ICAN at work in Geneva as NPT begins

Update from Janet Fenton, vice-chair of Scottish CND

La Pastorale in Geneva has as one of its purposes welcoming NGOs coming to Geneva to engage with the UN and provided a perfect setting in the sunshine for the ICAN campaigners conference over the weekend for us to meet and make friends and hear directly how the TPNW, the Peace Prize and the publicity or lack of it has impacted and what the hopes for our intensive two weeks at the preparation conference for the Non Proliferation Treaty (NPT) might mean for our opportunities and the ways in which the TPNW will impact.

ICAN partners were able to work in break-out sessions on how to work with parliamentary systems in our own countries and to utilise the human rights and other UN directives to ask questions and raise the impact of the treaty’s provisions whether we were working in supportive states or nuclear-armed states (NAS). Disinvestment and the work required to engage states that are supportive but under pressure from the nuclear-armed states and the effect of the changing ideas about acceptable behaviour were other topics to be communicative about in this exciting interactive and international get together. There was enthusiasm and lots of promises to join us in September for Nae Nukes Anywhere.

As well as the talking and learning, there was planning around how we can use our demos and banners around the UN to bring effective pressure where its needed without giving any excuse for the nuclear-armed states to have us excluded from the UN process in any way – they seem to be quite rattled that we have been so effective in the diplomatic process that we got the Nobel Peace Prize.

This was celebrated with partners all having the opportunity to be photographed with the medal before going to the prestigious Geneva Art Gallery, the Ariana, for a very hospitable welcome from the mayor of Geneva and the Brazilian Ambassador who had led the group of international diplomats that worked so hard with us to gain the TPNW last year.

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