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John Burroughs, Executive Director Lawyers Committee on Nuclear Policy Director, UN Office of IALANA, am 9.7.2017

A number of the elements we advocated for are in the treaty, including: illegality of use (preamble, somewhat qualified – “considering”); prohibition of threatened use (Art. 1); the ICJ’s statement of the disarmament obligation (preamble, without reference to ICJ); invocation of IHL, human rights law (preamble). It is possible, even likely, that IALANA’s advocacy made a decisive difference as to inclusion of some of these, in particular the prohibition of threatened use (which had /ab initio/ support from a majority of  countries, but reluctance by some of the leaders).

There are several pathways for nuclear-armed states (which did not participate in the negotiations) to join the treaty (the US, UK, and France in a joint statement denied they will ever do so). There are also  obligations of victim assistance and environmental remediation, and an obligation of assistance by states parties to affected state parties in relation to those obligations. Over the next couple of months, we should arrive at an at least preliminary IALANA assessment of the treaty and its future role.

There was decent press coverage at the end, including NY Times and AP stories:

https://www.nytimes.com/2017/07/07/world/americas/united-nations-nuclear-weapons-prohibition-destruction-global-treaty.html?_r=0

http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/politics/g20-summit-120-countries-adopt-nuclear-weapons-ban-treaty-arms-war-prohibition-disarmament-a7828581.html

http://time.com/4848586/un-nuclear-weapons-ban-treaty/ (pre-adoption AP story quoting Rob Green on importance of prohibition of threat)

IALANA contributions at the second session 15 June to 7 July include:

Statements Peter Weiss, Jackie Cabasso, and I made to the conference on the subject of threat and other matters. Mine (mostly on threat) is attached. Peter’s (on threat) is at:

http://reachingcriticalwill.org/images/documents/Disarmament-fora/nuclear-weapon-ban/statements/19June_IALANA.pdf

Jackie (on several matters):

http://reachingcriticalwill.org/images/documents/Disarmament-fora/nuclear-weapon-ban/statements/16June_WSLF.pdf

I also was part of an expert panel on issues regarding nuclear-armed states joining the treaty sponsored by the president of the conference on 19 June. A well-attended IALANA side event on threat and deterrence, moderated by Kate Dewes, at which Rob Green, a longtime colleague dating back to the World Court Project and a former UK nuclear weapons operator, and I spoke, was held on 22 June. The Lawyers’ Letter on the Abolition of Nuclear Weapons was released atbthis event. See:

https://www.ialana.info/2017/06/lawyers-letter-released-united-nations-nuclear-ban-negotiations-new-york-june-23/

(thanks to Alyn for writing this).

For the March and June-July session, IALANA submitted several working papers included with other civil society papers on the official website of the conference:

A/CONF.229/2017/NGO/WP.12 Selected Elements of a Treaty Prohibiting Nuclear Weapons, Submitted by International Association of Lawyers Against Nuclear Arms

<https://www.un.org/disarmament/ptnw/pdf/A%20CONF.229%202017%20NGO%20WP.12.pdf>

A/CONF.229/2017/NGO/WP.13 Withdrawal Clauses in Arms Control Treaties: Some Reflections about a Future Treaty Prohibiting Nuclear Weapons, Submitted by International Association of Lawyers Against Nuclear Arms

<https://www.un.org/disarmament/ptnw/pdf/A%20CONF.229%202017%20NGO%20WP.13.pdf>

A/CONF.229/2017/NGO/WP.37 Prohibitions and the Preamble: Further Comments. Submitted by International Association of Lawyers Against Nuclear Arms

<https://s3.amazonaws.com/unoda-web/wp-content/uploads/2017/06/A-CONF.229-2017-NGO-WP.37.pdf>

A/CONF.229/2017/NGO/WP.38 Nuclear-Armed States, Positive Obligations, Institutional Issues, and Final Clauses: Further Comments. Submitted by International Association of Lawyers Against Nuclear Arms

<https://s3.amazonaws.com/unoda-web/wp-content/uploads/2017/06/A-CONF.229-2017-NGO-WP.381.pdf>)

IALANA colleagues who attended some or all of the second session of the conference included Daniel Rietiker, Toshinori Yamada, Kenichi Okubo, Andrew Lichterman, Peter Weiss, Lucas Wirl, Alyn Ware, and Jackie Cabasso. LCNP colleagues included Guy Quinlan, Roger Clark, Lizbeth Shafer, Jonathan Granoff, and Jutta Bertram-Nothnagel.

 

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