Extern Event: ’Nederlandse inzet voor een kernwapenvrije wereld’ 26-09-18, Humanity House – Den Haag

Op 26 september,  de International UN-day of the Total Abolition of Nuclear Weapons, zullen maatschappelijke organisaties, met experts, bestuurders, beleidsmakers en de politiek bespreken welke concrete stappen door ons land gezet kunnen worden (op weg) naar een kernwapenvrije wereld.

Vorig jaar organiseerde de NVMP samen met het Humanistisch Verbond, de Kerken, Mayors for Peace, Pax, en het Rode Kruis een debat over de rol van Nederland bij een totaalverbod op kernwapens. De organisaties verzochten de politiek met klem om iets te doen aan het gevaar van een kernoorlog. Enkele weken later viel er in het Regeerakkoord een antwoord te lezen: “Het kabinet zet zich, binnen het kader van de bondgenootschappelijke verplichtingen, actief in voor een kernwapenvrije wereld.”

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Geneva Disarmament Platform launches Disarmament Essay Competition

The Geneva Disarmament Platform – which aims at providing a neutral and dynamic forum of interaction in Geneva for all stakeholders in the field of disarmament –
launched a Disarmament Essay Competition, which is open to any students enrolled in fields other than the traditional ones of international relations / IHL. The objective of the contest is to try to bring fresh ideas to enhance global disarmament, to bring motivated people from various fields together, and to provide a good opportunity to network.

Up to 10 authors will be invited to participate in a two-day workshop in Geneva, and the best essays will be rewarded with some cash prizes. The deadline to submit an essay is 30 June 2018.

All information and requirements are available on their website: http://www.disarmament.ch/2018-essay-contest/

Commentary on the US-DPRK Summit

As published on the international Pugwash website.

On 15 June, the President and Secretary General of Pugwash issued a short commentary on the recent summit between President Trump and Chairman Kim.

The historic first meeting between a sitting US President and North Korean Leader was an auspicious first step that provides a good foundation on which to build substantive agreements in the future. Although the summit itself did not produce any dramatic achievement it is nevertheless an important landmark in the effort to rid the world of nuclear weapons and prevent conflict in North East Asia. The joint statement issued following the meeting was short on commitments; but mutual confidence building at this time can provide a basis for a process that reduces fear and suspicion and reverse the spiral of confrontation. However, we caution that past agreements between the US and DPRK have contained similar vague language and ambiguous commitments, and have consequently failed to be respected. We call upon the US and DPRK, as well as other states of the international community who can support these efforts, to engage in a sustained and meaningful diplomatic process that will conclude an agreement on a denuclearized Korean Peninsula and further efforts to build confidence. This would provide a much-needed success on the road to realize the common aspiration of a world free of nuclear weapons and all other weapons of mass destruction.

Sergio Duarte, President
Paolo Cotta-Ramusino, Secretary General


Pugwash Nederland geconsulteerd voor advies aan de regering over de toekomst van kernwapens

Op 30 mei 2018 woonde een delegatie van Pugwash Nederland in Den Haag een hoorzitting bij van de Commissie voor Vrede en Veiligheid. Deze is op verzoek van de Adviesraad voor Internationale Vraagstukken (AIV) belast met de voorbereiding van een advies aan de regering over de toekomst van kernwapens en m.n. het nucleaire beleid van de NAVO (zie adviesaanvraag van de regering). Door middel van de hoorzitting werd aan civil society in Nederland de gelegenheid geboden zich ter zake uit te spreken. Aan deze consultatie werd eveneens deelgenomen door PAX, het Rode Kruis en de NVMP-Gezondheidszorg en Vredesvraagstukken.

Alle aanwezige organisaties hebben gepleit voor nucleaire ontwapening en suggesties gedaan over hoe Nederland hiernaartoe zou kunnen werken. Sommigen hebben gebruik gemaakt van de mogelijkheid om van tevoren een schriftelijke stellingname in te sturen. Deze bijdragen zijn via onderstaande links te downloaden:

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Pugwash Netherlands joins meeting in The Hague with Korean National Peace Committee from DPRK

On May 16 2018, Pugwash Netherlands joined a round-table event in The Hague with a delegation from the Korean National Peace Committee (KNPC). The meeting, hosted by the Global Partnership for the Prevention of Armed Conflict, (GPPAC), took place at the Peace Palace. Since 2015, GPPAC has been facilitating the Ulaanbaatar Process, a track II dialogue initiative in the Korean peninsula. In the framework of this process, a delegation from the KNPC, a North Korean organization, visited The Hague, the Netherlands.

The aim of the meeting was to offer KNPC representatives the opportunity to present their work to a select group of The Hague-based practitioners and experts as well as to engage in mutual exchange and learning around peace building and other current developments on the Korean Peninsula. Representatives of international organizations and academia engaged in a lively discussion on the importance of the complete denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula and the inter-Korean peace process.  

Articles by Pugwash members: NATO and nuclear weapons in Europe

Given the tensions between NATO members and Russia in recent times, it is important to rethink the role of nuclear weapons in NATO’s defense policy. A new report by the Nuclear Threat Initiative urges NATO leaders to reassess the desirability of forward-deployed tactical nuclear weapons in Europe.

Two contributions written by members of Pugwash Netherlands provide further context and proposals in order to denuclearize the European continent.

The first paper (below) produced by Pugwash Netherlands’ Working Group on ‘Nuclear Weapons and Nuclear Weapons Free Zones’ (main author: Laurens Hogebrink) questions the wisdom of maintaining a policy of reciprocity concerning the drawback of forward-deployed tactical nuclear weapons in Europe.

The second paper (authored by Biejan Poor Toulabi) argues that the NATO will only benefit if the alliance were to lessen its reliance on nuclear weapons and, particularly, unilaterally remove forward-deployed tactical nuclear weapons in Europe.

Download (PDF, 371KB)

Download (PDF, 211KB)

Pugwash Nederland leadership change

Pugwash Nederland has a new chair. This was decided on April 5 2018 at the general meeting in Utrecht. Interim chair prof. dr. ir. Georg Frerks is succeeded by Marc Vogelaar. Marc Vogelaar served as ambassador for the Netherlands Ministry of Foreign Affairs. He is certainly not unknown within the Pugwash organization, as he already held a board position a few years ago as general board member.

In addition, Rens de Man has resigned from his duties as general board member. Biejan Poor Toulabi and Michiel Hoogeveen were appointed as treasurer and secretary, respectively. They both already served interim during the chairmanship of Georg Frerks.

Pugwash Nederland expresses the sincere appreciation to Georg Frerks and Rens de Man for their time and effort.

Ambassador Marc Vogelaar (left) takes over the role of chair from Prof. dr. ir. Georg Frerks (right)


Statement on the United States 2018 Nuclear Posture Review

On February 2, 2018, the Pentagon released the new Nuclear Posture Review (NPR), stating that it rests “on a bedrock truth: nuclear weapons have and will continue to play a critical role in deterring nuclear attack and in preventing large-scale conventional warfare between nuclear-armed states for the foreseeable future.”[1] The global landscape is already filled with simmering nuclear tensions, as well as other serious issues of conflict. Stressing the role of nuclear weapons is not merely unhelpful but is likely to increase these tensions.
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Invitation: seminar on the Non-Proliferation Treaty, 24 April 2017

From 2 to 12 May 2017 the Netherlands will chair the Preparatory Committee (PrepCom) for the 2020 Review Conference of the Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT). This will not be an easy task, considering the failure to reach consensus among the NPT member states during the 2015 Review Conference. Moreover, polarisation among the NPT member states may be even more increased by the current nuclear weapons developments in the United States, Russia and North Korea and the Nuclear Ban Treaty negotiations at the United Nations in which the nuclear weapons states do not participate. What are the perspectives for nuclear arms control in these circumstances, and for the 2017 PrepCom in particular? These issues will be discussed during the seminar “Challenges in Nuclear Arms Control: The Non-Proliferation Treaty at Risk?”.

Date: Monday 24 April 2017
Venue: Nieuwspoort, Lange Poten 10, The Hague

(10 minute walk from Central Station).


15:00 Introduction: Concise overview of actual challenges in nuclear arms control (Sico van der Meer, Clingendael Institute)

15:15 Keynote: The great unravelling of diplomatic accomplishments to reduce nuclear dangers (Michael Krepon, Stimson Center)

16:00 How to reach the NPT goals of disarmament, non-proliferation and peaceful uses (Susi Snyder, PAX)

16:15 Chairing the NPT Prepcom 2017: Dutch aims and expectations (Marjolijn van Deelen, Ministry of Foreign Affairs)

16:30 Discussion

17:15 Drinks

18:00 End


You are most welcome to attend this seminar. Please register before 19 April via svdmeer@clingendael.nl.

With kind regards,
Sico van der Meer

Research Fellow
Netherlands Institute of International
Relations ‘Clingendael’
P.O. Box 93080
2509 AB The Hague