BB Letter tot Mariëtte Hamer

Dear Mariëtte Hamer,

“This government actively pursues a nuclear-free world”. This is a key message from the 2017 Coalition Agreement that received broad political and social support. Since then, the international situation has unfortunately deteriorated dramatically. Important treaties (INF, Iran deal, Open Skies) have been canceled and a new arms race between the US and Russia is underway: at astronomical costs they are modernizing their nuclear weapons and developing new ones. Complete nuclear disarmament in accordance with Article VI of the almost universally signed NPT (Non-Proliferation Treaty) still seems a long way off. Experts assess the likelihood of a nuclear catastrophe greater than ever.

As  civil society groups pursuing a nuclear-weapon-free world, we therefore urgently ask a new government to intensify and concretize the course that has been set/policy from 2017. The upcoming 10th NPT Review Conference offers a first opportunity, with our country as vice-chair. Making this RevCon a success  is top priority for the Netherlands, which  wants to play an initiating, driving, bridge-building role. Such a role will be very much needed to help mobilizing and join/connecting as many political and social forces as possible worldwide in order to get the nuclear weapon states to finally fulfill their treaty obligations to/for? complete nuclear disarmament.

Of course, our country itself must also contribute to that disarmament. This can be done by:

  1. Not to replace the obsolete US nuclear bombs on Volkel, if possible together with other European “host countries”. That would be in line with the premise of the former government Rutte-III: “The aim remains that the Netherlands would no longer have to fulfill a nuclear task if the F-16 is definitively replaced by the F-35”;
  2. to attend the 1th Meeting of States Parties of the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons TPNW as an observer, in preparation for signing and ratification, and to call others to do so as well;
  3. to initiate the debate within NATO on replacing the unsustainable 20th-century concept of credible nuclear deterrence with a sustainable, 21th-century, non-nuclear alternative;
  4. to urge all nuclear weapon states for taking confidence-building measures, such as no-first-use declarations, de-targeting and de-alerting, to work as safely as possible towards a nuclear-weapon-free world

Hopeful signs from the US offer the Netherlands extra/some additional room for an active role on the world stage to help ending the permanent nuclear threat. Also because the vast majority of Dutch people, rejects nuclear weapons for years and wants our country to support  the UN ban treaty TPNW to ban all nuclear weapons, we wholeheartedly recommend the following sentence for a new  Coalition Agreement:

“This government intensifies and concretizes its pursuit of a nuclear-weapon-free world, in particular by ending the last Dutch nuclear task and seeking affiliation /connection with the TPNW-movement”

Wishing you much inspiration, creativity and strength,

Geert van Rumund, chair Dutch Mayors for Peace

Faiza Oulahsen, head Climate and Energy, Dutch Greenpeace

Mechtild van den Hombergh, director a.i. Humanistic Union

Phon van den Biesen, co-president International Association of Lawyers Against Nuclear Arms

Peter Buijs, chair NVMP – Physicians for peace/Dutch IPPNW

Jan Hoekema, chair Dutch Pugwash

Kees Nieuwerth, vice-chair Dutch Council of churches

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