Nuclear weapons are the worst weapons ever created. They are designed to destroy cities. They are weapons of mass destruction, and were outlawed in the 2017 UN Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons. PAX, works towards the rapid entry into force of the ban treaty as well as building public recognition of the catastrophic humanitarian consequences of any use of nuclear weapons.
As a Dutch organisation, PAX encourages the Netherlands to engage positively with the ban treaty, and treat nuclear weapons in the same way it treats other weapons of mass destruction. PAX conducts public outreach campaigns, educational events, political advocacy and more. PAX also coordinates the Don’t Bank on the Bomb project, the only publicly available source of information on the companies that build key components for nuclear weapons and the investors financing them.
PAX is on the leadership team (International Steering Group) of the 2017 Nobel Peace Prize winning ICAN (the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear weapons). ICAN received the Nobel Peace Prize for its efforts “to draw attention to the catastrophic humanitarian consequences of any use of nuclear weapons” and its “ground-breaking efforts to achieve a treaty-based prohibition of such weapons”.
PAX publishes regularly and conducts outreach activities designed to stimulate an informed debate on nuclear weapons.
Around twenty US nuclear weapons are stored at the Volkel air base in The Netherlands. Despite the fact that any use of these weapons would violate the principles of international humanitarian law (the laws of war), the Dutch government continues to support policies that would include using nuclear weapons. The weapons at Volkel are being replaced at the cost of billions of Euros. A squadron of Dutch Fighter pilots are assigned to the Dutch nuclear task, and are trained to be ready to drop B-61 nuclear bombs. Consistently, polls show that the Dutch people do not want US nuclear weapons stored in the country, and instead want the government to immediately join the nuclear ban treaty.
PAX is the only organisation that publishes regular updates on the private sector involvement in the nuclear weapons industry. The Don't Bank on the Bomb project reports are the only freely available source of information on the companies behind nuclear weapons. The project also profiles financial institutions that exclude these types of investments as well as an annual review of all institutions that still invest in companies that are involved with these weapons of mass destruction. PAX also coordinates global campaign efforts to further stigmatize nuclear weapons through popular engagement with the financial sector.
The PAX No Nukes-team is a key player in the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons (ICAN). ICAN works for the abolition of nuclear weapons including through full implementation of the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons. The Nobel Peace Prize was awarded to ICAN in 2017 for its work to draw attention to the humanitarian consequences of nuclear weapons and its efforts to achieve a treaty-based prohibition of these weapons. More than 500 organizations from over 100 countries are part of ICAN. PAX is represented in the leadership of ICAN and supports global efforts with national activities. For more information visit www.icanw.org.
By collecting more than 45,000 signatures in the Sign Against Nuclear Weapons' citizen’s initiative (Teken tegen kernwapens burgerinitiatief), PAX brought a brief demonstration of democracy to the nuclear weapons debate. The initiative required Parliament to hold a debate on a national ban on nuclear weapons, and resulted in Dutch participation in negotiations for the international Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons.
Right now, PAX is working with citizens across the Netherlands to strengthen society and provide information about the current state of the nuclear weapons debate. As the Dutch government refuses to act on the will of the majority, it’s up to citizens to demand a change. If you are interested in thinking globally and acting locally on nuclear weapons, get in touch.