On 5 June 2019, a bill for a “shared-initiative” referendum was presented at the National Assembly in Paris. Its aim is for French citizens to have a say on France’s participation in the abolition of nuclear and radioactive weapons.
The first three speakers were MPs speaking on behalf of the 30 parliamentarians who were the first to sign the bill: Jean-Michel Clément (Vienne, Libertés et Territoires), who chaired the session and organised the presentation with ACDN, Jérôme Lambert (Charente, Socialistes et apparentés), André Chassaigne (Puy-de-Dôme, president of the group called Gauche Démocrate et Républicaine).
MPs Jean-Paul Lecoq (Seine Maritime) and Moetai Brotherson (Polynesia) were represented by their assistants. A number of other MP signatories apologised for absence, including Yves Daniel (Loire Atlantique, LREM), Paul Molac (Morbihan, Libertés et Territoires), Maina Sage (French Polynesia, UDI, Agir et indépendants), Sabine Rubin (Seine Saint-Denis, France Insoumise), etc., along with a dozen senators who were also co-signatories.
Jean-Paul Maurel brought the support of Jacques Boutault, Mayor of Paris’s 2nd Arrondissement. Catherine Quéré, a former MP (Charente Maritime, socialist) recalled the campaign of 2016-17 during which 126 parliamentarians had signed a similar bill, advanced at that time by ACDN with the aim of bringing France into negotiation for the future Nuclear Prohibition Ban Treaty. Lastly, Jean-Marie Matagne, president of Action des Citoyens pour le Désarmement Nucléaire (ACDN) elaborated on various aspects of the new Bill.
During the discussion that followed, several people spoke in the Assembly, including Benoit de Cornulier, administrator of the “Nuclear Phase-Out” network Sortir du nucléaire » and Alexandre Quinet, responsible for the”nuclear disarmament” mission at the Ministry of Defense’s directorate for international relations and strategy.
Except for the latter, who had come as an observer and needed to be reserved, all the speakers underlined the extreme importance, in the current international context, of a public debate on the vital question of nuclear disarmament, the urgent need for France to take initiative, and the value of a referendum to make this happen. According to several polls such an initiative now receives massive support from France’s population. It is generally believed that it would not be enough to just ban weapons of such power of extermination and crimes against humanity, but that they must all be eliminated, in conformity with Article VI of the Non-Proliferation Treaty which France signed in 1992. That is a categorical imperative.
And that is precisely the question which this Bill asks to submit to the citizens of France:
“Are you in favour of France participating in the abolition of nuclear and radioactive weapons and engaging with all the other states concerned in negotiations aimed at drawing up, ratifying and implementing a treaty to ban and completely eliminate nuclear and radioactive weapons, under mutual and international control that is strict and effective.”
The parliamentarians who have signed this Bill are inviting all their colleagues of all political colours to co-sign it, inviting citizens to approach their MPs and senators to encourage them to sign – and inviting journalists to give to the public (as is their duty) all the coverage it deserves in the press and visual media.
The gathering of parliamentary signatures continues, without waiting for a possible revision of the “shared initiative referendum” rules.
All messages of support, from parliamentarians, citizens, personalities, artists, scientists, etc. are welcome from all around the world.
They may be sent to ACDN, the coordinator of the national campaign.
31 Rue du Cormier
Email : firstname.lastname@example.org
Please sign on and return us the Call to a referendum for France participating in the abolition of nuclear and radioactive weapons below. We intend to publish it and send it to the French Parliamentarians with numerous signatures of personalities from abroad as well as from France. That will be an important and effective support.
Thanks in advance.
Call to a referendum for France to participate in the abolition of nuclear and radioactive weapons PDF – 568.5 ko