The European Parliament votes for nuclear disarmament

MEPs from across political groups adopt a resolution giving the EU and its Member States a clear mandate and call on them to engage in UN negotiations on a legal instrument to prohibit nuclear weapons.



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Following anticipated discussion and debate, the European Parliament has adopted the resolution on “nuclear security and non-proliferation” to coincide with a vote on a resolution on nuclear disarmament at the United Nations today in New York. The Parliament resolution was adopted by a wide majority of 415 MEPs in favour, 124 against, and 74 abstentions, showing support from across the political spectrum. 

In a landmark historic move, the UN General Assembly has adopted recommendations to “convene a conference in 2017, open to all states, to negotiate a legally binding instrument to prohibit nuclear weapons, leading to their total elimination”. The General Assembly is expected to vote to confirm this through a resolution.

In the increasingly volatile international political environment we are seeing around Europe and the UK today, this resolution gives the EU, and its High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, Federica Mogherini, a strong mandate to engage in the process as an international actor that has always promoted peace and international cooperation. The resolution also clearly calls on all EU Member States, including nuclear armed states, to support and participate in the process.

Julie Ward MEP said:

“Over the last few years, civil society activists, academics, diplomats and governments, have worked to make clear to the international community that the humanitarian impacts of

nuclear weapons are so utterly horrific, that they could never be justified under international law.

Together, we must work to make that an international consensus, which will make our world safer and more humane.

The international community has worked to ban landmines, chemical and biological weapons, and cluster bombs. Now, we must work together to bring about a nuclear weapons ban treaty, and for a world free of nuclear weapons.

The EU and its Member States must engage constructively in these diplomatic efforts in New York next year, and I am glad that Federica Mogherini now has a clear mandate to act.”