May 19, 2022
On May 19, around twenty representatives of civil society throughout Northeast Asia gathered online to join the Ulaanbaatar Process monthly dialogue, convened by GPPAC Northeast Asia.
The session began with a presentation by Kawasaki Akira, Peace Boat Executive Committee Member and President of the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons (ICAN), focusing on the upcoming first Meeting of States Parties (MSP) of the UN Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons (TPNW), to take place in Vienna in June. Noteworthy, this will be the first international conference specifically on the issue of nuclear disarmament since the Russian invasion of Ukraine. As well as an overview of issues expected to be considered at the meeting and potential outcomes, participants together discussed Northeast Asian civil society participation and contribution to the MSP and related events, including the ICAN Civil Society Forum to take part immediately prior.
See: NuclearBan Week 2022
Participants also discussed the impact of the ongoing war in Ukraine on militarisation and security in Northeast Asia, the role of Northeast Asia in prevention of any use of nuclear weapons, and the importance of demonstrating how disarmament is positive for security, such as Mongolia’s example and Nuclear-Weapon-Free-Zones as an alternative model.
Particular concern was also raised regarding the COVID-19 situation in the DPRK. Participants discussed the attitude of respective governments toward humanitarian cooperation in this severe situation, including statements and press conferences issued by ROK civil society, and Chinese-led concrete efforts. GPPAC Northeast Asia continues to communicate with our partners in Pyongyang regarding this situation.