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:

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.  

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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Statement on the DPRK Nuclear Test

By Pugwash President Jayantha Dhanapala and Pugwash Secretary General Paolo Cotta-Ramusino

imageStatement on the DPRK Nuclear Test

Today, 6 January 2016, North Korea conducted a new nuclear test. Over the last 17 years, the DPRK has been the only country in the world to continue to conduct nuclear weapon tests.

Today’s test was announced as a test of a thermonuclear weapon, although more probably it was a test of an ordinary fission weapon with possibly some (fusion) “boosting”.

While the DPRK probably has a long way to go toward building real thermonuclear weapons that could be placed on long-range missiles, still, the general political message associated with this latest test is far from positive.

The political tensions present in the North-East Asian region should be addressed by political means—and not by escalating the arms race and sending threatening messages. The resumption of the six-party talks, and the facilitation of communication between the two Koreas, are important steps that should be sustained by all the states involved, as well as by the international community.

Jayantha Dhanapala, President of Pugwash
Paolo Cotta-Ramusino, Secretary General of Pugwash

Also available online:

Copyright © 2016 Pugwash Conferences on Science and World Affairs, All rights reserved.


Future Effectiveness of the Chemical Weapons Convention (CWC)

The evolving strategic context, the re-emergence of chemical weapons and their use by militant non-state actors and extremists, challenge the future effectiveness of the Chemical Weapons Convention (CWC).

The future challenges of the Convention have been take up in a March 2015 OPCW document titled «The OPCW in 2025: Ensuring a World Free of Chemical Weapons» (document S/1252/2015), attached here.

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Uncertainty and Disputed Values: The Role of Non-State Actors in Global Nuclear Security

On 20 March 2014, The Hague Institute for Global Justice and the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI), with support of Pugwash Nederlands, will convene a roundtable of experts to explore issues related to the governance of nuclear security. This event will take place under the Nuclear Knowledge Summit (NKS) event series, an official side event to the Nuclear Security Summit (NSS). Continue reading