Marc Finaud, Senior Advisor at Gravity 4.0 and coordinator of Parliamentarians for Nuclear Non-Proliferation and Disarmament (PNND) France, reports on inter-parliamentary forums to advance diplomacy, peace and nuclear disarmament.
Image: Inter-Parliamentary Assembly holds special session on United Nations processes for nuclear disarmament; PNND
Parliamentary diplomacy, which dates back to the 19th century, continues to grow in strength to carry the voice of civil society in favour of a safer and more peaceful world.
One of the oldest international organisations, founded in 1889, is the Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU)2, whose headquarters are in Geneva. It brings together 178 parliaments from 193 countries representing more than 6.5 billion people in the world. During the annual meetings of its Assembly, it adopts important resolutions, particularly in the areas of peace and security. Thus, in its final declaration of March 24, 2022 adopted in Nusa (Indonesia), it declared itself "deeply concerned by the threat posed to international peace and security by the decision to place the Russian nuclear forces in an operational regime special and at a "high alert" level, and noting the urgent need for the Russian Federation to withdraw this threat and refrain from resorting to such threats. »
In its Belgrade Declaration of 17 October 2019, the Assembly identified urgent actions to be taken, including: "supporting international efforts aimed at the progressive elimination of nuclear weapons, in particular by explicitly committing to the principle 'No first strike", by reducing the number of nuclear weapons on high alert and those deployed on the ground, and by decreasing the number of existing nuclear warheads, which are more than enough to destroy the planet several times over. »Several intergovernmental organisations have also created their own parliamentary assembly: the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (PA-NATO3), the Council of Europe (PACE4), the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (PA -OSCE5),
The delegations of national parliaments to these assemblies, including those of France, contribute to promoting respect for the international agreements in force and new initiatives in favour of security and disarmament. In addition to these assemblies, there is of course the European Parliament7 whose members are directly elected by the citizens of the European Union.
Recall that the latter adopted a resolution on December 15, 2021 in which it “takes note of the entry into force of the treaty on the prohibition of nuclear weapons and welcomes its prospect of living in a world without nuclear weapons”.
Another important network, which collaborates with the IPU, is that of Parliamentarians for Nuclear Non-Proliferation and Disarmament (PNND8). It is a non-partisan, non-profit global forum bringing together many representatives of national, federal and regional parliaments. The PNND is a place of exchange of resources and information, which develops strategies and methods of cooperation relating to disarmament, by launching initiatives and organising events on non-proliferation and nuclear disarmament. It relies on national sections and regional branches in Europe (Belgium, France, European Parliament, United Kingdom), Asia-Pacific (South Korea, Japan, New Zealand) and North America (Canada).
PNND-France is now registered as a 1901 Law association and linked to Initiatives for Nuclear Disarmament (IDN9), the organisation created in 2016 by the late Paul Quilès, former minister and parliamentarian. Its management has recently been renewed. Its president is Marc Finaud, former diplomat, vice-president of IDN; its vice-president, Jérôme Lambert, former deputy and honorary member of Parliament; and its secretary general, Blaise Imbert, secretary general of IDN.
Among the many initiatives of PNND in collaboration with the IPU, we note the publication of a parliamentary manual entitled Defending our common future: A guide to parliamentary action in support of disarmament, security and sustainable development10. This collective work, to which several experts and parliamentarians have contributed, was launched in the wake of the Agenda for Disarmament of the Secretary-General of the United Nations, Antonio Guterres, published in 2018, in order to facilitate its implementation and involve parliamentarians.
The PNND also collaborates with other parliamentary networks:
- Parliamentarians for Global Action (PGA11): this non-governmental and multi-stakeholder network informs and mobilises individual parliamentarians, from all regions of the world, to promote human rights, democracy, gender equality and inclusion , and international peace and security, with respect for the rule of law.
- The Parliamentary Forum on Small Arms and Light Weapons (PFSALW12): it is the only international organization for members of parliaments specifically related to the issue of reducing and preventing violence related to small arms and light weapons (ALPC) Finally, we can be pleased that an Inter-parliamentary Circle on Nuclear Disarmament13 has just been created in France with a view to initiating work of reflection on military nuclear power and in particular on the Treaty for the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons (TIAN ) following an inter-parliamentary meeting organised at the National Assembly on October 26, 2022 at the initiative of Mounir Satouri, MEP, and Pierre Laurent, Senator.
It was time for France to catch up with other countries, such as Germany, in which there are parliamentary structures for reflection and action on issues related to arms control, non-proliferation and disarmament. There is no doubt that this new group will be able to arouse the interest of parliamentarians who are concerned about the security of France, Europe and the world and consider it more urgent than ever to fight for a world rid of the nuclear threat.
(The interview was originally published at https://www.pnnd.org/fr/article/desarmement-les-reseaux-parlementaires-se-mobilisent, PPND, France)