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South Africa: From Nuclear Armed State to Disarmament Hero

By Jamshed Baruah

Photo: South Africa deposits its instrument of ratification of the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons. New York | Feb 25, 2019. Credit: ICAN

GENEVA (IDN) – South Africa, the only country that went from developing its own nuclear arsenal to dismantling it and being an outspoken advocate against these weapons of mass destruction, took another critical step towards a nuclear-weapons-free-world: on February 25: it ratified in the halls of the UN Headquarters in New York, the UN Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons (TPNW). [2019-02-28]

Enhancing Interaction Between CTBT and the Pelindaba Treaty

By CTBTO Preparatory Commission

Photo: OSI Director Vadim Smirnov, delivering a statement on behalf of CTBTO Executive Secretary. Credit: CTBTO

VIENNA (IDN-INPS) – The CTBTO participated in the Africa Commission on Nuclear Energy (AFCONE) special session held in Algiers from February 12-13, 2019.

Created by the Pelindaba Treaty, establishing Africa as Nuclear Weapons Free Zone (NWFZ) in 2009, AFCONE plays an important role in regional efforts on disarmament and non-proliferation. It also promotes peaceful and scientific benefits of nuclear technology in Africa. [2019-02-27]

Beyond the Second Trump-Kim Nuclear Weapons Summit

Viewpoint by Jonathan Power

Photo: Kim and Trump shaking hands at the red carpet during the DPRK-USA Singapore Summit on June 12, 2018. Credit: Wikimedia Commons.

LUND, Sweden (IDN-INPS) – Kim Jong-un, paramount leader of the North Korean dictatorship, arrived in Vietnam by train and limousine ready to meet President Donald Trump. The two leaders met in June 2018 in Singapore, applauded themselves and each other and made some sort of a deal even if it wasn’t the one Trump boasted about – the total elimination of the North’s nuclear weapons. [2019-02-26]

IAEA Keen to Enhance Nuclear Security in Africa

By Reinhard Jacobsen

Photo: The IAEA’s first School on Drafting Nuclear Security Regulations for African Countries was held at the IAEA’s headquarters in Vienna. Credit: D. Calma/IAEA

VIENNA (IDN) – Enhancing regulatory framework for nuclear security in Africa has been on the agenda of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), nuclear watchdog of the United Nations, for nearly two years.

Against this backdrop, lawyers and nuclear scientists from 10 African countries reviewed the status of their countries’ regulatory frameworks for the security of radioactive material and developed action plans to address any identified gaps during the IAEA’s first School on Drafting Nuclear Security Regulations for African Countries. [2019-02-25]

UN Warns Against Emerging Hypersonic Weapon Technologies

By J Nastranis

Photo: A U.S. Air Force Flight Test Center B-52 Stratofortress from Edwards Air Force Base, Calif., carries an X-51A Waverider prior to the scramjet’s first hypersonic flight test on March 26, 2010. (U.S. Air Force)

NEW YORK (IDN) – Emerging hypersonic weapon technologies present a challenge for the existing arms control and disarmament architecture at a time when it is already under strain. Because hypersonic weapons do not count towards the limits of the New START (Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty), which is the key arms control agreement limiting the strategic delivery systems of the two major nuclear powers, Russia and the United States, warns a new study. Nevertheless, several States are actively pursuing novel long-range manoeuvrable weapons, most significantly hypersonic boost-glide systems comprising ballistic missiles equipped with hypersonic glide vehicles (HGVs). [2019-02-24]

On the Precipice of a Multipolar Qualitative Nuclear Arms Race

Viewpoint by Izumi Nakamitsu

Photo: UNODA Chief Izumi Nakamitsu. Credit: UN Audiovisual Library

Following are extensive excerpts from a video briefing by Izumi Nakamitsu, the United Nations High Representative for Disarmament Affairs (UNODA), to the 65-nation Conference on Disarmament in Geneva on 7 February 2019.

NEW YORK | GENEVA (IDN-INPS) – 2019 will be a weighty year for the Conference on Disarmament. As a global community we are beset by challenges. In the field of disarmament our progress has slowed to a crawl and is in imminent danger of suffering reversals. Instead of seeking to enhance what binds us, we tend to focus on what divides us. [2019-02-23]

Europe Ventures to Speak Up Against USA

By Somar Wijayadasa*

Photo credit: Munich Security Conference.

NEW YORK | MUNICH (IDN) – "The whole liberal world order appears to be falling apart – nothing is as it once was," said Wolfgang Ischinger, a senior German diplomat in an opinion article in the run-up to the 2019 Munich Security Conference (MSC) that he chairs.

He added: "When Vladimir Putin annexed Crimea and started the bloody conflict in Eastern Ukraine in 2014, many considered him to be the major cause of global destabilization." [2019-02-22]

A Nuclear Arms Race Will Produce No Winners

Despite everything, it is still in our power to avoid nuclear confrontation.

Viewpoint by Mikhail Gorbachev*

Photo: U.S. President Ronald Reagan and Soviet General Secretary Mikhail Gorbachev at the first Summit in Geneva, Switzerland, in November 1985.

MOSCOW (IDN-INPS) – The fate of the INF treaty has politicians and ordinary people worried on every continent. I am also concerned, and not only because I signed that treaty with former U.S. President Ronald Reagan in Dec. 1987. These events are yet another manifestation of the dangerous and destructive trends in world politics facing us today. [2019-02-21]

Experts Discuss Prospects Of Peace On The Korean Peninsula

By Katsuhiro Asagiri

Photo (from left to right): Noboru Yamaguchi (Japan); Yang Xiyu (China), Chung-in Moon (South Korea), Kevin Clements (Coordinator: Toda Institute), Joseph Yun (USA), Georgy Toloraya (Russia). Credit: Yukie Asagiri.

TOKYO (IDN) – Nearly 66 years have passed since the Armistice Agreement formally brought about "a complete cessation of hostilities" of the Korean War. One year later, Chinese Premier and Foreign Minister Zhou Enlai proposed a peace treaty. But U.S. Secretary of State, John Foster Dulles, refused – leaving a final peace settlement on the Korean Peninsula hanging in the air. [2019-02-20 | P21CHINESE | JAPANESE TEXT VERSION PDF | KOREAN | SPANISH

Uncertain Prospects For Progress In Nuclear Disarmament

Viewpoint by Sergio Duarte

Photo: Sergio Duarte speaks at the August 2017 Pugwash Conference on Science and World Affairs held in Astana, Kazakhstan. Credit: Pugwash.

The writer is President of Pugwash Conferences on Science and World Affairs, and a former UN High Representative for Disarmament Affairs. He was president of the 2005 Nonproliferation Treaty Review Conference.

NEW YORK (IDN) – Although humankind has known since the dawn of ages the sorrow, misery and devastation caused by war, the most catastrophic military conflicts in history are quite recent.

World War I lasted from July 1914 to November 1918 and claimed some 40 million lives, among civilians and combatants. In all, between 70-85 million people perished during World War II that lasted from 1939 to 1945. The estimated war casualties include those who are believed to have died from war-related causes, including captivity, disease and famine. [2019-02-06 | P20] JAPANESE TEXT VERSION PDF | SPANISH

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