By Neena Bhandari
SYDNEY (IDN) - As the curtain falls on 2016, the year that marked the fifth anniversary of Fukushima and the 30th anniversary of Chernobyl nuclear disasters, sending a sombre reminder of the devastating humanitarian and environmental consequences of these weapons of mass destruction, the resolve to free the world of nuclear weapons is stronger than ever before.
The United Nations Resolution A/C.1/71/L.41, which calls for negotiations on a “legally binding instrument to prohibit nuclear weapons, leading toward their total elimination”, was adopted at the 71st session of the First Committee of the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) on October 27, 2016 with 123 members, including nuclear North Korea, voting in favour of taking forward the multilateral nuclear disarmament negotiations, 38 voted against and 16 abstained. [P30] ARABIC (PDF) | BHASA | HINDI | JAPANESE TEXT VERSON PDF | MALAY | NORWEGIAN | PERSIAN (PDF) | PORTUGUESE | SPANISH | THAI | TURKISH
By Annie DuPre and Noel Stott
PRETORIA (IDN-INPS | ISS South Africa) - On October 27, the First Committee of the United Nations (UN) passed L.41: Taking forward multilateral nuclear disarmament negotiations. The resolution calls for negotiations to take place next year on a legally binding instrument to prohibit nuclear weapons, and lead towards their total elimination. It was passed with 123 votes in favour, 38 against and 16 abstentions.
This initiative has been called historic by analysts such as the former Canadian Ambassador for Disarmament to the UN, civil society groupings and international organisations such as the International Committee of the Red Cross — underscored by the belief that as long as nuclear weapons exist, humankind will risk facing the catastrophic consequences of a nuclear war.
By Joyeeta Banerjee & Rajdeep Banerjee
MUMBAI (IDN-INPS | The Statesman) - In the first ever nuclear disarmament challenge brought before the International Court of Justice (ICJ) by any member state, the ICJ recently in the case Regarding Obligations Concerning Negotiations Relating to Cessation of the Nuclear Arms Race and to Nuclear Disarmament dismissed the suits on a preliminary issue. It was also for the first time the World Court found that it has no jurisdiction on the sole basis of the non-existence of a dispute between the parties.
By Rodney Reynolds
NEW YORK (IDN) - UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, who has been unwavering in his longstanding campaign to usher in “a world without nuclear weapons”, has expressed strong disappointment over “a deep division” among the UN’s 193 member states over the future of multilateral disarmament.
On the one hand, nuclear-weapon States, along with many of their allies, argue that they have taken steps to reduce their arsenals, he said. [P29] ARABIC (PDF) | BHASA | GERMAN | HINDI | JAPANESE TEXT VERSON PDF | MALAY | NORWEGIAN | PERSIAN (PDF) | PORTUGUESE | SPANISH | THAI | TURKISH
Viewpoint by Alice Slater
NEW YORK (IDN) - UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon has championed efforts for nations to make good on their pledges to abolish nuclear weapons. In 2009 he published a five-point proposal for nuclear disarmament, urging nuclear weapons states in particular to fulfill their promises under the Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) to negotiate for the total elimination of nuclear weapons as well as other complementary steps to that end such as banning missiles and space weapons.
By Katsuhiro Asagiri and Ramesh Jaura
TOKYO | HIROSHIMA (IDN) – Striving for a nuclear-weapons-free world holds a special place in Kazakh-Japan relations, according to President Nursultan Nazarbayev who on November 9 visited Hiroshima that suffered U.S. atomic bombings along with Nagasaki 71 years ago.
Nazarbayev was on a three-day official visit to Japan less than two months before it joins the UN Security Council in January as its non-permanent member for two-years until the end of 2018. In the first year it would be working closely with Japan before Tokyo's two-year term in the Council comes to a close at the end of 2017. [P28] JAPANESE TEXT VERSON PDF |
By Xanthe Hall, IPPNW and ICAN Germany
Note: This article first appeared in the IPPNW Peace and Health Blog on November 3, 2016.
BERLIN (IDN-INPS) - For once, the United States, France and the United Kingdom are in agreement with Russia: plans to negotiate a nuclear weapons ban need to be stopped. Before the vote on October 27 in the UN First Committee, they pulled out all the stops to pressurise other states to vote against or abstain on a draft resolution co-sponsored by 57 states for a conference to be convened in 2017 to negotiate a nuclear ban.
By J Nastranis
NEW YORK (IDN) – A close look at the voting on a ground-breaking resolution adopted by the Disarmament and International Security Committee of the United Nations General Assembly on October 27 underlines Kazakhstan's unflinching commitment to a nuclear-weapons free world. And a U.S. foreign policy expert has commended this.
The resolution Taking forward multilateral nuclear disarmament negotiations approved by 123 votes – as against 38 rejections and 16 abstentions – establishes a UN conference in 2017 "to negotiate a legally binding instrument to prohibit nuclear weapons, leading towards their total elimination".
By Lawrence Wittner
ALBANY (IDN-INPS | IPPNW) - Frank von Hippel, one of the world’s leading specialists on nuclear weapons, has provided us―and the presidential candidates―with an important challenge: How are we going to get the stalled nuclear disarmament process moving forward once again? Answering the challenge is particularly problematic because it requires navigating between the national security fears of US political leaders and the apparent disinterest in further nuclear disarmament on the part of the Russian government. Even so, a case can be made for cutting back the deployed US nuclear arsenal.
Analysis by PNND
"This was the most acrimonious UN General Assembly I have seen in the nearly 30 years I have been observing the Disarmament and International Security Committee at the UN." - Alyn Ware, PNND Global Coordinator.
NEW YORK (IDN) - On October 27, the Disarmament and International Security Committee of the United Nations General Assembly adopted a ground-breaking resolution Taking forward multilateral nuclear disarmament negotiations.