Nuclear Disarmament Campaign Targets Norway's Bergen

By Lowana Veal

BERGEN (IDN) – Norway is a founding member of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO), enjoying the Alliance's protection as a nuclear umbrella state and yet widely known for its association with peace issues: not only for hosting the first international Conference on the Humanitarian Impact of Nuclear Weapons in Oslo in March 2013.

“Norway (also) took the lead in the Oslo Process which culminated in the signing of the Convention on Cluster Munitions in 2008," said Hitotsugu Terasaki, director general of peace and global issues at the Soka Gakkai International (SGI). [P21] ARABIC | ITALIAN | JAPANESE TEXT VERSION PDF | NORWEGIAN | PORTUGUESESPANISH | SWEDISH | TURKISH

Kazakhstan Leads the Way to a Nuclear-Weapon Free World

By Ramesh Jaura and Katsuhiro Asagiri

ASTANA (IDN) - As divisions between States on how to achieve nuclear disarmament grow, countries like Kazakhstan must lead the way to common ground and inclusive dialogue. Such leadership is urgently needed to make our world truly secure, said UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon in a message delivered to the conference on 'Building a Nuclear-Free World'.

Welcoming participants, President Nursultan Nazarbayev explained why Kazakhstan was leading the way: "August 29, 1991, is marked by an event of historic significance both for our country and the whole world. 25 years ago, we legally stopped the most sinister experiment of militarism, which had been tormenting our land and our people for almost 40 years. Several decades before that event, the world tried to lower the threshold of nuclear threat through the processes of nuclear weapons reduction, and a moratorium of its testing." [P20] CHINESE TEXT VERSION PDF | JAPANESE TEXT VERSION PDF

Wide Support for UN Talks on a Legal Ban-the-Bomb Tool

By Jamshed Baruah

GENEVA (IDN) - In what the International Campaign to abolish nuclear weapons (ICAN) calls "a dramatic final day", a group of non-nuclear countries have pushed through a proposal to initiate negotiations in 2017 to prohibit nuclear weapons of mass destruction.

The UN Open Ended Working group on nuclear disarmament (OEWG) wrapped up on August 19 the third series of sessions that have been convened since February, by adopting a recommendation to the United Nations General Assembly in October to initiate negotiations on a legal instrument to prohibit nuclear weapons, leading to their elimination. [P19] JAPANESE TEXT VERSION PDF

The No Nukes Mantra Between Hope and Despair

Analysis by Ramesh Jaura

BERLIN (IDN) – UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon’s mantra “No more Hiroshimas - No more Nagasakis - Never again”, chanted to commemorate the anniversaries of the devastating atomic bombings of two Japanese cities has yet to usher in a nuclear-weapon-free world. Also his ‘five point proposal on nuclear disarmament’, tabled on UN Day October 24, 2008, has been practically consigned to oblivion.

The fault does not lie with the Secretary-General. As the world commemorated the 71st Hiroshima and Nagasaki anniversaries on August 6 and August 9, the question on the minds of proponents of a world free of nuclear weapons was: Is there reason to hope rather than despair? [P18] ITALIAN | JAPANESE TEXT VERSION PDF | NORWEGIAN | SPANISH

Nuclear War a Potentially Deadly Issue in US Elections

By Rodney Reynolds

NEW YORK (IDN) – As the U.S. presidential elections gather political momentum, one of the key issues that has triggered a provocative debate revolves round the very survival of humanity: the looming threat of an intended or unintended nuclear war.

Come November 8, the U.S. will be making a choice between two contenders: former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, a candidate of the Democratic Party; and Donald Trump, a self-proclaimed billionaire businessman from New York, a candidate of the Republican Party. [P17] JAPANESE TEXT VERSION PDF

Astana and Geneva Preparing Ban-the-Bomb Conferences

By Jamshed Baruah

GENEVA (IDN) - Kazakhstan will host an international conference on August 28-29 to build and strengthen political will for the prohibition and elimination of nuclear weapons, some 15,000 of which are threatening the very survival of humankind.

The conference in Astana is being organised by the Senate of the Parliament of the Republic of Kazakhstan in partnership with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Kazakhstan and Parliamentarians for Nuclear Non-Proliferation and Disarmament (PNND). [P16] JAPANESE TEXT VERSION PDF

Support for ‘Obama Nuclear Doctrine’ by Executive Order

Analysis by Ramesh Jaura

BERLIN | NEW YORK (IDN) - Despite protests by Republican congressional leaders and the heads of Senate Foreign Relations and Armed Services Committees, President Barack Obama is garnering wide support for his reported plan to implement at least a part of his cherished nuclear agenda through a series of executive actions during the next months before leaving the White House.

None of the executive options Obama is considering require formal congressional approval. In fact, all of those actions would “fall under his executive authority as commander-in-chief”, says David Krieger, president of the U.S.-based Nuclear Age Peace Foundation (NAPF). [P15] JAPANESE TEXT VERSION PDF

Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty Needs Stronger Political Push

Interview by Ramesh Jaura with CTBTO Chief Dr Lassina Zerbo

BERLIN | VIENNA (IDN | INPS) – If it were for Dr. Lassina Zerbo, Executive Secretary of the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty Organization (CTBTO), the treaty banning all nuclear tests would have entered into force “yesterday”.

This view not only reflects what he terms in a lighter vein his “notoriously optimistic” perspective. It is also grounded in a series of signals underlining that “the discussion about ratification has moved to a new level” so that the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty, better known by its acronym CTBT, should not remain an “unfinished business”. [P14] JAPANESE TEXT VERSION PDF | SPANISH

U.S. Mayors Warn Against Largest NATO ‘War Games’

By J C Suresh

TORONTO | INDIANAPOLIS (IDN) - “The largest NATO war games in decades, involving 14,000 U.S. troops, and activation of U.S. missile defenses in Eastern Europe are fueling growing tensions between nuclear-armed giants,” the United States Conference of Mayors (USCM) has warned in run-up to the 28-nation North Atlantic Alliance’s summit on July 8-9 in Poland’s capital Warsaw.

The resolution adopted by the USCM’s 84th Annual Meeting June 24-27 in Indianapolis says: “More than 15,000 nuclear weapons, most orders of magnitude more powerful than the Hiroshima and Nagasaki bombs, 94% held by the United States and Russia, continue to pose an intolerable threat to cities and humanity.” [P13] JAPANESE TEXT VERSION PDF | NORWEGIAN | SWEDISH

Ratifications of Test Ban Treaty Still a Nuclear Fantasy

Analysis by Rodney Reynolds

UNITED NATIONS (IDN) - There has been widespread speculation – both inside and outside the United Nations -- that Israel may be toying with the idea of ratifying the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty (CTBT), perhaps within the next five years.

But is this in the realm of political reality or nuclear fantasy?

The speculation was triggered following a three-day visit to Israel by Dr Lassina Zerbo, Executive Secretary of the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty Organization (CTBTO), who met with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on June 20. [P12]  ARABIC | GERMAN | ITALIAN | JAPANESE TEXT VERSION PDF | PERSIAN