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Release of an open letter to the Dutch Minister of Foreign Affairs
regarding the UN negotiations on a nuclear weapons ban treaty

March 15th, 2017
Report from Mayors for Peace Netherlands Chapter

On March 15, an open letter was sent to the Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Netherlands Bert Koenders regarding the UN negotiations on a treaty to ban nuclear weapons. The Netherlands is the only NATO-member state participating in the conference and thereby resisting the strong pressure from the NATO-Alliance not to participate.

This support letter was an initiative of International Physicians for the Prevention of Nuclear War (IPPNW) Holland, and signed by a unique civil society coalition from (inter)national organizations - ideological (humanistic, Protestant, Roman Catholic), medical, humanitarian (Red Cross, Mayors for Peace – the Netherlands, Peace Movement), lawyers and even a bank!

Through this letter the coalition strongly recommended the Dutch delegation to:
1. Involve as many states as possible in the negotiations. The Netherlands can play an essential role in these negotiations by building bridges between nuclear weapons states and the others.
2. Work towards a treaty containing the obligation for the complete prohibition and disarmament of nuclear weapons and clear frameworks for reaching this goal.
3. Steer towards a treaty text based on international humanitarian law and in compliance with the principles of this law.
We also recommend to acknowledge the humanitarian consequences of nuclear weapons in the treaty text.

>The letter translated into English

>The original letter in Dutch is on the IPPNW-Netherlands’ website

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