The First Meeting of States Parties to the TPNW began today in Vienna. At least 82 delegations were seen at the opening, with more coming in through the day both from States Parties and Observers.
The meeting opened with remarks from Austrian Federal Minister for European and International Affairs of Austria, H.E. Alexander Schallenberg, International Committee of the Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies, Peter Mauer, and ICAN Executive Director Beatrice Fihn.
In his opening remarks, Fiji’s Prime Minister Frank Bainimarama said: “Mutually assured destruction isn’t a strategy. It is a sham. It merely shifts the costs of war. We have seen the price paid in Syria, in Afghanistan, and yet again on our collective watch in Ukraine.”
The meeting adopted procedural matters, including the Rules of Procedure and election of the President, Austria’s Ambassador Alexander Kmentt.
In addition to states addressing this historic first meeting, for the first time ever, a group of institutional investors addressed a nuclear weapons related meeting. The statement, delivered by Ugo Biggeri of Etica- Responsible Investments on behalf of 37 investors representing €230 billion assets under management, called for states to show leadership and apply the prohibition on assistance to all actors who might provide any form of assistance, including financing, the prohibited activities under the treaty.
In addition, Merle Spellerberg, Member of the German Bundestag delivered a joint statement on behalf of Parliamentarians for the TPNW.
States parties will continue meeting for the next two days in order to determine how to take forward the treaty’s mission, now more urgent than ever: the total elimination of nuclear weapons worldwide.