By Rodney Reynolds
NEW YORK (IDN) – Despite an organized boycott by over 40 countries, including four major nuclear powers, a UN conference aimed at negotiating an international treaty to ban nuclear weapons made a significant breakthrough in its first-ever attempt at a legally-binding instrument to eliminate one of the world’s deadliest weapons of mass destruction (WMDs).
Even without the participation of nuclear states, the ban treaty will have a powerful impact, predicted the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons (ICAN). “Treaties often change the behavior of non-party States, including the ban on WMDs and Law of the Sea”. [P42] JAPANESE TEXT VERSON PDF
By Jaya Ramachandran
NEW YORK (IDN) – Faith communities have called for heeding the voices of the world's Hibakusha (atomic bomb survivors) and stressed the need for the five-day United Nations Conference at the UN headquarters in New York to negotiate "a legally binding instrument to prohibit nuclear weapons, leading towards their total elimination".
A statement on March 28, second day of the conference, endorsed by more than 20 organizations and individuals, pleaded for developing "a treaty text that clearly and explicitly" prohibits the use, possession, development, production, acquisition, transfer and deployment of nuclear weapons, as well as any inducement, encouragement, investment or assistance with those prohibited acts. "The new instrument should also provide for an obligation for the complete elimination of nuclear weapons, and a framework to achieve it." [P Extra] JAPANESE
By Lowana Veal
REYKJAVIK (IDN) – When asked what Sweden thought the Trump Administration should do by way of contributing to nuclear disarmament, the Swedish ambassador in Iceland, Bosse Hedberg, replied: “At this point in time, I am not aware of any common Nordic position being prepared in response to the new U.S. administration’s view on this issue. As one can gather from the media, the new president seems rather inclined to invest more in U.S. nuclear capacities than in scrapping part of U.S. weapons.”
Sweden was the only Nordic country to attend the UNOG Conference on Disarmament held March 21-22 in Geneva, although Finland and Norway are also members. [P41] JAPANESE TEXT VERSON PDF | KOREAN TEXT VERSON PDF
By Dr. J. Enkhsaikhan
Note: Dr. J. Enkhsaikhan is Chairman of Blue Banner NGO and former Permanent Representative of Mongolia to the United Nations in New York and Vienna. This article comes in run-up to the UN General Assembly's two sessions – scheduled for March 27-31 and June 15-July 7 – to negotiate “a legally binding instrument to prohibit nuclear weapons, leading towards their total elimination”.
ULAANBAATAR, Mongolia (IDN-INPS) - Some believe that those that do not possess nuclear weapons have no basis to demand that those that do possess alter their nuclear policies. However, as the three recent international conferences on humanitarian consequences of nuclear weapons vividly demonstrated yet again, the detonation of a nuclear weapon, intentionally or otherwise, will have catastrophic consequences with far-reaching climatic, genetic and other devastating effects. [P40] GERMAN | JAPANESE TEXT VERSON PDF
By Rodney Reynolds
WASHINGTON DC (IDN) – The 193-member UN General Assembly is to hold two key sessions – in March and in June – in what is expected to be a do-or-die attempt towards the elimination of nuclear weapons worldwide.
“Whether 2017 will be the year that sees nuclear weapons being banned or whether the effort to achieve this gets turned into a form of “fake news” remains to be seen?,” says a sceptical Tariq Rauf, Director of the Disarmament, Arms Control and Non-Proliferation Programme at the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI).
The dark shadow that looms large over the upcoming General Assembly sessions will be the imposing figure of US President Donald Trump – whose trigger-finger is dangerously close to over 7,000 nuclear weapons, and whose views on nuclear disarmament appear consistently inconsistent, ranging from proliferation to strengthening existing arsenals. [P39] HINDI | JAPANESE TEXT VERSON PDF | CHINESE TEXT VERSION PDF
By Jamshed Baruah
BERLIN |VIENNA (IDN) – Japan, by far the only country to experience atomic bombings in Hiroshima and Nagasaki, has decided to make the largest ever extra-budgetary contribution to the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty Organization (CTBTO).
The funds amounting to about USD 2.43 million will support a range of verification related activities to improve the detection capabilities of the Organisation – and thus pave the way for a world free of nuclear weapons.
A voluntary contribution of this size must be recognized as a strong signal of Japan’s commitment to ‘finish what we started’ – getting the Treaty into force and finalizing the International Monitoring System, said CTBTO Executive Secretary Lassina Zerbo. [P38] JAPANESE TEXT VERSON PDF | PORTUGUESE
By Samantha Sen
LONDON (IDN) - Now that the new world order some of us were talking about threatens to collapse into a new world disorder, the emerging fear is what the U.S and Russia could agree on, rather than what they disagree about. U.S President Donald Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin have discovered one another as political twins looking in the same direction from opposite sides – what were thought to be opposing sides anyhow. Nowhere does this union of vision appear more deadly than in the business of nuclear armament, and business it is.
Both leaders have said yes to all the weapons they have, and nodded in the direction of yet more. Both have spoken of “strengthening” their nuclear capabilities. Strengthen how much more to what end? Dire arithmetic abounds on how many times over each can destroy the world. Skip the count; once would be enough. [P37] JAPANESE TEXT VERSON PDF
By Rick Wayman*
SANTA BARBARA, CA, USA (IDN) - October 24-25, 2016, the Nuclear Age Peace Foundation brought together a small group of academics, activists and thought leaders to discuss how to shift the global discourse toward nuclear disarmament. The symposium, entitled “The Fierce Urgency of Nuclear Zero: Changing the Discourse,” discussed the current state of nuclear threats, geopolitical and psychological obstacles to nuclear zero, and the path forward.
The symposium’s final statement was delayed in order to incorporate the new political realities following the election of Donald Trump as President of the United States, which took place just two weeks after the symposium. [P36] JAPANESE TEXT VERSON PDF
By Ramesh Jaura and Katsuhiro Asagiri
BERLIN | TOKYO (IDN) - Japanese Buddhist philosopher and peace builder Daisaku Ikeda has urged the U.S. and Russian leaders to come together for a summit meeting as soon as possible to pledge a global drift toward nuclear disarmament. The two countries together hold more than 90% of the world’s nuclear arsenal.
The advice by Ikeda, who is the President of the Soka Gakkai International (SGI) Buddhist association, is contained in his 35th annual peace proposal titled “The Global Solidarity of Youth: Ushering in a New Era of Hope” issued on January 26, 2017. [P35] JAPANESE TEXT VERSON PDF
By Rodney Reynolds
WASHINGTON, DC (IDN) – During the height of the U.S. presidential election campaign last year, Republican candidate Donald Trump threatened to tear up the 159-page Iran nuclear agreement on live television.
In characteristic “Trumpism”, he dismissed the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), as the agreement was formally known, as “stupid”, “a lopsided disgrace” and “the worst deal ever negotiated.”