Belgian Senate to Consider Nuclear-Weapon Ban

Legislation proposing a ban in Belgium of the manufacturing, fixing, sale, shipping and possession of nuclear arms was submitted yesterday to the Belgian Senate, Kyodo News reported (see GSN, Aug. 5).

The measure has some similarities to the three non-nuclear principles of Japan, which forbid the island state from producing or possessing nuclear arms and outlaw the presence of strategic weapons on Japanese soil.

Belgium's government has chosen to neither deny or confirm reports of the presence of approximately 20 nuclear weapons in the country. However, the Natural Resources Defense Council in a 2005 report stated that Belgium was one of several European nations hosting U.S. nuclear gravity bombs.

The existence of such an arsenal could be the result of the nation's participation in NATO, despite the fact that the alliance "does not say anything about a hypothetical 'nuclear obligation,'" said Socialist Senator Philippe Mahoux, who prepared the proposed ban.

Consideration and full passage of the bill would take until May 2010 to carry out, Kyodo reported. Mahoux said the resulting law would be in keeping with Belgium's commitments under the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty and could help promote arms control (Kyodo Newswire/Breitbart.com, Oct. 15).

October 16, 2009
About

Legislation proposing a ban in Belgium of the manufacturing, fixing, sale, shipping and possession of nuclear arms was submitted yesterday to the Belgian Senate, Kyodo News reported (see GSN, Aug. 5).