Citizens Inspection Working Group

Citizens Inspections Working Group

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Inspection of USAF Lakenheath, England, 5-6/10/2003

The Citizens Inspection Working Group (CIWG) is a working group of Abolition 2000 - a global network calling for a treaty to eliminate nuclear weapons as required by Article VI of the NPT. The CIWG seeks to expose the hypocrisy and the use of double standards by some NPT member states who condemn countries for possessing or trying to develop weapons of mass destruction(WMD) while they develop new lethal WMD and do nothing to honor their treaty obligations for disarmament.

The CIWG aims to hold Governments accountable, to educate and alert citizens of the presence of nuclear weapons, and to support the goal of abolishing all weapons of mass destruction. The CIWG aims to support citizen groups who inspect sites and report their findings to the public, United Nations, national governments and other interested parties. Co-conveners are the Los Alamos Study Group (USA) and Friends of the Earth (Belgium)

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The idea of the "citizens inspection" was born some time in 1997, while international attention was focussed on the UNSCOM inspections in Iraq. Peace campaigners all over the world were appalled by the fact that while these inspections took place in Iraq, all five permanent members of the UN Security Council (China, France, Russia, the UK and the USA) were themselves deploying illegal nuclear weapons of mass destruction in an extremely secretive manner.
Because of the lack of oppeness about nuclear weapons in these countries, and the absence of UN-inspectors at the sites of nuclear crime, many groups decided to take the responsibility of upholding international law, and started citizens war crimes inspections at nuclear related sites around the world.
They found justification for their actions in the International Court of Justice advisory opinion (issued in 1996) that the threat or use of nuclear weapons would generally be against international and humanitarian law.

The recent round of UNMOVIC weapon inspections in Iraq (2002-2003) led to renewed interest in this model of nonviolent direct action, with several international initiatives being launched.
Many of the forthcoming citizens inspections will be reported to the UN Security Council, and the Non-Proliferation Treaty "PrepCom" in New York in 2004.


Documents for citizens inspection teams

 Mandate for Citizens Inspections
(pursuant to the 1968 Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons)

 Authorisation for Citizens Inspections
(pursuant to the 1968 Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons)

 Citizens Weapons Inspections template

 Citizens Weapons Inspections questionnaire

 Citizens Summons
(presented to NATO heads of government)


 Citizens Weapons Inspection Handbook (Friends of the Earth, English, .pdf, 700k)

 Citizens Weapons Inspection Handbook (Friends of the Earth/Mouvement de la Paix, French, .pdf, 400k)

 Civilian inspection guide (Nuclear Age Peace Foundation)

 Citizen Weapons Inspection Teams project (Polaris institute)


 Nuclear Weapons in Europe Map

 Map of U.S. Weapons Sites

 Map of weapons of mass destruction around the world

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Reports from previous citizens inspections

Report of inspection at HMS Warrior (JSU Northwood), UK, 21st April 2004

 Download Report (30k, .pdf)

Citizens' Weapons Inspections report on secret US nuclear weapons in Europe: presented to nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty PrepCom, 27th April 2004

 Download Report (5MB, .pdf)

 Speech (30k, .pdf)


Citizens' Weapons Inspections report into UK nuclear weapons system

 Download Report (250k, .pdf)

Citizens' Weapons Inspection at Volkel, US nuclear weapon base, Netherlands, 18th January 2003

 Action report

 Report presented to UN Security Council (400k, .pdf)

Action Reports

 Overview of previous inspections

 SHAPE (NATO military headquarters), Belgium, 25th October 2003

 Lakenheath, England, 6th October 2003

 Buchel, Germany, 1st September 2003


Working Group Conveners:

Los Alamos Study Group (Greg Mello)
2401 Summit Place NE, Albuquerque, NM, 87106-2028 USA
office phone: 505.265.1200
office fax: 505.265.1207

Friends of the Earth vzw (Pol D'Huyvetter)
K. Maria Hendrikaplein 5
9000 Gent - Belgium
Phone +32-9-242 87 52 or 04
Fax +32-9-242 87 51

Groups inspecting US nuclear weapons in Europe:

 Bomspotting (Belgium)

 Lakenheath Action Group (England)

 GAAA (Germany)

 Akties Tegen Kernwapens (Netherlands)

Groups inspecting British nuclear weapons:

 Trident Ploughshares (Britain)

 Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament (Britain)

 Aldermaston Womens Peace Camp (England)

 Faslane Peace Camp (Scotland)

Groups inspecting US nuclear weapons:

 Western States Legal Foundation


 Los Alamos Study Group

Other groups:

 Ofog (Sweden)

 Union of Conscientious Objectors (Finland)

Friends of the Earth Flanders & Brussels (formerly For Mother Earth) is a member of Friends of the Earth International