On Thursday and Friday (29 and 30 January) the international NGO "Middle Powers Initiative" (MPI) will hold the "Article VI Forum" aimed at nuclear disarmament in the Schöneberg City Hall in Berlin. The MPI comprises eight NGOs.
Around 70 high-level government and civil society representatives are expected to attend the Forum. Minister of State Gernot Erler and Ambassador Sergio Duarte, the UN's High Representative for Disarmament Affairs, will deliver the opening speeches. The opening ceremony, from 9.00 to 10.30 a.m. on Thursday 29 January, will be open to journalists.
The MPI's aim is the implementation of the nuclear disarmament obligation under Article VI of the Non-Proliferation Treaty, which is to be reviewed in 2010. The Forum will look at new prospects for clear reductions in nuclear arsenals and innovative approaches towards preventing the further spread of nuclear weapons. The Federal Foreign Office is also financially supporting this event as part of the Federal Government's efforts to lend nuclear disarmament and non-proliferation new impetus.
Article VI reads as follows:
"Each of the Parties to the Treaty undertakes to pursue negotiations in good faith on effective measures relating to cessation of the nuclear arms race at an early date and to nuclear disarmament, and on a Treaty on general and complete disarmament under strict and effective international control."