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.
By Jayantha Dhanapala*
KANDY, Sri Lanka (IDN) - The commemoration of the Fiftieth Anniversary of the signature of the Treaty of Tlatelolco could not have come at a more opportune moment. In the UN General Assembly last year, Mexico and a number of Latin American and Caribbean countries joined with countries from other regions – including my own Sri Lanka – to ensure the adoption of the Resolution “Taking forward multilateral nuclear disarmament negotiations”.
This Resolution decided that a UN conference should be convened in 2017 “to negotiate a legally binding instrument to prohibit nuclear weapons leading towards their total elimination”. The Conference will meet from March 27-31 and from June 15 – July 7, 2017.
By Sergio Duarte and Jenifer Mackby*
On February 14, 2017 the Treaty for the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons in Latin America and the Caribbean – Treaty of Tlatelolco – celebrated its 50th anniversary. The Treaty prohibits the testing, use, manufacture, production or acquisition of nuclear weapons. All 33 countries in the region are party to it. This article casts a close look at the vital importance of the treaty.
NEW YORK (IDN-INPS | TRANSCEND Media Service) - As the first of its kind in a populated area, the Treaty made a fundamental contribution to both global and regional disarmament, peace and security. It includes a number of innovative provisions, such as indefinite duration, prohibition of reservations, a definition of nuclear weapon, a commitment by nuclear-weapon States to respect the militarily denuclearized status of the Zone through negative security assurances and the engagement of its Parties to utilize nuclear energy exclusively for peaceful purposes.
By Jamshed Baruah
NEW YORK (IDN) - Taking its mandate as non-permanent member of the Security Council for 2017-2018 seriously, Kazakhstan's Ministry of Foreign Affairs in a statement on February 12 said that it “strongly condemns” the ballistic missile launch conducted by DPRK-Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (North Korea) the same day.
The launch was “a blatant violation of the relevant UN Security Council resolution". North Korea is barred under United Nations resolutions from using ballistic missile technology, but six sets of UN sanctions since Pyongyang’s first nuclear test in 2006 have failed to rein in its drive for atomic weapons.
By Samantha Sen
LONDON (IDN) - Now that the new world order some of us were talking about threatens to collapse into a new world disorder, the emerging fear is what the U.S and Russia could agree on, rather than what they disagree about. U.S President Donald Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin have discovered one another as political twins looking in the same direction from opposite sides – what were thought to be opposing sides anyhow. Nowhere does this union of vision appear more deadly than in the business of nuclear armament, and business it is.
Both leaders have said yes to all the weapons they have, and nodded in the direction of yet more. Both have spoken of “strengthening” their nuclear capabilities. Strengthen how much more to what end? Dire arithmetic abounds on how many times over each can destroy the world. Skip the count; once would be enough. [P37] JAPANESE TEXT VERSON PDF
By Rick Wayman*
SANTA BARBARA, CA, USA (IDN) - October 24-25, 2016, the Nuclear Age Peace Foundation brought together a small group of academics, activists and thought leaders to discuss how to shift the global discourse toward nuclear disarmament. The symposium, entitled “The Fierce Urgency of Nuclear Zero: Changing the Discourse,” discussed the current state of nuclear threats, geopolitical and psychological obstacles to nuclear zero, and the path forward.
The symposium’s final statement was delayed in order to incorporate the new political realities following the election of Donald Trump as President of the United States, which took place just two weeks after the symposium. [P36] JAPANESE TEXT VERSON PDF
By Ramesh Jaura and Katsuhiro Asagiri
BERLIN | TOKYO (IDN) - Japanese Buddhist philosopher and peace builder Daisaku Ikeda has urged the U.S. and Russian leaders to come together for a summit meeting as soon as possible to pledge a global drift toward nuclear disarmament. The two countries together hold more than 90% of the world’s nuclear arsenal.
The advice by Ikeda, who is the President of the Soka Gakkai International (SGI) Buddhist association, is contained in his 35th annual peace proposal titled “The Global Solidarity of Youth: Ushering in a New Era of Hope” issued on January 26, 2017. [P35] JAPANESE TEXT VERSON PDF
By Jaya Ramachandran
GENEVA (IDN) - Within less than four weeks of taking office, United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres has pledged to "actively pursue the abolition of all weapons of mass destruction and the strict regulation of conventional weapons", arguing that disarmament can play an important role in ending existing conflicts and preventing the outbreak of new.
“I am committed to achieving a world free of nuclear weapons,” Guterres declared in a video message to the Geneva-based Conference on Disarmament, which opened the first segment of its three-part 2017 session on January 23.
By Rodney Reynolds
WASHINGTON, DC (IDN) – With the inauguration of Donald Trump as the new President on January 20, the United States moves into an age of nuclear uncertainty – and perhaps ignorance.
The frightening prospects took a bizarre turn when a day earlier Trump’s nominee for Energy Secretary, former Texas Governor Rick Perry, apparently was not aware that his department is in charge of America’s nuclear weapons.
According to an editorial in the New York Times on January 20, Perry knew only recently that "his biggest responsibilities would, in fact, involve overseeing a vast nuclear security complex that he knows almost nothing about".
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