ceremony presents these awards alongside a poignant art exhibition.

The three activist awards come with a $5,000 prize. This year’s winners are:

  • Benetick Kabua Maddison, a young US-based Marshallese activist who works to educate both US and international audiences about the terrible legacy of the 67 US atomic tests conducted in the Marshall Islands between 1946 and 1958 and the ongoing health, environmental, and cultural consequences.
  • Hinamoeura Morgant-Cross, a French Polynesian in her mid thirties, whose realization that her own leukemia was a legacy of the French atomic tests in the South Pacific led her to activism. In her efforts, she has been pressuring the French government to both acknowledge responsibility and to provide medical and financial support.
  • Tina Cordova, a seventh generation native New Mexican, cancer survivor and the co-founder of the Tularosa Basin Downwinders Consortium. Cordova has campaigned for more than 18 years to bring attention to the negative health effects suffered by the unknowing, unwilling, uncompensated, innocent victims of the first nuclear blast on Earth that took place at the Trinity site in New Mexico.
  • Daniel Ellsberg, Honorary Lifetime Achievement Award accepted by his son, Robert Ellsberg.
2023 Nuclear-Free Future Awards

Kiribati youth performs a touching dance ahead of the ceremony.

Claus Biegert

Ambassador Teburoro Tito and Dr. Ivana Hughes

Benetick Kabua Maddison

Hinamoeura Morgant-Cross

Tina Cordova

Robert Ellsberg

Awards Gallery

Artwork Gallery

*All credit for photos of Awards Ceremony and Artwork goes to Stephen Lovekin/Shutterstock.

ASEAN Regional Perspectives on the TPNW

Tuesday, November 28: ASEAN Regional Perspectives on the TPNW

On 15 December 1995, ASEAN Member States signed the Southeast Asian Nuclear Weapon-Free Zone Treaty (SEANWFZ Treaty) as a commitment to preserve the Southeast Asian region as a region free of nuclear weapons and other weapons of mass destruction. The region’s history demonstrates that far more can be gained through cooperation than through conflict. As a result, it is imperative that the ASEAN region unite around the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons (TPNW), which complements the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty by closing the missing legal gap on nuclear disarmament.

At this event, representatives from Malaysia and Thailand, two representatives of our youth initiative, Reverse the Trend, and a Lecturer at the Institute of International Studies of the Universitas Gadjah Mada discussed enhancing global security through a reinforced commitment to nuclear disarmament, with a particular emphasis on the TPNW.

Panelists lead a discussion on the state of disarmament in SE Asia.

Amir Ruzain and Bond Tatiyawongwiwat of RTT Southeast Asia

Youth delegates from 2MSP are in attendance.

“Shades of Disarmament” Film Premiere

Wednesday, November 29: “Shades of Disarmament” Film Premiere

“Shades of Disarmament” is an original short documentary produced by our youth initiative Reverse the Trend and its supporters, highlighting activists of color who were present at the 1982 Rally on Nuclear Disarmament. The film sheds light on the intersectional relationship between the struggles for environmental justice, social justice, and human rights. “Shades of Disarmament” focuses on the necessity of including diverse voices – many of whom were marginalized during the march and rally – in the disarmament movement.

This film screening will serve as both the public launch of a uniquely grassroots film about a uniquely grassroots mass movement from the 1980s and an important point of access for engaging with nuclear weapons issues today. The timing of this launch was particularly synergistic for its coordination with the United Nation’s hosting of the Second Meeting of States Party to the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons (aka the TPNW or the “Ban Treaty”).

Molly Hurley, Dr. Vincent Intondi, Jim Anderson and Jeremiah Williams

Audience at the screening of “Shades of Disarmament” at The Clemente Center.

Q&A session with featured activists following the screening.

Thursday, November 30: From Hiroshima to the Pacific

Co-sponsored by the Mission of Kiribati, Nuclear Age Peace Foundation, Reverse The Trend: Save Our People, Save Our Planet, Marshallese Educational Initiative, and The Prospect Hill Foundation, this event provided space for panelists to share their perspectives on the humanitarian and environmental impacts of nuclear weapons and the significance of Articles 6 and 7 of the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons in relation to the lasting effects of nuclear detonations, from Hiroshima to the Pacific.

From Hiroshima to the Pacific

H.E. Ambassador Teburoro Tito of Kiribati leads the discussion panel.

Panelists present in the Trusteeship Council at the United Nations in New York.

Representatives from government and civil society attend the event.

Asuka Oka, Keita Takagaki, Maverick Seda, Benetick Maddison, Christian Ciobanu, and Dr. Becky Alexis-Martin

Screening of The Vow from Hiroshima at Columbia University

Thursday, November 30: Screening of “The Vow from Hiroshima” and Q&A with Archbishop Wester or Santa Fe and film’s Director, Susan Strickler, at Columbia University

The Vow From Hiroshima is an intimate portrait of Setsuko Thurlow, a survivor of the atomic bomb in Hiroshima. Setsuko was 13 years old when the atomic bomb was dropped on her city in 1945. She was miraculously pulled out of a fiery building after the bomb was dropped and unable to save her other 27 classmates who were burned to death. That experience shaped her life forever and she endeavored to keep a pledge she made to her friends – that no one should ever again experience the same horrible fate. The film follows Setsuko through her decades of activism up to the current moment when she finally achieves her dream of a Nuclear Weapons Ban Treaty. Her moving story is also told through the lens of her growing friendship with a second-generation survivor, Mitchie Takeuchi.

Susan Strickler, Archbishop John Wester, and Dr. Ivana Nikolić Hughes hold Q&A following the screening.

The screening was hosted at Columbia University and attended by diplomats, activists, students, hibakusha and community members.

Hibakusha Sueichi Kido addresses audience members.

Gallery

Thank you to everyone who helped make this week possible! 

Nuclear Age Peace Foundation

Dr. Ivana Nikolic Hughes – NAPF President; Senior Lecturer in Chemistry at Columbia University and Member of the Scientific Advisory Group to the TPNW; Cynthia Lazaroff – NAPF Board Member and Founder, Women Transforming Our Nuclear Legacy; Christian Ciobanu – NAPF Policy and Advocacy Coordinator; Kenneth Chiu – NAPF Communications Coordinator; NAPF Interns –  Jorge Legarda Zaqora, Asuka Oka, Stella Rose, Anastasia Shakhidzanova, and Ibraheem Wariach; and Brock Walker – NAPF Campaigner


Side Event Panelists

Asuka Oka, RTT Youth Activist; Benetick Kabua Maddison, Executive Director of Marshallese Educational Initiative; Bonnie Docherty, Director of Armed Conflict and Civilian Protection Initiative, Harvard Law School; Dr. Becky Alexis-Martin, Lecturer of Peace and International Development, University of Bradford; Ereti Tekabwaia, Office of Tourism and Kiritimati Youth; Governor Hidehiko Yuzaki of Hiroshima; H.E. Akan Rakhmetullin, Permanent Representative of Kazakhstan to the UN; H.E. Fergal Mythen – Permanent Representative of Ireland to the UN; H.E. Teburoro Tito, Permanent Representative of Kiribati to the UN; Keita Takagaki, ICRC Japan Youth; Maverick Peter Seda, Youth Coordinator of RTT Pacific; Seth Shelden, United Nations Liaison for the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons; Soohyun Kim, Political Affairs Officer at United Nations Office of Disarmament Affairs; Veronique Christory – Senior Arms Adviser International Committee of the Red Cross Delegation to the UN


Organizational Collaborators and Sponsors

Beyond Nuclear; Gender + Radiation Impact Project; International Physicians for the Prevention of Nuclear War; Marshallese Educational Initiative; Physicians for Social Responsibility – New York; Peace Boat US; Prefecture of Hiroshima; Reverse the Trend, Save Our People, Save Our Planet; Rotary Action Group for Peace: Nuclear Weapons Education Committee; RSF Social Finance; The Mission of Ireland; The Mission of Kazakhstan; The Mission of Kiribati; The Prospect Hill Foundation

HUGE GRATITUDE TO ALL OF OUR SPONSORS. WE COULD NOT DO THIS WORK WITHOUT YOU.

THANK YOU!