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 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
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 |
Analysis by T.K. Fernandes
NEW YORK (IDN) - Since the deadly use of atomic bombs in Hiroshima and Nagasaki in 1945, the international community has been calling for the elimination of nuclear weapons. Despite slow progress, civil society has continued to tirelessly advocate for a nuclear-free world and is in fact one step closer to its realization in principle.
While speaking to IDN, Director of Peace and Human Rights at Soka Gakkai International (SGI) Kimiaki Kawai noted the importance of nuclear disarmament, stating: “We share common global challenges like climate change, poverty, hunger and disasters – so why don’t we utilize our rich resources for more meaningful purposes?” [P27] ARABIC | GERMAN | ITALIAN | JAPANESE TEXT VERSON PDF | KOREAN TEXT VERSION PDF | NORWEGIAN | PORTUGUESE | SPANISH | SWEDISH | TURKISH
By Lowana Veal
REYKJAVIK (IDN) - At a time when there is a sharp deterioration in relations between the United States and Russia, triggered by disputes over Ukraine, the Crimea and Syria, the capital of Iceland hosted experts, diplomats and researchers on October 10-11 to commemorate the 30th anniversary of the historic Reykjavik Summit between Ronald Reagan and Mikhail Gorbachev.
IDN, a flagship agency of the International Press Syndicate group, spoke to some of the participants of the commemorative event, the initiative for which came from the International Peace Institute (IPI) in New York. What prompted them to organize the event? [P26] CHINESE TEXT VERSION PDF | JAPANESE TEXT VERSION PDF | KOREAN TEXT VERSION PDF
Analysis by Lowana Veal
REYKJAVIK (IDN) - Recently released declassified documents by Washington have unleashed a debate whether the U.S. ever deployed nuclear weapons in Iceland, a member of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) since its foundation in 1949.
Experts are of the view that though the U.S. claims to have never deployed nuclear weapons in a country at a strategic juncture of the North Atlantic and Arctic oceans, it does not mean that it had no nuclear plans for Iceland. Previous research by Valur Ingimundarson and William Arkin demonstrates that during the Cold War Iceland was considered a potential storage site. [P25] JAPANESE TEXT VERSION PDF
By Ramesh Jaura
BERLIN (IDN) - "Since wars begin in the minds of men, it is in the minds of men that the defences of peace must be constructed," declares the Preamble to the Constitution of UNESCO. This is also the crux of the message emerging from the World Congress titled 'Disarm! For a Climate of Peace – Creating an Action Agenda' from September 30 to October 3, 2016 in Berlin.
United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon's famous remark, "The world is over-armed and peace is under-funded”, reverberated in the halls of Berlin's Technical University. [P24] JAPANESE TEXT VERSION PDF
Analysis by Ramesh Jaura
NEW YORK (IDN) - One day ahead of the twentieth anniversary of the opening for signature of the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty (CTBT), the United Nations Security Council adopted a Resolution reinforcing the de facto global ban on nuclear weapons testing established 20 years ago. (See Video)
The 15-member body – comprising the United States, Russia, China, Britain and France as permanent (P5) members with the right to veto and 10 non-permanent members elected by rotation for a period of two years – adopted the Resolution after extensive discussions on September 23 by a vote of 14 in favour and none against but one abstention by Egypt on the ground that the text of the Resolution did not stress on the need for nuclear disarmament. [P23] JAPANESE TEXT VERSION PDF | GERMAN
Analysis by Kalinga Seneviratne
BANGKOK (IDN) - Even before the ink dried up on a statement issued in the Laotian capital Vientiane by the East Asia Summit (EAS) on nuclear proliferation, North Korea announced the successful testing of a nuclear bomb that has focused attention in the region on increasing militarization.
Pyongyang’s latest weapons testing came less than a day after the EAS leaders adopted a statement urging it to give up its nuclear and missile programs. It was the first time that the 18-member regional body, which also includes the United States, China, Russia and Japan, adopted a single-issue statement other than the chairman’s statement. [P22] CHINESE TEXT VERSION PDF | JAPANESE TEXT VERSION PDF
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 | PORTUGUESE | SPANISH | SWEDISH | TURKISH