On May 24, United Nations Secretary-General Antóio Guterres will release Securing our Common Future: An Agenda for Disarmament, a new initiative to address the humanitarian impact of armed conflict and the increased threats from arms races, international tensions and proliferation of weapons of mass destruction.
The UNSG will release the agenda at a special event at the University of Geneva which will be live-streamed, making it possible to watch the UNSG's presentation and follow-up discussion on your smartphone, laptop or computer.
May 24 is also the Women's International Day for Peace and Disarmament. Parliamentarians for Nuclear Nonproliferation and Disarmament (PNND) are using the occasion to release Common security for a sustainable and nuclear-weapon-free world, a joint parliamentary statement commemorating the day and supporting the UNSG's initiative.
The statement, which has been endorsed by leading female parliamentarians from around the world, call for 'diplomacy, conflict resolution, common security and law to address security issues, rather than the threat or use of force.'
It notes that 'The United Nations was established with an array of mechanisms through which nations can resolve conflicts, negotiate disarmament and achieve security through diplomacy not war. These have been supplemented by additional common security mechanisms such as the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe. We urge governments to make better use of these common security mechanisms, and especially to replace reliance on nuclear deterrence with reliance on common security.'
175th birthday of Nobel Peace Laureate Bertha von Suttner
The joint parliamentary statement also highlights the 17th anniversary birthday of Bertha von Suttner, the author of Lay Down Your Arms and the first woman to receive the Nobel Peace Prize.
'As women legislators (current and former) from around the world we are inspired by peace visionaries like Berta von Suttner to reach beyond our national borders and different political persuasions to embrace the common interest of all humanity for peace and disarmament.'
Follow-on from Ban Ki-moon's nuclear disarmament initiative
PNND and UNFOLD ZERO actively promoted former UNSG Ban Ki-moon's Five-Point Proposal for Nuclear Disarmament which was supported worldwide and was influential in advancing a framework for a nuclear-weapon-free world.
It is hoped that the new initiative of Antóio Guterres will be even more influential in moving the international community to step back from militarism and war, and to replace this with more comprehensive use of law, diplomacy and common security.