The French government is currently rejecting the Nuclear Weapons Ban Treaty (TPNW). However, parliamentarians in favor of this new international standard have multiplied initiatives in recent months with the advocacy work carried out by our partners ICAN France.
The first major initiative in 2022 was to organize a conference in the Senate, before (March 4) the first Assembly of States Parties to the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons. Ambassador Kmentt, experts from the International Committee of the Red Cross and Red Crescent, the French Red Cross, ICAN Norway and ICAN Germany were present. The concrete result of this conference was, on the one hand, to announce the participation of two parliamentarians (Mounir Satouri European deputy, member of the foreign affairs committee and Pierre Laurent senator, vice-president of the foreign affairs committee, defense and armed forces) at the first meeting of parliamentarians organized by ICAN in Vienna (June 21) and, on the other hand, it resulted in the publication of an Oped (The World, June 17), signed by 56 parliamentarians (whether favorable or not to the TPNW), requesting France’s participation in the 1MSP as an observer state.
Based on the Parliamentary Declaration, adopted at the ICAN Parliamentary Conference in Vienna it was decided between ICAN France and the French deputies (Mounir Satouri and Pierre Laurent) to launch a strong new initiative in France.
Thus, on October 26, 2022, at the National Assembly, Deputy Jean-Paul Lecoq, Vice-Chairman of the Foreign Affairs Committee, European Deputy Mounir Satouri, Senator Pierre Laurent and Jean-Marie Collin, expert and door- voice of ICAN France, announced the launch of a Circle of parliamentarians “to engage in reflection on military nuclear issues and in particular on the treaty for the prohibition of nuclear weapons”. This is the first time that such a parliamentary initiative has been taken in a nuclear-weapon State.
In his speech, Jean-Marie Collin explained the state of play of the TPNW, the progress of the 1MSP, the complementarity of the TPNW with other disarmament treaties and called on parliamentarians from all political groups, concerned about nuclear weapons , to join this circle. .
The objective of this Circle is “to feed new reflections and to interact with the actors concerned by the questions of nuclear disarmament and non-proliferation and in particular on the Treaty on the prohibition of nuclear weapons” and to work openly with ICAN. One of the focuses of the cycle will be France’s participation in the second meeting of States Parties (2MSP) as an observer, investigating the consequences of the 210 French nuclear tests in Algeria and Polynesia, the subject of nuclear waste buried in the Algerian sandsand the need for environmental remediation in these areas.
During the launch, MPs Hubert Julien-Laferrière and Tematai Le Gayic (from Polynesia, Photo) signed the ICAN parliamentary commitment. In total, 32 French parliamentarians have now signed the pledge.
The advocacy process may seem long and complex, but it works, because the TPNW is alive and well in France!