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Will U.S. Congress Legally Restrain a Nuclear World War III?

By Shanta Roy

Photo courtesy of National Nuclear Security Administration / Nevada Site Office

UNITED NATIONS (IDN) – U.S. President Donald Trump's highly erratic behavior on nuclear weapons – and his public threats to "totally destroy" North Korea – have triggered a strong political backlash from anti-nuclear and anti-war activists.

"A central problem is that Donald Trump seems ignorant about what nuclear weapons really are, and the humanitarian catastrophe that would be unleashed if he fired even one at North Korea – or anywhere," said Dr. Rebecca Johnson of the Acronym Institute for Disarmament Diplomacy, a founding co-Chair of the International Coalition to Abolish Nuclear Weapons (ICAN), the 2017 Nobel Peace Laureate.  [P 23] 

Nuclear Nightmare Persists As UN Treaty Awaits Ratification

By Ramesh Jaura

Photo: (left to right): Austria's Permanent Representative to the UN, Jan Kickert (standing); Brazil's Permanent Representative to the UN Mauro Luiz Iecker Vieira; ICAN Asia-Pacific Director Tim Wright; ICAN Executive Director Beatrice Fihn; ICAN Steering Group member Ray Acheson: and Costa Rica's Permanent Representative to the UN, Juan Carlos Mendoza. Credit: UN

UNITED NATIONS (IDN) – "They will continue to be guided by their solemn conviction that a nuclear war cannot be won and must never be fought," says the historic Joint Statement U.S. President Ronald Reagan and his counterpart from the then Soviet Union, Mikhail Gorbachev, signed on December 10, 1987 in Washington.

Thirty years on, Gorbachev – who was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize 1990 "for his leading role in the peace process which today characterizes important parts of the international community" – is "deeply concerned about the fact that military doctrines once again allow for the use of nuclear weapons". [P 22] 

Nuclear Strike No Longer an All-Encompassing Taboo

Viewpoint by Jonathan Power*

Photo credit: National Review

LUND, Sweden (IDN-INPS) - In the Cold War days, some of us used to say, “Better red than dead” – to rebuff those who believed in nuclear deterrence as a way of political life that gave them security. Now those of us who are frightened that Trump could start a nuclear war over Iran or North Korea should coin a new phrase. How about: “Better alive than going to the grave with Kim Jong-un”? Admittedly that doesn’t have the same snappy ring, but get my point?

At the UN recently, President Donald Trump (aka Fire and Fury) threatened to “totally” destroy North Korea if the U.S. was forced to defend itself.

Nobel Peace Prize for ICAN Significant for Nuclear Disarmament

By Sergio Duarte, President of Pugwash

Photo: Sergio Duarte, incoming President of Pugwash and his predecessor Jayantha Dhanapala, who headed the organisation for ten years, with a painting by Kazakh artist and anti-nuclear activist Karipbek Kuyukov in Astana end of August 2017. Credit: Pugwash

NEW YORK (IDN) - For the third time since the creation of the Nobel Peace Prize a civil society organization dedicated to nuclear disarmament has received this prestigious honor. The 2017 Prize has been awarded to the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons (ICAN), a coalition of non-governmental organizations in 101 countries launched in 2007. Before ICAN, International Physicians for the Prevention of Nuclear War (IPPNW) and Pugwash Conferences on Science and World Affairs also were recipients of the Prize, respectively in 1985 and in 1995 for their actions in favour of peace and nuclear disarmament.

The Complementarity Between Nuclear Ban Treaty and the NPT

By Sergio Duarte, Ambassador, former U.N. High Representative for Disarmament Affairs*

Photo: UN General Assembly adopts the Treaty Prohibiting Nuclear Weapons on July 7, 2017 in New York. Credit: UNODA

This article is based on a presentation by the author at a Pugwash Conference in Castiglioncello, Italy, on September 1, 2017. The full text is available at: http://www.uspid.org/Eventi/Archivio/2017_09Castiglioncello_main.html)

NEW YORK (IDN) - At least in one sense, the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons adopted on July 7, 2017 can be considered an offspring of the 47-year old Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT). The negotiators of the former clearly intended to provide a path for the fulfilment of the obligation contained in Article VI of the latter. The two texts must not be seen as antagonistic toward each other, but rather as indispensable tools in the effort to eliminate the threat to humanity as a whole posed by the existence of nuclear weapons. This is a common objective of all multilateral instruments concluded by the international community since such weapons began to proliferate in 1945.

Trump Should Reaffirm That "A Nuclear War Must Never Be Fought"

By Daryl G. Kimball

Photo: The Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons, signed 20 September 2017 by 50 United Nations member states. Credit: UN Photo / Paulo Filgueiras

Daryl G. Kimball is Executive Director of the Arms Control Association. This article first appeared with the headline 'Prohibit, Do Not Promote, Nuclear Weapons Use'.

WASHINGTON, D.C. (IDN-INPS) - At an emergency UN Security Council briefing on September 4 following North Korea's sixth and largest nuclear test explosion, Nikki Haley, U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, lectured Pyongyang's leaders that "being a nuclear power is not about using those terrible weapons to threaten others. Nuclear powers understand their responsibilities."

Days later, in his inaugural address to the UN General Assembly on September 19, U.S. President Donald Trump called North Korea's leader "rocket man" on "a suicide mission." Trump warned, "We will have no choice but to totally destroy North Korea" if it threatens U.S. allies in the region. North Korea's foreign minister replied by saying Trump's insult makes "our rockets' visit to the entire U.S. mainland inevitable all the more."

A Nuke-free World – Through Inclusive, Step-by-Step Approach

By Santo D. Banerjee

Photo: Miroslav Lajčák (right), President of the 72nd session of the General Assembly, opens the high-level plenary meeting commemorating and promoting the International Day for the Total Elimination of Nuclear Weapons. Secretary-General António Guterres is on the left. 26 September 2017. United Nations, New York. Credit: UN Photo/Rick Bajornas

UNITED NATIONS (IDN) – Six days after the UN Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons – the first multilateral legally-binding instrument for nuclear disarmament to have been negotiated in 20 years – opened for signature on September 20, the General Assembly held a high-level meeting to commemorate the International Day for the Total Elimination of Nuclear Weapons.

Ministers and representatives of 46 Member States, delegations, the United Nations system and civil society took the floor on September 26 against a backdrop of rising tensions on the Korean Peninsula, stressing the urgent need for firm political will to advance towards the total elimination of all nuclear weapons by taking to an inclusive, step-by-step approach.

EU Affirms Iran Deal Compliance, Rejects Renegotiation

By Kelsey Davenport

Photo: Federica Mogherini, European Union High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, speaks to journalists following meeting of the

The writer is director for nonproliferation policy at the Arms Control Association. This article first appeared on September 21, 2017. – The Editor.

WASHINGTION, D.C. (IDN-INPS) - EU foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini stated unequivocally after a ministerial meeting between the P5+1 (China, France Germany, Russia, the United Kingdom and the United States) and Iran that all parties agreed that the nuclear deal is being fully implemented and there are no violations.

She said that the agreement, known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), is delivering on its purpose, and there is “no need to renegotiate parts of the agreement.” Mogherini said that issues outside the scope of the deal should be “tackled in different formats, in different fora.”

Sri Lanka Criticised for Not Signing the UN Nuke Ban Treaty

By J Nastranis

Photo: UNGA adopted the Treaty Prohibiting Nuclear Weapons, on 7 July 2017. Credit. UNODA

NEW YORK | COLOMBO (IDN) – Sri Lanka has refrained from signing the landmark UN Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons that was adopted by 122 countries on July 7, 2017 and opened for signature on September 20 at the UN headquarters in New York.

The decision not to sign the Treaty has triggered questions and concern at home and abroad. "Sri Lanka voted for the resolution adopting this very same Treaty [. . .], when we had a different Foreign Minister and Foreign Secretary. Has there now been a change of policy after a new minister assumed office?," wonders the Friday Forum, a think tank based in Colombo, the capital city of Sri Lanka.

Reminiscing 'War Criminal' McNamara as Trump Spits Out 'Fire and Fury' on North Korea

Viewpoint by Jonathan Power*

Image credit: azquotes.com

LUND, Sweden (IDN-INPS) - Out of the blue the war in Vietnam is in the news. Yet it is not the fiftieth anniversary of America’s defeat in Vietnam when North Vietnam caused it to flee. It’s only the forty-second.

Part of this must be fearful parallels with the moral and strategic blindness of President Donald Trump who seems to believe in uttering his life and death rhetoric, akin to President Richard Nixon’s on Vietnam, hoping to frighten the enemy into submission – in this case North Korea. Many people are worried that Trump is ready to fight America's biggest war since Vietnam. As did Henry Kissinger, Nixon’s National Security Advisor, he appears to be considering the use of nuclear weapons.

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