WILPF Sweden’s Secretary General Malin Nilsson will be one of the delegates in the new Swedish National Commission on International Law and Disarmament. The commission, which had its first meeting 1 March 2016, will function as an advisory board to the Foreign Minister. It includes 15 representatives from the government, parliament, relevant authorities and institutions, and civil society as well as academic experts. Foreign Minister Margot Wallström will chair the Commission.
The purpose of the Commission will be to follow and analyse developments in the areas of humanitarian law and disarmament. It will also develop proposals for Swedish positions and initiatives on issues concerning humanitarian law and disarmament, including when these encompass or touch upon other areas of international law, such as human rights.
“We are very proud to have been invited to participate in the new Swedish National Commission on Disarmament and International law, and we look forward to working with the other delegates. WILPF’s extensive experience and expertise in addressing issues of disarmament and international law from a feminist perspective gives us a unique voice in this area, and we see great possibilities for Sweden to further advance its efforts as part of the feminist foreign policy,” said Malin Nilsson, Secretary General of WILPF Sweden.
The Commission will meet two to three times a year. It will also establish working groups that will provide analyses and serve as think-tanks. One of the questions that the Commission will discuss is nuclear weapons and the Humanitarian Pledge. The Pledge was issued on 9 December 2014 at the conclusion of the Vienna Conference on the Humanitarian Impact of Nuclear Weapons, as a commitment by nations to fill the current “legal gap” in international law on nuclear weapons. The Humanitarian Pledge offers a platform from which states can launch negotiations on a treaty banning nuclear weapons – the only weapon of mass destruction not yet explicitly prohibited under international law. As of today, 126 states have joined the Pledge.
“There are great expectations within the international disarmament community on Sweden to join the Humanitarian Pledge as soon as possible. WILPF, as part of the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons (ICAN), see that Sweden has great potential to contribute to progress on the basis of the Humanitarian Pledge, and actively work for negotiations to start. We look forward to discussing with the new Commission the legal and practical basis for why Sweden should join the Pledge and take a leading role in coming negotiations to ban nuclear weapons,” said Malin Nilsson, Secretary General of WILPF Sweden.