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新日本婦人の会 日本原水協 日本母親大会 日本平和委員会

Selma van Oostwaard

2016年  原水禁世界大会に参加
Selma van Oostwaard

Selma van Oostwaard

Program Officer, Humanitarian Disarmament Team, PAX
No Nukes! Women’s Forum 2016


Thank you to the Organizing Committee for your excellent work, it is a great honour for me to be inspired by the other speakers with their reports back from Japan and the world and exchanging knowledge and experiences with all of you in the room.

I work within PAX’ No Nukes team, and we are working towards a ban on nuclear weapons. PAX is a peace organization based in the Netherlands. The Netherlands does not possess nuclear weapons, it does participate in NATO nuclear sharing agreements and hosts about 20 U.S. nuclear weapons. We are very disappointed that the Netherlands is not part of the majority of the world’s governments pledging to negotiate a treaty to prohibit and eliminate nuclear weapons.

When governments and civil society gathered in Oslo, Nayarit and Vienna to discuss -for the first time in history- the humanitarian consequences of any use of nuclear weapons, we knew it was time to put pressure on the Dutch government. We initiated a so-called ‘citizen’s initiative’, which is a Dutch political campaigning tool: if you gather more than 40.000 signatures for a proposal on a topic that hasn’t been discussed in Dutch Parliament in the last two years, our Parliament is obliged to talk about it. So what did we do? We wrote an official proposal to implement a ban on nuclear weapons in the Netherlands and went onto the streets to get the signatures. Mayors from different political parties and youth wings, religious leaders and Dutch celebrities showed their support for the campaign by wearing the campaign button, sharing their selfie with our giant (peaceful!) campaign bomb and encouraging all their followers on social media to sign the PAX petition. In April it was time for the next step: our proposal ‘Ban nuclear weapons in the Netherlands’ was discussed in Parliament. Four motions calling for concrete steps towards nuclear disarmament received a majority support. The most important motion that is adopted is calling upon the Dutch government to actively work on the start of international negotiations on an treaty banning nuclear weapons. Hence we can see that our Members of Parliament put nuclear disarmament high on the political agenda. Unfortunately the Dutch government still hasn’t take the most important step: calling for the start of negotiations. Meanwhile, national and international pressure is growing and they can’t deny anymore that they have to move forward.

Being here in Hiroshima, knowing that tomorrow we will commemorate the 71st Anniversary of the Hiroshima bombing, 71 years of remembering the victims and listening to the testimonies of the hibakusha, and 71 years of our leaders using the words ‘never again’, we all feel that the abolition of nuclear weapons is an urgent humanitarian necessity. This month, at the UN Open Ended Working group, our governments have to opportunity to take forward multilateral nuclear disarmament negotiations by supporting the call to negotiate a legally binding instrument prohibiting nuclear weapons.

I am inspired by your work and dedication, it makes me even more determined to work on the urgent priority to ban and eliminate the most destructive, inhumane and indiscriminate weapons ever created.

Thank you for your attention.