By Jaya Ramachandran
NEW YORK (IDN) – Faith communities threw in their weight for complete elimination of atomic arsenal as more than 120 nations ignored U.S. disapproval and gathered on March 27 at the United Nations headquarters in New York to participate in negotiations aimed at achieving a treaty banning nuclear weapons in international law.
Stressing the importance of the talks at the 'United Nations Conference to Negotiate a Legally Binding Instrument to Prohibit Nuclear Weapons, Leading Towards their Total Elimination', David Krieger, President of the Nuclear Age Peace Foundation (NAPF) declared: “This is a breakthrough day and week in the Nuclear Age. For the first time ever, nations will be negotiating to ban nuclear weapons – weapons capable of destroying civilization and complex life.”
By Lowana Veal
REYKJAVIK (IDN) – When asked what Sweden thought the Trump Administration should do by way of contributing to nuclear disarmament, the Swedish ambassador in Iceland, Bosse Hedberg, replied: “At this point in time, I am not aware of any common Nordic position being prepared in response to the new U.S. administration’s view on this issue. As one can gather from the media, the new president seems rather inclined to invest more in U.S. nuclear capacities than in scrapping part of U.S. weapons.”
Sweden was the only Nordic country to attend the UNOG Conference on Disarmament held March 21-22 in Geneva, although Finland and Norway are also members. [P41]
By Sergio Duarte, former UN High Representative for Disarmament Affairs*
NEW YORK (IDN) - For the first time since the foundation of the United Nations the majority of the international community seems prepared to take a bold and fundamental step leading to the abolition of nuclear weapons. On December 27, 2016 the General Assembly of the United Nations adopted Resolution 71/258 convening a Conference to negotiate a legally binding instrument to prohibit nuclear weapons, leading to their total elimination.
By Jonathan Power
LUND, Sweden (IDN-INPS) - Rocket launches galore in North Korea. Colours and flames in the sky. It’s all a bit like a peacock spreading his tail.
Murders abound. Is this a butcher’s shop – an uncle, a half-brother and a couple of high-placed generals and no doubt others?
Kim Jong-Un, the president, is no Hamlet and murder seems not to give him doubts. The day after he is photographed at some event, smiling the smile of a psychopath who ditched his conscience somewhere at the top of the Alps when he was out for a hike organised by the school in Switzerland he was sent to.
By Dr. J. Enkhsaikhan
Note: Dr. J. Enkhsaikhan is Chairman of Blue Banner NGO and former Permanent Representative of Mongolia to the United Nations in New York and Vienna. This article comes in run-up to the UN General Assembly's two sessions – scheduled for March 27-31 and June 15-July 7 – to negotiate “a legally binding instrument to prohibit nuclear weapons, leading towards their total elimination”.
ULAANBAATAR, Mongolia (IDN-INPS) - Some believe that those that do not possess nuclear weapons have no basis to demand that those that do possess alter their nuclear policies. However, as the three recent international conferences on humanitarian consequences of nuclear weapons vividly demonstrated yet again, the detonation of a nuclear weapon, intentionally or otherwise, will have catastrophic consequences with far-reaching climatic, genetic and other devastating effects. [P40] JAPANESE TEXT VERSON PDF
Viewpoint by Brenna Gautam
Note: Brenna Gautam, a J.D. Candidate at Georgetown University Law Center, is a member of the CTBTO Youth Group. This article appears in cooperation with the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty Organization (CTBTO), as part of the initiative ‘Youth for CTBTO’. The views expressed are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of the CTBTO. - Editor
WASHINGTON, D.C. (IDN) - "It would be wonderful, a dream would be that no country would have nukes,” President Donald Trump announced, “but if countries are going to have nukes, we're going to be at the top of the pack."
By Rodney Reynolds
WASHINGTON DC (IDN) – The 193-member UN General Assembly is to hold two key sessions – in March and in June – in what is expected to be a do-or-die attempt towards the elimination of nuclear weapons worldwide.
“Whether 2017 will be the year that sees nuclear weapons being banned or whether the effort to achieve this gets turned into a form of “fake news” remains to be seen?,” says a sceptical Tariq Rauf, Director of the Disarmament, Arms Control and Non-Proliferation Programme at the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI).
The dark shadow that looms large over the upcoming General Assembly sessions will be the imposing figure of US President Donald Trump – whose trigger-finger is dangerously close to over 7,000 nuclear weapons, and whose views on nuclear disarmament appear consistently inconsistent, ranging from proliferation to strengthening existing arsenals. [P39] HINDI | JAPANESE TEXT VERSON PDF
By Jamshed Baruah
BERLIN |VIENNA (IDN) – Japan, by far the only country to experience atomic bombings in Hiroshima and Nagasaki, has decided to make the largest ever extra-budgetary contribution to the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty Organization (CTBTO).
The funds amounting to about USD 2.43 million will support a range of verification related activities to improve the detection capabilities of the Organisation – and thus pave the way for a world free of nuclear weapons.
A voluntary contribution of this size must be recognized as a strong signal of Japan’s commitment to ‘finish what we started’ – getting the Treaty into force and finalizing the International Monitoring System, said CTBTO Executive Secretary Lassina Zerbo. [P38] JAPANESE TEXT VERSON PDF | PORTUGUESE
NEW YORK (IDN-INPS) – In an Open Letter to U.S. President Donald Trump and his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin, Nobel Peace Laureates and other eminent experts say that both leaders are "obligated under Article VI of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty to engage in . . . negotiations in good faith for an end to the nuclear arms race and for complete nuclear disarmament", adding: "Your success in this endeavor would make you heroes of the Nuclear Age."
The Hill published the article on 16 February 2017 and is being reproduced here in full:
By Lassina Zerbo
Lassina Zerbo is the Executive Secretary of Preparatory Commission for the Vienna-based Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty Organization (CTBTO). Following are excerpts from his statement at the XXV Session of the General Conference of the Agency for the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons in Latin America and the Caribbean (OPANAL) in Mexico City on 14 February 2017.
VIENNA (IDN) - Mexico’s historical role in advancing non-proliferation and disarmament is well recognized, not least through the work of Nobel peace prize laureate Alfonso García Robles in the creation and adoption of the Treaty of Tlatelolco.