Congressional Report Warns of Skyrocketing Costs of U.S. Nuclear Arsenal

By J C Suresh

Photo: F-16 Fighting Falcon aircraft assigned to the Thunderbirds, the Air Force flight demonstration team, perform during the Thunder Over South Georgia air show at Moody Air Force Base, Ga., Oct. 28, 2017. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Daniel Snider

TORONTO | WASHINGTON, D.C. (IDN) – A new study throws limelight on the skyrocketing costs of the current plan to sustain and upgrade U.S. nuclear forces and outlines several pragmatic options to maintain a credible, formidable deterrent at less cost.

The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) study published on October 31 estimates that sustaining and upgrading U.S. nuclear forces will cost taxpayers $1.24 trillion in inflation-adjusted dollars between fiscal years 2017 and 2046. When the effects of inflation are included, the CBO expects the 30-year cost to exceed $1.5 trillion. These figures are significantly higher than the previously reported estimates of roughly $1 trillion. [P 24]  BAHASA | JAPANESE TEXT VERSON  PDF | TURKISH

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] ITALIANJAPANESE TEXT VERSON PDF | MALAY | NORWEGIAN | THAI

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]  | JAPANESE Part 1, Part 2 | 

UN Treaty Signing a Significant Step Towards a World Free of Nuclear Weapons

By Shanta Roy

UNITED NATIONS (IDN) -- The international community took its first significant step towards a world free of nuclear weapons when over 50 countries signed a landmark treaty, which was adopted by UN member states on July 7.

The signing ceremony, which began September 20 on the sidelines of the 72nd session of the General Assembly, is expected to continue, as more countries will join the list of signatories to a treaty that was overwhelmingly voted on by 122 countries, with one against (Netherlands) and one abstention (Singapore). [P 21] ARABIC | GERMAN | JAPANESE TEXT VERSON  PDF | THAI

Opening for Signature of the UN Treaty a Milestone for Prohibiting Nuclear Weapons

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

UNITED NATIONS (IDN) - The opening for signature of the Treaty on the Prohibitions of Nuclear Weapons on September 20 at the United Nations in New York marks a milestone in the long history of efforts by the international community to eliminate the most destructive and cruel of all weapons invented by man.

The wide adherence to the negotiating process of the Treaty, carried out with the strong support of civil society organizations, reflected a growing global recognition that a ban on nuclear weapons is an integral part of the normative framework necessary to achieve and maintain a world free of such weapons. It is not a hasty or impromptu movement born out of frustration for the protracted lack of concrete progress on nuclear disarmament or by humanitarian considerations. Rather, it responds to a longstanding aspiration of humanity. [P 20]  | CHINESE TEXT VERSON  PDF| JAPANESE TEXT VERSON PDF

Heed the Voices of the Hibakusha Urging All States to Sign the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons

By Dr. Daisaku Ikeda, President, Soka Gakkai International (SGI)

Photo: Dr. Daisaku Ikeda. Credit: Seikyo Shimbun.

TOKYO (IDN) - The Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons, adopted this past July at the United Nations, will soon be opened for signature. The negotiations that produced this Treaty saw the participation of nearly two-thirds of all UN member states, and it is deeply moving to witness the first concrete steps toward the Treaty’s entry into force. I earnestly hope that the initial 122 countries that supported its adoption will be joined by other states becoming signatories to the Treaty, so that it can become international law as quickly as possible.

The quest for a world without nuclear weapons was the focus of the first UN General Assembly Resolution adopted in January 1946, soon after the birth of the United Nations. In the more than seven decades since, nuclear disarmament has been the subject of repeated resolutions. [AD01] ITALIAN | JAPANESE

Ulaanbaatar Conference Stresses the Role of Individual States in Nuclear Disarmament Process

By Jamshed Baruah

NEW YORK | ULAANBAATAR (IDN) – While unanimously agreeing on tougher sanctions against the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) in response to the country's sixth and most powerful nuclear test early September, the UN Security Council called for the resumption of the Six-Party Talks.

By pleading for the multilateral negotiations involving China, DPRK, Japan, Republic of Korea, Russian Federation and the United States, the 15-member Council expressed its "commitment to a peaceful, diplomatic and political solution to the situation on the Korean Peninsula". [P 19] ARABIC | GERMAN | ITALIAN | JAPANESE TEXT VERSON  PDFMALAY | THAI

UN Panel Remains Sceptical about Sanctions on North Korea

By Ramesh Jaura

BERLIN | NEW YORK (IDN) – Six days before the UN Security Council unanimously agreed to impose harsher sanctions on the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK), it received a far from encouraging report on the implementation of sanctions slammed so far.

The report submitted to the Council on September 5 by the UN Panel of Experts monitoring the implementation of Security Council sanctions against North Korea says: "Lax enforcement of the sanctions regime coupled with the country’s evolving evasion techniques are undermining the goals of the resolutions that the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea abandon all weapons of mass destruction and cease all related programmes and activities." [P 18] GERMAN | ITALIAN | JAPANESE TEXT VERSION  PDF | KOREAN TEXT VERSION PDFNORWEGIAN | TURKISH

Use Sanctions Pressure and Diplomacy with North Korea: Expert

By J C Suresh

TORONTO | WASHINGTON, DC (IDN) – U.S. President Donald Trump and his administration have failed to competently execute their own stated policy of “maximum pressure and engagement” with North Korea, says the Arms Control Association (ACA), which is dedicated to promoting public understanding of and support for effective arms control policies.  [P 17] ARABIC | BAHASAJAPANESE TEXT VERSION  PDFNORWEGIAN | SWEDISH

Kazakhstan Joins UN's Nuclear Watchdog in a Milestone Step Toward Non-Proliferation

By Ramesh Jaura

ASTANA (IDN) – While a moment of silence was observed on August 29 at 11:05 a.m. local time in Kazakhstan's capital city Astana to honour the memory of the victims of all nuclear weapons tests, some 2713 miles (4365 kilometres) away, North Korea fired an intermediate range ballistic missile that flew over Japan: The same day a new facility was inaugurated in Kazakhstan under the auspices of the UN's nuclear watchdog that could open a fresh chapter in non-proliferation.

In the five decades between July 1945, when the United States exploded its first atomic bomb, and the opening for signature of the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty (CTBT) in 1996, over 2,000 nuclear tests were carried out all over the world. After the CTBT was opened for signature in September 1996, nine nuclear tests had been conducted until 2016. Since then, only North Korea is known to have been conducting nuclear tests. [P 16] ARABIC | HINDI | JAPANESE TEXT VERSION  PDFNORWEGIAN | PORTUGUESE