Belgium needs to initiate negotiations for a treaty banning nuclear weapons
For Mother Earth publishes results of opinion poll
Belgium needs to initiate negotiations for a treaty banning nuclear weapons For Mother Earth publishes results of opinion poll
Gent, 21 september 1998 - This morning Frank Van Durme, a senior research consultant of MarketResponse, released the results of an opinion poll at a newsconference called by For Mother Earth in Gent. A large majority of a representative group of one thousand fifteen Belgians pronounced itself clearly in favor of Belgium taking the lead to negotiate a Treaty banning Nuclear Weapons. The results -72% in favor, 10 % against and 18% without opinion- stand contrary to the Belgian Foreign policy, as Belgium systematically votes against the start of negotiations within the UN, which is contrary to its own obligations under art. VI of the NPT (1968). Since many decades nuclear disarmament resolutions are adopted by large majorities within the UN General Assembly. However, four out of the five permanent members of the UN Security Council (Britain, France, Russia and the USA), vote systematically against the start of multilateral negotiations. The Western nuclear weapon states find support from NATO member states in blocking the road leading to general and complete nuclear disarmament.
Pol D'Huyvetter, spokesperson For Mother Earth which ordered the opinion-poll, declared: "The expected results of this poll will be a clear signal to the Belgian government, and especially the Belgian Foreign Department. The Belgian succescive embassadors in the UN have always voted against the start of multilateral negotiations, even after the UN world Court's 1996 opinion outlawing nuclear weapons. Today we have added a strong tool to force the Foreign Department to take the Belgian public, and democracy, into account within the UN. We are hopeful to bring in a new dissident NATO-member at the next vote in the UN'.
To date Iceland, Denmark and Norway we amongst the most corageous NATO members at the last votes, when they abstained. Other Western countries, not part of NATO, as New Zealand, Sweden and Ireland, voted in favor.
For Mother Earth calls NGO's, especially in NATO member states, to order similar opinion-polls, and press their representatives in the UN to dissent NATO's hypocritical and dangerous nuclear policy.
For Mother Earth will also continue to use non-violent direct actions to add pressure on politicians to abide by their international treaty obligations. Citizens Inspections are being planned for next October 1st (the end of the Nurnberg trial in 1946), and new non-violent and accountable disarmament actions will be carried out if there is no progress to start immediate negotiations to ban all nuclear weapons.
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