International Conference: Move the Nuclear Weapons Money

Basel, Switzerland | April 12-13, 2019

An international conference on divestment and other actions by cities, universities, parliaments and religious institutions to reverse the nuclear arms race and protect the climate

About the Conference

Nuclear weapons and climate change create existential threats to humanity and the environment. Federal governments have committed to eliminating both threats – nuclear weapons through the disarmament obligation in the Non-Proliferation Treaty and climate change through the Paris Agreement. However, implementation of these obligations is being prevented by institutional inertia and vested financial interests in the status quo, especially from the fossil fuel and nuclear weapons industries. Corporations involved in the nuclear weapons industry, for example, actively lobby their parliaments and governments to allocate even more funds to nuclear weapons. And they support think tanks and other public relations initiatives to promote the ‘need’ for nuclear weapons to be maintained, modernized and deployed.

Basel Peace Office has joined with other partners in launching Move the Nuclear Weapons Money, a global initiative to cut nuclear weapons budgets and investments, and reinvest these in climate protection, peace and key areas of a sustainable economy, such as education, renewable energy, health, job creation and sustainable development.

One of the most effective tools for non-nuclear governments, cities, universities and civil society is nuclear weapons divestment. Such action puts economic and political pressure on corporations to abandon their involvement in the nuclear weapons industry or convert such production to civilian purposes.  Similar divestment from the fossil fuel industry can assist in cutting carbon use and supporting renewable energy.

Already several governments, cities, religious institutions and universities in Europe, USA and globally have adopted nuclear weapons and or fossil fuel divestment policies. These include the Swiss War Materials Act of 2012, Berlin city policy on non-investment in armed warfare, Göttingen university policy of non-investment in fossil fuels or nuclear weapons, Cambridge MA city policy of divesting from nuclear weapons, and the UK Quaker meetings divestment from fossil fuels. Additional impetus for nuclear weapons divestment comes from the 1996 International Court of Justice opinion on nuclear weapons, United Nations adoption of the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons in 2017 and the UN Human Rights Committee affirmation in October 2018 that nuclear weapons violate the Right to Life as codified in the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights.

This conference will bring together legislators (mayors, city councilors and parliamentarians), financial managers, and experts in disarmament and climate change to examine successful divestment policies and support their expansion and replication. The conference will also address impact investment and build cooperation to advance related nuclear disarmament policies.

The conference will build upon previous Basel events including a European Regional Meeting of Mayors for Peace and PNND held in January 2019, the 2019 Basel Peace Forum which focused on impact investment, and an international conference in Basel in September 2017 on Human Rights, Future Generations and Crimes in the Nuclear Age.

Participants

Mayors, city officials, parliamentarians, financial managers, policy analysts, experts in nuclear disarmament and climate change, university students and nuclear disarmament campaigners from Europe and North America, with a focus on Switzerland, Germany and France.

Conference languages

  • Conference materials will be in English and German.
  • Day 1 will be include simultaneous translation in English, German and French.
  • Day 2 will be in English and German.

Conference format

The conference will consist of six sessions, two on the afternoon of Friday April 12 and four on Saturday April 13. The Friday sessions will be public and consist of presentations followed by Q&A from the audience. The Saturday sessions will be restricted to conference participants and will be in seminar workshop format.

Registration and conference fees

  • Day 1:  Public sessions and apero: Free
  • Conference Dinner: 70 CHF
  • Day 2:  50 CHF (includes refreshments and lunch)
  • Full conference: 120 CHF

Registration: Please fill in the Basel conference registration form.

Contacts

Alyn +41 788 912 156
Marzhan +41 766 442 229 info@baselpeaceoffice.org.

Program

Day 1: Friday April 12

2:00pm – 4:00pm

PUBLIC SESSION 1
Rathaus (Town Hall), Marketplatz

Policies to address the threats and impact of nuclear weapons & climate change.

4:30pm – 6:00pm

PUBLIC SESSION 2
Rathaus (Town Hall), Marketplatz

Socially responsible and impact investment. Building a peace economy.

6:00pm

Apero. Rathaus (Town Hall), Marketplatz

7:15pm

Conference Dinner
Zunftsaal Schmeidenhof Banquet Hall,

Day 2: Saturday April 13

9 am – 10:45 am

SESSION 1
Lecture hall 120, Kollegienhaus, University of Basel, Petersplatz 1
Divestment at federal, regional and city levels

11:15 am – 12:30pm

SESSION 2
Lecture hall 120, Kollegienhaus, University of Basel, Petersplatz 1
Divestment in universities, religious institutions and other institutions

12:30 – 1:15pm

Lunch

1:15pm – 2:45pm

SESSION 3
Lecture hall 120, Kollegienhaus, University of Basel, Petersplatz 1
Nuclear risk reduction and disarmament – Mayors for Peace and PNND actions

3:15pm - 4:30pm

SESSION 4
Lecture hall 120, Kollegienhaus, University of Basel, Petersplatz 1
Building the campaign – shifting economics towards peace

4:30pm

CLOSING
Conclusions and follow-up

Speakers

Confirmed speakers include:

Articles

International conference on investing for a sustainable future

Money makes the world go around Cabaret by Christopher Isherwood The nuclear weapons and fossil fuel industries are making billions – if not trillions – of dollars fostering a nuclear arms race and destroying the climate. They have a vested financial interest in...

Organisers and partners

Basel Peace Office (BPO)

A joint initiative of four swiss and four international organisations established to advance research, training and policy-development programs dedicated to international peace, security and global abolition of nuclear weapons. BPO coordinates a number of international programs including the Climate-Nuclear Nexus, Engaging Legislators (PNND), Framework Forum, Humanitarian consequences and the law, Move the Nuclear Weapons Money and UNFOLD ZERO.  BPO is a coordinating member of Abolition 2000, the global civil society network to abolish nuclear weapons.

Basel-Stadt Kanton

Basel-Stadt is a city-kanton which straddles the Rheine River at the corner of Switzerland, France and Germany. Basel is known for its contribution to peace including the Basel Peace Congress of Socialists of 24 November 1912 which launched an international declaration opposing war, the 1499 Treaty of Basel which ended the Swabian War, and the 1795 peace agreement between France, Prussia and Spain which was negotiated in Basel. Since 2005, Basel-Stadt has been a member of Mayors for Peace.

PSR/IPPNW Switzerland

The Swiss affiliate of the International Physicians for the Prevention of Nuclear War (IPPNW), a global network of medical professionals  (doctors, medical students, other health workers) who share the common goal of creating a more peaceful and secure world freed from the threat of nuclear annihilation.

Mayors for Peace (Europe)

Mayors for Peace is a global network of over 7,700 cities from 163 countries working together to achieve a nuclear-weapon-free world, and to build cooperation between cities on broader peace issues including prevention of war, elimination starvation and poverty, addressing the plight of refugees, human rights abuses, and environmental degradation. Mayors for Peace is led by the Hiroshima Mayor and 26 Lead/Executive cities.

Parliamentarians for Nuclear Non-proliferation and Disarmament (PNND)

A global, cross-party network of legislators from nuclear-armed and non-nuclear countries working to reduce nuclear-weapons risks, prevent proliferation and achieve nuclear disarmament. PNND leaders include current and former presidents, prime ministers, foreign ministers, heads of parliamentary committees and leaders of inter-parliamentary organisations including the Inter-Parliamentary Union and the OSCE Parliamentary Assembly.

World Future Council

A network of leaders from governmental bodies, civil society, business, science and the arts, supported by a staff of policy experts, focusing on effective policies to ensure a sustainable world for future generations.