by Alicia Sanders-Zakre
First, as you may have already seen, NATO held a nuclear planning group meeting this Wednesday. You can read more about it in this press conference with Stoltenberg. I also found this thread by Oliver Meier and this article to be informative. Key takeaways:
- NATO allies acquiring new air and missile defense systems
- NATO to “strengthen our advanced conventional capabilities” – the news article claims this could mean deploying conventional intermediate-range missiles that could be equipped with nuclear warheads in times of crisis.
- NATO has “no intention to deploy new land-based nuclear missiles in Europe.”
- NATO planning group “decided on additional steps to keep the NATO nuclear deterrent safe, secure and effective” – we need more information about what these steps are.
- Stoltenberg also makes problematic statements about how NATO’s nuclear weapons “served us well for decades,” and is “vital for peace and freedom in Europe,” in the midst of the German debate about hosting nuclear weapons and with Kjolv Egeland’s helpful recent academic analysis which explains that NATO only officially started calling itself in 2010.
- With 75th anniversary of bombings of Hiroshima & Nagasaki approaching, now is the time for world leaders to commit to abolish nuclear weapons, not increase reliance on them.
- The majority of people in NATO nuclear host states reject nuclear weapons and want their country to join the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons – it is time for NATO political elites to listen to the people!
- (Particularly for campaigners in NATO states) Look up the number of cities in your country that have joined the ICAN cities appeal and use that information to underline that the people in your country reject nuclear weapons.
Joining and implementing existing international disarmament agreements, including the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty and, of course, the TPNW is paramount and;
As the 75th anniversary of the bombings of Hiroshima and Nagaski approach, we need to focus on the humanitarian impacts of nuclear weapons and the call from hibkausha to eliminate nuclear weapons.
We sent out a media backgrounder to journalists (attached) which you can adapt and send to local journalists ahead of the meeting as well
We’re working with ICAN Austria to place an op-ed from Beatrice and you can also write op-eds, using the meeting as a timely hook to get the message out
Austrian campaigners are working on possibly putting on a protest in Vienna around the meeting venue (we’re still working on establishing where it is) – you can also consider organising a protest and sharing photos with us so we can amplify