In May 2014 all the national affiliates of the International Trade Union Confederation (ITUC) adopted a resolution calling for “urgent negotiations on a treaty banning the use, manufacture, stockpiling and possession of nuclear weapons as a first step towards their complete elimination” at their 3rd World Congress in Berlin.
On 8-9 December 2014, Austria will host the third international conference on the humanitarian impact of nuclear weapons in Vienna. As pointed out in this aide mémoire recently sent out by the Austrian Ministry of Foreign Affairs to all UN mission in New York and Geneva, the Vienna Conference is framed as a continuation of the discussion on the humanitarian impact of nuclear weapons, started in Oslo and continued in Nayarit. This approach has now doubt been successful in changing the conversation about nuclear weapons and opened space for greater engagement from states, international organisations, and civil society.
The fact that all the world’s trade union confederations are expressing concern at the humanitarian impact of nuclear weapons and have put their weight behind the call for a treaty banning nuclear weapons is an extremely encouraging development for anyone working for this objective. It also provides ICAN campaigners with a unique outreach opportunity. In many countries, national trade union confederations are an important political player. However, these organisations also have many other important priorities, so it is important to get in touch with as many trade union confederations as possible to exchange information about activities and ask how they intend to follow up on the resolution.
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- Read the resolution adopted by the International Trade Union Confederation (click here to download).
- Write an e-mail to your national trade union confederation (click here to download a template letter to your national trade union confederation, and here for a directory of all ITUC affiliates). Ask, if you don’t know already, for the names and contact details of the individual(s) participating in the 3rd World Congress in Berlin.
- Set a meeting with the individual(s) that participated in the World Congress to discuss points of cooperation in the run-up to and beyond the Vienna Conference.
Should you have any questions about how to proceed or how to use these resources, please contact ICAN Campaign and Advocacy Director Magnus Løvold at firstname.lastname@example.org.