Analysis by Rick Wayman*
WASHINGTON, D.C: (IDN) - On May 23, the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) issued a press release celebrating President Trump’s proposed 2018 budget. DOE specifically lauded the proposed “$10.2 billion for Weapons Activities to maintain and enhance the safety, security, and effectiveness of our nuclear weapons enterprise.”
Less than 24 hours earlier, Ambassador Elayne Whyte of Costa Rica released a draft of a treaty banning nuclear weapons. Ambassador Whyte is President of the United Nations Conference to negotiate a legally binding instrument to prohibit nuclear weapons, leading towards their total elimination. Over 130 nations have participated in the ban treaty negotiations thus far. A final treaty text is expected by early July. [P 05] ARABIC | GERMAN | ITALIAN | JAPANESE TEXT VERSON PDF | SPANISH
By Ramesh Jaura
VIENNA (IDN) - "The urgent importance of bringing the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty (CTBT) into force, as a core element of the international nuclear disarmament and non-proliferation regime," was a highlight of the first session of the Preparatory Committee (PrepCom) for the 2020 NPT Review Conference from May 2-12 in the capital of Austria.
The PrepCom's Chair Henk Cor van der Kwast noted in his factual summary: "The intrinsic link between the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty and the goals and objectives of the Treaty was stressed." 111 States parties to NPT, the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons participated in the work of the Committee at its first session. [P 04] | CHINESE TEXT VERSION PDF | JAPANESE TEXT VERSION PDF | NORWEGIAN | SWEDISH
By Jamshed Baruah
VIENNA (IDN) - While nuclear weapons have not been deployed since 1945 when atomic bombs were dropped on the Japanese cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, nearly 15,000 pieces of such instruments of mass destruction still exist, posing risks too great to be ignored. In view of this menacing reality, Mayors for Peace are warning that the danger of nuclear proliferation remains real, as seen in the case of continuing nuclear tests by North Korea. [P 03] JAPANESE TEXT VERSION PDF | KOREAN TEXT VERSION PDF
By Ramesh Jaura
BERLIN | NEW YORK (IDN) – The States party to the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT) convene every five years to review the implementation of this nuclear disarmament regime in three sessions. In run-up to the 2020 NPT Review Conference, the first session of the Preparatory Committee (PrepCom) will meet from May 2-12 in Vienna.
The Austrian capital, which serves as the associate headquarters of the UN, has come to play a historic role in the world body's efforts for a legal treaty aimed at ushering in a nuclear-weapons-free world. In December 2014, it was the venue of the third Conference on the Humanitarian Impact of Nuclear Weapons – after Nayarit (Mexico) in February 2014 and Oslo in March 2013 – which paved the path to the 'Austrian Pledge', also known as the 'Humanitarian Pledge', to "stigmatize, prohibit and eliminate nuclear weapons". [P 02] JAPANESE TEXT VERSiON PDF
By Jamshed Baruah
GENEVA (IDN) – "The lack of nuclear weapons use since Hiroshima and Nagasaki cannot on its own be interpreted as evidence that the likelihood of a detonation event is minimal," warns the United Nations Institute for Disarmament Research (UNIDIR), an autonomous institute within the United Nations based in Geneva.
The Japanese cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, on which the United States dropped atomic bombs on August 6 and 9, 1945, embody the abhorrent humanitarian impact of nuclear weapons use, warning of the brutal consequences should such weapons of mass destruction be ever deployed again. [P 01] ARABIC | NORWEGIAN | JAPANESE TEXT VERSON PDF
By Ramesh Jaura
BERLIN | NEW YORK (IDN) - Both Japan and Kazakhstan have suffered from nuclear weapons: Japan through the bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki in 1945 and Kazakhstan through the fallout from 456 nuclear test explosions conducted at the Semipalatinsk, the former Soviet nuclear test site near what is now the village of Semey.
The two countries are therefore committed to realizing a world free of nuclear weapons – for example through entry into force of the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty (CTBT) – and consider it a main goal of humanity in the 21st century. This was reaffirmed during the first session of the UN conference to negotiate a nuclear weapons prohibition treaty, from March 27 to 31 at the UN headquarters in New York. The second session is scheduled for June 15 through July 7. [P Extra]
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